What do citizens think of AI adoption in public services? Exploratory research on citizen attitudes through a social contract lens
Peer reviewed, Journal article
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Original versionSchmager, S., Grøder., C. H., Parmiggiani, E., Pappas, I. & Vassilakopoulou, P. (2023). What Do Citizens Think of AI Adoption in Public Services? Exploratory Research on Citizen Attitudes through a Social Contract Lens. Proceedings of the Annual Hawaii International Conference on System Sciences (HICSS), 4472-4481. doi: https://hdl.handle.net/10125/103176
The adoption of Artificial Intelligence (AI) by the public sector has the potential to improve service delivery. However, the risks related to AI are significant and citizen concerns have halted several AI initiatives. In this paper we report findings from an empirical study on citizens´ attitudes towards AI use in public services in Norway. We found a generally positive attitude and identified three factors contributing to this: a) the high level of trust in government; b) the reassurance provided by having humans in the loop; c) the perceived transparency into processes, data used for AI models and models´ inner workings. We interpret these findings through the lens of social contract theory and show how the introduction of AI in public services is subject to the social contract power dynamics. Our study contributes to research by foregrounding the government-citizen relationship and has implications for public sector AI practice.