What governs attitudes toward artificial intelligence adoption and governance?

Matthew R O’Shaughnessy, Daniel S Schiff, Lav R Varshney, Christopher J Rozell, Mark A Davenport

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review


Designing effective and inclusive governance and public communication strategies for artificial intelligence (AI) requires understanding how stakeholders reason about its use and governance. We examine underlying factors and mechanisms that drive attitudes toward the use and governance of AI across six policy-relevant applications using structural equation modeling and surveys of both US adults (N = 3,524) and technology workers enrolled in an online computer science master’s degree program (N = 425). We find that the cultural values of individualism, egalitarianism, general risk aversion, and techno-skepticism are important drivers of AI attitudes. Perceived benefit drives attitudes toward AI use but not its governance. Experts hold more nuanced views than the public and are more supportive of AI use but not its regulation. Drawing on these findings, we discuss challenges and opportunities for participatory AI governance, and we recommend that trustworthy AI governance be emphasized as strongly as trustworthy AI.
Original languageEnglish (US)
Article numberscac056
Pages (from-to)161-176
Number of pages16
JournalScience and Public Policy
Issue number2
Early online dateOct 14 2022
StatePublished - Apr 1 2023


  • artificial intelligence policy
  • public engagement
  • public opinion

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Geography, Planning and Development
  • Management, Monitoring, Policy and Law
  • Public Administration


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