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"Because AI is 100% right and safe": User Attitudes and Sources of AI Authority in India

Shivani Kapania
Gabe Clapper
Azhagu SP
Nithya Sambasivan
CHI Conference on Human Factors in Computing Systems (CHI '22), ACM (2022) (to appear)


Most prior work on human-AI interaction is set in communities that indicate skepticism towards AI, but we know less about contexts where AI is viewed as aspirational. We investigated the perceptions around AI systems by drawing upon 32 interviews and 459 survey respondents in India. Not only do Indian users accept AI decisions (79.2% respondents indicate acceptance), we find a case of AI authority--- AI has a legitimized power to influence human actions, without requiring adequate evidence about the capabilities of the system. AI authority manifested into four user attitudes of vulnerability: faith, forgiveness, self-blame, and gratitude, pointing to higher tolerance for system misfires, and introducing potential for irreversible individual and societal harm. We urgently call for calibrating AI authority, reconsidering success metrics and responsible AI approaches and present methodological suggestions for research and deployments in India.