UCD Centre for Digital Policy Report: Public Perceptions of Data, Artificial Intelligence Use and Regulation

Ireland Thinks UCD


The UCD Centre for Digital Policy set out to learn what people living in Ireland think about big data, artificial intelligence, and the regulatory framework overseeing these processes. The Centre recruited IrelandThinks to survey people in Ireland about their understanding and attitudes between June and July 2022. Indeed, rules and regulations to protect personal data have been intiated by both the Irish’ government , as well as the by EU. These have been underpinned by the desire to embrace the technological disruption created by new AI technologies, to integrate them into many aspects of our lives, and to maximise their market contributions. A parallel desire is to protect people and communities from the potential and established harms associated with the further proliferation of AI technologies. This report has been spurred by the desire to fill a gap in literature regarding the view of the Irish public on various aspects of AI. This research is needed as public trust and buy-in is essential for the democratic uptake of new technologies.

We asked a representative sample about their knowledge of data collection and AI use by various institutions, including government bodies and political parties, as well as their main sources of information about these issues. We also asked about their attitudes to regulation, how effective they think regulation is, and what they think the government should prioritise. Finally, we asked respondents about their public hopes and fears for the future of AI in our society. An overview of the output of the report can be found here.


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