Consumers Are Willing to Pay a Price for Explainable, But Not for Green AI

Artificial Intelligence (AI) as a general-purpose technology is expected to support people with a large range of tasks. A major challenge is therefore to manage the long-term societal impacts of this technology. Two central concerns that have emerged in this respect are the transparency and environmental sustainability of AI. The present paper studies how much people value these two features using the example of personal AI assistants. The results from a choice-based conjoint analysis based on a sample of more than 1.000 respondents from Germany indicate that people hardly care about the energy efficiency of AI; and while they do value transparency through explainable AI, this added value of an application is offset by minor costs. The findings have important implications as they suggest that explainable AI and especially environmentally sustainable AI will hardly be induced by consumer demand. Instead, there is a need for regulatory measures.

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