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While the public remains cautious of artificial intelligence (AI), most trust higher education institutions to use AI responsibly, according to a new report released Tuesday morning by the Stevens Institute of Technology and the business intelligence group Morning Consult.

Nearly half (49 percent) of respondents said they trust higher education institutions “somewhat” or “a lot” to use AI responsibly—identical to the share that said the same about healthcare organizations. They inched out law enforcement, which 45 percent cited as responsible users of AI. 

“It has never been more important for leaders in higher education to participate in conversations about AI, as society will increasingly depend on educated graduates who will keep ethical use of AI at the forefront of technology innovation,” Stevens Institute of Technology president Nariman Farvardin said in a statement.

Social media organizations and political organizations earned the least amount of trust; 23 and 16 percent of respondents, respectively, said they would somewhat or greatly trust them to use AI responsibly. Financial institutions, the news media, U.S. corporations and the U.S. government fell somewhere in the middle. 

The report surveyed more than 2,100 adults in Feb. 2024 about Americans’ attitudes toward artificial intelligence. One key concern that emerged was the lack of regulation for AI, but nearly half of respondents said the tools are worth using, even if they’re untrustworthy. 

Attitudes about artificial intelligence seem to depend partly on age. According to an Oct. 2023 study, nearly half of college students said they use generative AI, compared to just 22 percent of faculty. And an Inside Higher Ed survey of chief information officers found that just 16 percent considered AI “high priority.”