What Is Behind the Buzzword for Experts and Laymen: Representation of “Artificial Intelligence” in the IT-Professionals’ and Non-Professionals’ Minds


  • Paweł Fortuna Orcid
  • Oleg Gorbaniuk Orcid


The aim of the presented research was to define the differences between information technology (IT) professionals (ITP) and non-professionals (NP) in the way of understanding artificial intelligence (AI). The research was designed in the tradition of categorization research. In an online study participants were asked to make typicality and familiarity judgments for 50 AI exemplars. Two types of analyses were carried out, which made it possible to identify and compare the hierarchy of AI designates (graded structure) and the dimensions of their groupings. We have found that “invisible AI” exemplars were highly rated by ITP, but “visible AI” by NP. Expert knowledge allows ITP to systematize AI exemplars based on both structural and functional elements. On the other hand, laymen indicate the functions that AI-driven products perform, rather than their structures. For ITP, they are primarily algorithmic systems, while for NP they are systems that emulate the functions of living organisms.