Americans are confused about AI
A new poll about Americans' attitudes toward AI shows deep ambivalence about what the technology will do to their lives.
The big picture: Americans fear the effect AI will have on employment, politics and privacy, but also believe it should play a bigger role in technology, manufacturing and more.
- In other words: Who knows?
By the numbers: A new national poll of 2,200 adults by the Stevens Institute of Technology and Morning Consult found 74% of respondents believe AI will lead to a loss of personal privacy, 71% believe it will reduce employment opportunities, and 60% believe it will increase political polarization.
- A majority believe AI will be misused by governments, individuals and businesses.
The other side: Despite those fears, almost two-thirds of respondents think facial recognition — an increasingly widespread AI application that deeply concerns many experts — is a responsible use of the technology.
- While loss of privacy was the biggest stated concern about AI, younger Americans were less worried — 62% of Gen Z respondents said they were worried about AI privacy, compared to 80% of baby boomers.
- Even as respondents expressed fears about automation and AI reducing jobs, more than half believed it could ultimately create better working conditions and 70% said it would reduce the risk of dangerous jobs.
What they're saying: "There's a lot of intelligence around how AI could potentially invade privacy, but there's also a cautious optimism that I was encouraged to see," says Jason Corso, director of the Stevens Institute for Artificial Intelligence at Stevens Institute of Technology.
Yes, but: Corso notes while half of the respondents believed AI is sufficiently regulated by the government, in fact, there is "actually limited to no regulation right now."
- "That tells me that we need more education about AI."