Americans’ concern about the pervasive use of artificial intelligence (AI) in daily life is on the rise.
A recent Pew Research Center poll of 11,201 Americans reveals that “52% of respondents said they were more concerned than excited about AI,” marking an uptick from 38 percent of respondents the previous year. AI’s prominence has surged, particularly after the 2022 launch of OpenAI’s generative AI-powered ChatGPT. This breakthrough instigated a wave of companies announcing new generative AI products and services, propelling the stock prices of businesses such as Nvidia, which produces AI chips, and Microsoft, which offers AI services.
However, this surge in AI application and its consequent recognition hasn’t gone unnoticed by authorities. The Biden administration has called on prominent AI companies to voluntarily agree to a series of safety measures to ensure its responsible evolution. Notably, tech giants like Amazon (AMZN), Anthropic, Google (GOOG, GOOGL), Inflection, Meta (META), Microsoft (MSFT), and OpenAI pledged their support for these initiatives in July. Major AI developers, including ChatGPT’s OpenAI, are striving to refine their systems, specifically emphasizing truthfulness.
While a majority of Americans express reservations about AI, they acknowledge its potential benefits in several domains. AI has the promise to revolutionize “helping people find products and services online, the development of self-driving cars and trucks, health care, and finding accurate information online.” Yet, there’s skepticism, particularly about AI’s role in keeping people’s personal information private and providing quality customer service.
Interestingly, education and income seem to influence perceptions. Those with college degrees and higher incomes generally have a more favorable stance towards AI compared to their counterparts with some college and lower incomes. A supplementary Pew Research Center survey of 5,057 Americans disclosed that of the respondents aware of ChatGPT, 71 percent with postgraduate degrees anticipate chatbots influencing their professional sphere. A significant 67 percent advocate for more stringent chatbot regulations.
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Jack McPherrin ([email protected]) is a managing editor of StoppingSocialism.com, research editor for The Heartland Institute, and a research fellow for Heartland's Socialism Research Center. He holds an MA in International Affairs from Loyola University-Chicago, and a dual BA in Economics and History from Boston College.