Over the past nine months, there’s been a noticeable shift in how Americans perceive artificial intelligence (AI). In a fresh survey by the Pew Research Center, a remarkable 52 percent of respondents expressed more apprehension than enthusiasm regarding the increasing use of AI. This figure has surged by 14 percentage points since December. On the flip side, a mere 10 percent indicated greater excitement than concern, while 36 percent found themselves straddling the fence with equally balanced views. The Pew Research Center aptly summarized, “Concerns about AI overshadow excitement across all major demographic groups,” in a recent blog post.
These past nine months have been quite the rollercoaster in the AI landscape. OpenAI’s ChatGPT, once known for its potential to assist with homework, has evolved into a household name. The corporate world, including tech giants, has engaged in a race to demonstrate their commitment to generative AI. Microsoft seamlessly integrated GPT-4 into Office and Windows, while Google introduced its Bard chatbot and incorporated AI elements into its search functions. The realms of AI-generated writing and generative art have even ventured into the realms of journalism, book composition, music production, and political campaigns, sparking both controversy and widespread media coverage.
Despite younger Americans still leaning more toward concern than excitement, their outlook is relatively sunnier than their older counterparts’. Among 18- to 29-year-olds, 42 percent expressed worry about the growing prevalence of AI in daily life, while 17 percent admitted excitement. Conversely, among adults aged 65 and above, a striking 61 percent indicated predominant concern, with a mere four percent feeling more excited than worried.
In a bid to gauge awareness of AI, Pew Research conducted a survey that revealed a correlation between knowledge and unease. The report indicates that around 90 percent of adults have encountered a substantial amount (33 percent) or at least a bit (56 percent) of information about artificial intelligence. The group significantly informed about AI increased by seven points since December. Interestingly, those well-informed about AI tend to be more anxious than before. Among this demographic, 47 percent expressed anxiety, outnumbering the 15 percent who felt enthusiastic. In comparison, last year, the ratio was 31 percent concerned to 23 percent excited. This pattern even holds true for those who’ve only heard a little about AI, who now display a more pessimistic view compared to the respondents in the December poll, with a margin of 19 points.
When the impact of AI is dissected across categories, the results are mixed. On one hand, 49 percent of participants believed AI is more helpful than harmful when it comes to finding products and services online, dwarfing the 15 percent who found it detrimental. However, 53 percent responded that AI does more harm than good in safeguarding personal information, with only 10 percent deeming it beneficial in this aspect. There are other sectors where AI was seen in a positive light, such as aiding companies in crafting safe vehicles, assisting doctors in delivering quality care, and promoting personal health management. Conversely, categories like accurate online information retrieval, quality customer service, and maintaining public order through policing elicited a more balanced mixture of positive and negative sentiments.
Interestingly, respondents with different levels of education displayed varying perspectives. College graduates were more inclined to view AI as beneficial for discovering products and services online and aiding doctors in providing quality healthcare (60 percent positivity among college graduates compared to 44 percent for those without degrees). On the other hand, individuals with “some college or less” were more skeptical of AI’s capacity to protect private information (59 percent among college-educated versus 50 percent among those with lower education levels). Generally, those with higher education were more inclined to perceive AI in a favorable light.
All in all, as AI’s presence becomes more pronounced in various facets of life, it’s clear that a complex and dynamic mix of concerns and excitements shapes public perception. The journey of AI continues, and it’s up to us to navigate the landscape with a balanced perspective, harnessing the benefits while addressing the apprehensions.
Frequently Asked Questions (FAQs) about AI Sentiment
What does the Pew Research survey reveal about American attitudes towards AI?
The Pew Research survey indicates that 52% of respondents are more concerned than excited about the increasing use of artificial intelligence (AI), a 14-point rise since December. Only 10% are more excited than worried, with 36% holding balanced views.
How has AI’s presence changed over the last nine months?
In the last nine months, AI, particularly generative AI like ChatGPT, has transitioned from a homework tool to a widely recognized technology. Major companies, including Microsoft and Google, have integrated AI into their products and services, with AI even making an impact in journalism, book writing, music production, and politics.
How do different age groups perceive AI?
Younger Americans are more positive about AI compared to older age groups. Among 18-29 year-olds, 42% express concern, while 17% are excited. However, among those aged 65 and above, 61% are concerned, and only 4% are more excited.
How does awareness of AI impact sentiments?
The survey shows that the more people know about AI, the more uneasy they feel. About 90% of adults have heard either a lot (33%) or a little (56%) about AI. Those well-informed about AI are more worried than excited, with 47% concerned and 15% excited.
What are some areas where AI is seen as positive?
AI is considered beneficial for finding products and services online (49% positive) and helping doctors provide quality care. Additionally, it’s seen as useful in areas like producing safe vehicles and aiding in personal health management.
What are the concerns related to AI?
AI raises concerns about protecting personal information (53% see it as hurting) and accuracy in online information retrieval. People are also divided on its impact on customer service quality and police enforcement.
How do education levels affect AI perceptions?
Individuals with higher education tend to see AI more positively. College graduates are more likely to view AI as positive in areas like finding products and services online and assisting doctors in providing quality care.
What’s the overall takeaway from this survey?
As AI continues to integrate into various aspects of life, public sentiment remains a mixture of concerns and excitement. The survey underscores the complexity of AI’s impact and the importance of addressing apprehensions while embracing its benefits.
More about AI Sentiment
- Pew Research Center survey on AI sentiment
- OpenAI’s ChatGPT and its evolution
- Microsoft’s integration of GPT-4 into Office and Windows
- Google’s Bard chatbot and AI integration in search
- AI’s impact in journalism, book writing, music, and politics
- Understanding generative AI
- AI’s role in online information retrieval
- Concerns and benefits of AI in customer service
- AI’s influence on law enforcement and policing