People are optimistic about AI despite thinking it will take jobs

Advances in artificial intelligence (AI) are happening rapidly. There are new applications in finance, healthcare, transportation, national security, criminal justice, and smart cities, among other areas. Yet at the same time, there are questions about negative impacts on jobs and personal privacy.

US think tank The Brookings Institution has conducted a survey on Americans’ attitudes to the rise of artificial intelligence. Overall the results reflect a relatively positive and optimistic view despite concerns about job losses and privacy.

Of those surveyed, 41% had a generally positive or very positive view of developments in AI. The same percentage held a very optimistic or somewhat optimistic view of the technology.
When asked if AI would make their lives easier, 34% said they thought it would. This was relatively equal amongst the different age groups but a much higher percentage of males (41%) compared to females (28%) held this view.

When asked about the employment impact, 12% indicated they thought artificial intelligence would create jobs, 13% believed it would have no effect on jobs, while a significant 38% said they believed it would reduce jobs. Men (42%) were more likely than women (34%) to say AI will reduce jobs. Perhaps surprisingly, younger people were more concerned about the impact on jobs with 43% of people aged 25 to 34 years old feeling that AI would reduce jobs.

The other major area of concern was around privacy. Almost half (49%) of those surveyed believe that AI will reduce privacy. Among males this rose to 54% and for people aged 55-64 it was a high 55% (although this fell to 45% in those aged over 65).

For more on developments in artificial intelligence see our BI Research The Connected World Report

Business Insider Emails & Alerts

Site highlights each day to your inbox.

Follow Business Insider Australia on Facebook, Twitter, LinkedIn, and Instagram.