Nearly two-thirds (67%) of Americans believe artificial intelligence (AI), which is a form of machine learning, threatens the future of humankind. While enthusiasts at tech giants like Google and Microsoft are rushing to implement AI, others have a different view. You can find predictions in the science fiction/dystopia sections of your local libraries.
According to a newly released Reuters/Ipsos survey, 61% of Americans believe that AI will threaten the future of civilization. Only 22% of Americans disagreed, and 17% were uncertain. Over two-thirds (67%) of Americans worry about the negative effects of AI. Fear is understandable as Americans are becoming more aware of the ways in which technology can be weaponized both by the government and Big Tech.
Concern about AI risks was higher among 2020 Trump voters at 70%. 60% of Biden supporters agreed that AI was a threat. 32% of Evangelicals are “strongly in agreement” with this assessment, compared to 24% of all other Christians.
Common sense Americans have good reason to be concerned as OpenAI’s ChatGPT soars in popularity, and Big Tech companies race to create new AI projects. The genocidal Chinese Communist Party already uses AI in its dictatorial state of surveillance and social credit system. It is not crazy to believe that other governments may adopt the same idea. Mike Gallagher, R-Wis., warned before that the CCP could use AI to export its totalitarianism. The U.S. Government colluded with Big Tech in order to suppress online free speech. This is a dangerous precedent.
Sebastian Thrun is a Stanford computer science professor and founder of Google X. He told Reuters that AI would help humanity, not hurt it. AI will improve people’s quality of life and make them more competent and efficient. This does not address the issues that AI is likely to take over jobs from humans in an economy already struggling, or how it can be used faster for censorship and monitoring. The FBI, police, and other government agencies use a facial-recognition database that was built using billions of images AI scraped off the internet. What could possibly go wrong?
A race to develop AI has started. Microsoft CEO Satya Nadella said that AI could help humans “retool themselves” as his company applied AI to its medical records and search engine. Google employees declared the company’s mad AI rush had already caused ethical slip-ups. Elon Musk, Tesla and Neuralink’s owner called for a stop to AI development. This is despite his rumored plans for a brand-new AI startup. OpenAI has grown at an unprecedented rate.
AI is a growing concern for Americans. What is the answer? Is it possible to stop AI from creating dystopian scenarios?