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Increasing number worried about AI use

Growing concern about use of AI in daily life

A majority think the increased use of artificial intelligence is more a worry than something exciting, a new US survey shows.  The share who are mostly concerned about AI in daily life is up 14 percentage points since December 2022, when 38% expressed this view.

52% say they feel more concerned than excited about the increased use of artificial intelligence. Just 10% say they are more excited than concerned, while 36% say they feel an equal mix of these emotions, the survey from Pew Research Center shows.

“The debut of ChatGPT has led some tech experts to declare it part of a “robot revolution.” But most Americans haven’t used ChatGPT, and only a small share think chatbots will have a major impact on their jobs. Even fewer Americans say chatbots would be helpful for their own work.”

One-in-five adults who have heard of ChatGPT say they have ever used it for entertainment. 19% say they have used it to learn something, while 16% of those who have heard of the tool and are employed say they have used it for tasks at work.

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Younger adults are more likely than their older peers to have used ChatGPT for education or amusement.

About half or more of those who have heard of ChatGPT say chatbots will have a major impact on software engineers (56%), graphic designers (54%) and journalists (52%) over the next 20 years. Smaller shares think chatbots will have a major effect on teachers (44%) or lawyers (31%).  

But Americans are less likely to think chatbots will impact their own job. Some 19% of employed adults who have heard of ChatGPT think chatbots will have a major impact on their job. Another 36% say it will have a minor impact and 27% expect no impact at all.

“The rise in concern about AI has taken place alongside growing public awareness. Nine-in-ten adults have heard either a lot (33%) or a little (56%) about artificial intelligence. The share who have heard a lot about AI is up 7 points since December 2022”, the Pew says.

Those who have heard a lot about AI are 16 points more likely now than they were in December 2022 to express greater concern than excitement about it. Among this most aware group, concern now outweighs excitement by 47% to 15%. In December, this margin was 31% to 23%.

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Similarly, people who have heard a little about AI are 19 points more likely to express concern today than they were in December. A majority now express greater concern than excitement (58%) about AI’s growing role in daily life, while just 8% report the opposite feeling.

Pew Research says that previous analyses have found that Americans’ concerns about AI include a desire to maintain human control over these technologies, doubts that AI will improve the way things are now, and caution over the pace of AI adoption in fields like health and medicine.

53% say AI is doing more to hurt than help people keep their personal information private. Only 10% say AI helps more than it hurts, and 37% aren’t sure. 

There are significant demographic differences in the perceived impact of AI in specific use cases. Those with higher levels of education are more likely than others to say AI is having a positive impact across most uses included in the survey. 

“Men tend to view AI’s impact in specific areas more positively than women. These differences by education, income and gender are generally consistent with our previous work on artificial intelligence”, the report says.

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