Forty-five percent (45%) of voters nationwide are at least somewhat concerned that robots guided by artificial intelligence (A.I.) will destroy human life on earth. That total includes 16% who are Very Concerned. A ScottRasmussen.com survey found that 54% do not share that concern, including 24% who are Not at All Concerned.
Respondents are also split down the middle when it comes to the overall nature of A.I. and robotics, with 51% saying the growing use of this technology is a good thing and 49% saying it’s a bad thing.
Still, nearly half of voters (45%) think it’s at least somewhat likely that most voters will own a personal robot within a decade or so. A third (33%) think it’s likely that they will own a robot someday. That includes 48% of voters under 35 and just 12% of senior citizens (see question wording and crosstab results).
This national survey of 1,000 Registered Voters was conducted October 17-18, 2018 by ScottRasmussen.com and HarrisX, a leading research company specializing in online surveys (see Methodology and the Demographic profile of our sample). The Margin of Error is +/- 3.1 percentage points with a 95% level of confidence.
Concerns about the future of A.I. and robotic labor have appeared frequently in the news over the past two years, but mostly in the financial news. Perhaps the biggest doomsayer about this issue is Tesla founder and CEO Elon Musk, who has said that he believes A.I. is far more dangerous than nuclear weapons.
Perhaps even more pervasive is the long history of fictional movies like “The Terminator” and TV dramas like “WestWorld” that have featured the narrative of sentient robots taking over the world as a major plot device.
Despite all that, the survey shows that 55% of respondents say they haven’t followed news stories about A.I. and robotics very closely or at all. Just 12% have been following news on the topic Very Closely.
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