54% See Artificial Intelligence As Potential Threat to Human Race

Fifty-four percent (54%) of voters believe Artificial Intelligence (A.I.) is at least somewhat of a threat to the human race. A ScottRasmussen.com national survey found that 45% say it’s not a serious threat or not a threat at all.

These figures include 13% who see it as a Very Serious Threat and 9% who say it’s Not a Threat At All.

Those soft opinions are consistent with the fact that most voters (54%) are not following news stories about A.I. Only 13% are following such news Very Closely and another 31% Somewhat Closely.

Still, the number who are optimistic about the effects Artificial Intelligence will have on the economy, health care, and education outnumber those who say the effects of A.I. will be bad. In all cases, however, nearly half aren’t sure.

Thirty-two percent (32%) of voters believe A.I. will be good for the economy, while 22% say it will be bad. But 47% say they are unsure. A recent report suggests that, on balance, the economic benefits will be positive and add $13 trillion to the global economy by 2030. However, it will not be smooth. The McKinsey Global Institute study found that“up to 375 million workers, or 14 percent of the global workforce, may need to change occupations” over the next decade.

In the United States, most expect the benefits to outweigh the costs. While 41% of voters worry that AI and automation will lead to mass unemployment, 59% believe the advancing technology will create new types of jobs and provide good opportunities for workers.

In another area where A.I. is advancing rapidly, 37% of voters say it will be good for health care as opposed to just 16% who say it will be bad. But that same significant 47% of respondents say they’re unsure.

As for education, 31% say it will be good for young Americans, 25% say bad, and 44% are not sure.

Women tend to be more concerned about A.I. than men. Younger voters are more likely to see benefits from the technology, but also to fear it’s potential (see question wording and crosstab results).

Data released earlier showed a similar concern about A.I. and robotics. Half (49%) said the growing use of this technology was a bad thing for the nation.

Regardless of the amount of attention they receive, there have been some significant developments in A.I. over the past six months. They include Google shutting down an A.I. project with the Pentagon after its own employees expressed reservations about using A.I. for military purposes. But the health care space has also seen A.I.-based improvements in diagnostics, drug testing, and improving health care access in underserved areas.

The mission of ScottRasmussen.com is to enhance the public dialogue through data-driven analysis that explores the underlying currents of public opinion (read About Us). Sign up to receive the latest insights each day via email. You can also follow our work on Twitter and Facebook.

This national survey of 1,009 Registered Voters was conducted November 20-21, 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.

Neither Scott Rasmussen nor ScottRasmussen.com has any relationship with Rasmussen Reports® (see About Us).

Posted in Poll Results

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