6 In 10 Think AI Could End Civilization

A recent survey found that most Americans believe the rapid growth of artificial intelligence technology could place the future of humanity at risk, Reuters reported.

According to a Reuters/Ipsos poll published on Wednesday, more than two-thirds of respondents are concerned about the negative impact of artificial intelligence and another 61 percent believe AI could be a threat to civilization, while only 22 percent did not and another 17 percent were unsure.

The opinions vary slightly between those who voted for Joe Biden in 2020 and those who voted for Trump. Among Trump voters, 70 percent believe AI is a risk to humanity while only 60 percent of Biden voters agreed.

And while Americans express concern over the growth of artificial intelligence, the technology is not the issue of primary concern for most respondents.

Based on the Reuters/Ipsos poll, the economy and crime remain the issues most Americans care about, with 82 percent of respondents expressing concern about a possible recession and 77 percent saying they support increased funding for police.

Those in the artificial intelligence industry believe that the American public must be better informed about the benefits.

Google X founder Sebastian Thrun, a Stanford computer science professor, told Reuters that while the public’s concerns are legitimate, what is missing in the debate is why artificial intelligence is being developed in the first place. Thrun argued that the technology will increase the “quality of life” while helping make humans more “competent” and “efficient.” 

Though, not all industry experts agree.

Landon Klein, the director of the Future of Life Institute, the group behind the open letter from AI experts calling for a pause on research, told Reuters that it is revealing that a majority of Americans are concerned about the risks from artificial intelligence. He noted that the current concerns about the development of AI are similar to the concerns at the “beginning of the nuclear era.”