61% of Americans Say AI Threatens Humanity as Enthusiasts Push Ahead

(AP Photo/John Locher, File)

Almost two-thirds of Americans say artificial intelligence (AI) threatens humanity’s future. Meanwhile, enthusiasts at tech companies like Google and Microsoft can’t rush out AI fast enough. If you’d like a prediction on how this could go, try the science fiction/dystopia section at your local library.


A newly published Reuters/Ipsos poll found that 61% of Americans are worried that AI threatens the future of human civilization. Only 22% disagreed with that view, while 17% were unsure. More than two-thirds of Americans are concerned about AI’s negative effects. As Americans become increasingly aware of how tech can be weaponized by the government and Big Tech companies, the fear is natural.

Among 2020 Trump voters, concern about AI’s risks was even higher at 70%. Sixty percent of Biden voters agreed that AI is a threat. Meanwhile, 32% of Evangelicals “strongly agree” with the assessment of AI threat, versus 24% of other Christians.

As OpenAI’s ChatGPT skyrockets in popularity and Big Tech companies rush to outdo each other on new AI projects, common sense Americans are reasonably concerned. After all, the genocidal Chinese Communist Party (CCP) already uses AI to facilitate its dictatorial surveillance state and social credit system. It’s not too crazy to think other governments might get the same idea. Rep. Mike Gallagher (R-Wis.) already warned that the CCP might use AI to export totalitarianism. The U.S. government colluded with Big Tech to suppress free speech online. It’s a dangerous precedent.

Sebastian Thrun, a computer science professor at Stanford who founded Google X, tried to claim to Reuters that AI will help instead of hurt humanity. “AI will raise peoples’ quality of life, and help people be more competent and more efficient.” That does not address issues such as the fact that AI will likely soon take humans’ jobs in an already bad economy, or the fact it can be used for faster censorship and surveillance. It turns out the police, FBI, and thousands of other government agencies are using a facial recognition database built from billions of photos AI scraped from the internet. What could go wrong?


Related: Techno-Hell: Watch Bill Gates Acknowledge Existential AI Threat, Shrug Shoulders

Unfortunately, an AI arms race has begun. As his company applies AI to medical records and its search engine, Microsoft CEO Satya Nadella enthusiastically said AI can help humans “retool ourselves.” Google employees have declared the company’s mad AI rush has already caused ethical lapses. Twitter, Tesla, and Neuralink owner Elon Musk called for a pause on AI development, even as he reportedly plans for a new AI startup. And OpenAI is growing at a record pace.

It’s not surprising Americans are worried about AI. The question is, what is the solution? Is there any way to prevent AI from creating a dystopian future?


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