Americans 'More Concerned than Excited by AI Advances'

Pew Research reveals majority of Americans are anxious about expanding the use of AI in daily life, with privacy a top concern

Ben Wodecki, Jr. Editor

August 30, 2023

2 Min Read

At a Glance

  • A new study has found that more than half of Americans are more concerned than excited about the increased use of AI.

A study by Pew Research Center found that over half (52%) of Americans say they feel more concerned than excited about the increased use of AI in daily life.

The think tank surveyed some 11,200 U.S. and found that concern about AI outweighs excitement across all major demographic groups. Americans aged over 65 were among the most concerned, with six in 10 worried about the growing use of AI in daily life. Of those aged 18 to 29, 42% are concerned and 17% more excited by AI.

Pew’s survey notes that the rise in AI concerns coincides with increased public awareness. Nine in 10 adults said they’ve heard either a lot (33%) or a little (56%) about artificial intelligence.

Surveyed consumers who had heard a lot about AI are more likely now than they were in December 2022 to express greater concern than excitement about it. Those who have heard a little about AI are also more likely to express concern today than last year.

Of the areas AI affects, American consumers expressed most concerns about its impact on privacy.

53% of respondents said AI does more harm than good in keeping personal information private. Just 10% said AI helps keep details safe and 37% said they were unsure.

However, Pew noted some areas where AI is viewed positively – 49% of respondents said AI helps more than hurts when searching for products and services online.

Related:EY Survey: Top Management ‘Slow to Embrace’ Emerging Tech

Other positive use cases noted by respondents include helping make cars and trucks safer and improving health care.

Demographic breakdown

Looking at the numbers, adults with higher levels of education were noted as having a more positive view of AI. 46% of college graduates said AI is helping improve health care, while just 32% of adults with less education take this view.

The exception generally is privacy – around six in ten college graduates (59%) argued that AI hurts more than it helps at keeping people's personal information private. That view was shared by half of adults with lower levels of education.

The breakdown reveals a difference when looking at household income, with surveyed Americans with higher incomes viewing AI as more helpful.

Men were found to view AI’s impact more positively than women.

About the Author(s)

Ben Wodecki

Jr. Editor

Ben Wodecki is the Jr. Editor of AI Business, covering a wide range of AI content. Ben joined the team in March 2021 as assistant editor and was promoted to Jr. Editor. He has written for The New Statesman, Intellectual Property Magazine, and The Telegraph India, among others. He holds an MSc in Digital Journalism from Middlesex University.

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