Michael Sorokach IV
A new study from the University of Oxford finds that Americans favor artificial intelligence more than they oppose it, however there is no strong consensus. According to the survey, 41% of respondents said they somewhat or strongly support the development of AI, 22% somewhat or strongly oppose it, and 28% said they have no strong feelings whatsoever. In the survey, AI was defined as “computer systems that perform tasks or make decisions that usually require human intelligence.”
Artificial intelligence is a divisive topic in the developed world, even among some of the most famous people within the technology sphere. Bill Gates is a strong supporter of AI development, stating that it can be used to further improve the quality of life for everyone. In a Q&A, he was quoted as saying “AI is just the latest in technologies that allow us to produce a lot more goods and services with less labor. And overwhelmingly, over the last several hundred years, that has been great for society.” Meanwhile, some other individuals seem to be less trusting of its benefits. Elon Musk is an outspoken critic of continual AI development, calling it humanity’s “biggest existential threat” and compared it to “summoning the demon.”
Interestingly, the study from the University of Oxford shows some strong correlation between demographics and responses. 57% of college graduates were in favor of developing AI as opposed to only 29% of individuals with an education level of high school or less. One area where there was strong consensus was regulation. 82 percent of respondents somewhat or strongly agreed with the statement “robots and artificial intelligence are technologies that require careful management.”
What is your opinion of artificial intelligence? Do you believe development should be “limited” to more mundane tasks such as those performed by Apple’s Siri or Google’s search engine, or should development of “smart” AI (with the common sense intelligence of a human) continue unrestrained? Or somewhere in between?