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Hope, Fear, and AI

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Use of these new tools is still fairly limited, and experience with them skews decidedly toward younger users.

Credit: Diana Young/The Verge

AI is about to change the world — the problem is, no one's quite sure how. Some look at the past year's rapid progress and see opportunities to remove creative constraints, automate rote work, and discover new ways to learn and teach. Others see how this tech can disrupt our lives in more damaging ways: how it can generate misinformation, destroy or diminish jobs, and, if left unchecked, pose a serious threat to our safety.

Tech leaders, lawmakers, and researchers have all been weighing in on how we should handle this emerging tech. Some industry figures, like OpenAI CEO Sam Altman, want AI giants to steer regulation, shifting the focus to perceived future threats, including the "risk of extinction." Others, like EU politicians, are more concerned with current dangers and banning dangerous use cases (while holding back positive applications, say skeptics). Meanwhile, many small artists would just like a guarantee that they won't be replaced by machines.

To find out what people really think about AI and what they want from it, The Verge teamed up with Vox Media's Insights and Research team and the research consultancy firm The Circus to poll more than 2,000 US adults on their thoughts, feelings, and fears about AI. The results tell the story of an emerging, uncertain, and exciting technology — where many have yet to use it, many are fearful of its potential, and many still have great hopes for what it could someday do for them.

From The Verge
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