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62% of Americans are concerned about rapid growth of generative AI

62% of Americans are concerned about rapid growth of generative AI

In the swiftly evolving realm of technology, generative artificial intelligence (AI) is a phenomenon that has captured the collective human imagination over its potential. This emergence has led to a crossroads between innovation and ethics with the expansion of AI, which can generate its content, igniting a potent blend of fascination and apprehension.

In this line, data acquired by Finbold indicates that as of August 2023, 62% of surveyed Americans are concerned about the growth of generative AI. A breakdown of the concerned individuals indicates that 30% are ‘mostly concerned,’ while 32% are ‘somewhat concerned.’ Another 16% indicated they were totally neutral, while 14% noted they were somewhat excited, with 7% indicating they were mostly excited. The survey, conducted in July, was based on responses from 1,001 American participants.

Elsewhere, generative AI has recorded the highest adoption rate in the United States, surpassing tablets and smartphones. The technology, which had an initial adoption rate of 7.8%, is expected to surge to 116.9% in the fourth year. In comparison, tablets rank second with a 12.9% adoption rate in the first year and 124.7% in the fourth year. These adoption rate figures are based on a June 2023 survey that gathered feedback from individuals of all ages who use each technology at least once per month.

Generative AI’s areas of concern 

Generative AI, often dubbed “creative AI,” represents a subfield of artificial intelligence that employs machine learning to craft content, spanning text, images, music, and even entire works of art. These systems, nurtured by immense datasets and cutting-edge algorithms, have made astonishing strides in recent years, with OpenAI’s ChatGPT and Google Bard standing out as frontrunners.

Notably, amid the success of ChatGPT, as of August 10, the global demand for AI had spiked over 500% in 12 months, as per a Finbold report. While the potential to transform industries and democratize creativity is beyond dispute, the growth of generative AI also raises substantial questions. It’s important to highlight that AI concerns are context-dependent and closely tied to the particular application or use case, exhibiting notable variations across diverse industries.

For instance, job displacement worries are dominant since  AI can now handle tasks once exclusive to humans. Generative AI also brings ethical complexities, like copyright, plagiarism, and authenticity issues. Distinguishing between human and AI-generated content is increasingly difficult, with potential misuse such as deepfakes and disinformation. Furthermore, biases in AI training data pose a risk of reinforcing stereotypes and social inequalities in AI-created content.

There is also a pervasive fear that the technology may dilute the authenticity of human creativity. Many argue that art’s essence lies in human experience and emotions. As generative AI becomes more common, the emotional connection between creators and audiences may weaken, raising questions about the future of human creativity. 

Regulating AI 

Indeed, concerns about AI have raised red flags among prominent figures in the technology world. For instance, in May, Tesla (NASDAQ: TSLA) CEO Elon Musk stated that there is a risk associated with advanced AI, either eliminating or constraining humanity’s growth. Despite warning about these dangers, Musk has consistently emphasized the need for competition among existing key players. In line with this perspective, the executive is establishing his own AI startup, X.AI. 

In the meantime, governments worldwide are grappling with the challenge of regulating AI. Recently, members of the European Parliament endorsed the EU’s proposed Artificial Intelligence Act, which establishes a rigorous legal framework for AI compliance by companies. Elsewhere, the UK, which outlined its AI vision in March, opted against creating a dedicated AI regulator and assigning oversight responsibilities to existing bodies. 

In the United States, lawmakers have expressed concerns about the adequacy of existing voluntary codes. Meanwhile, China plans to require companies to notify users whenever AI algorithms are employed.

Drivers of AI adoption 

Notably, the growth of generative AI is driven by a combination of technological advancements, increased access to data, and a growing demand for AI-driven solutions complimented by consumer demand. The demand is touted to elevate the industry to hit $1.8 trillion in 2030

Overall, the appeal of the technology lies in its transformative potential and ability to address various human needs and aspirations. As businesses aim to streamline operations and boost efficiency through automation, AI-powered tools are pivotal in achieving these objectives.

Moreover, the increasing accessibility of AI is expected to usher it into new industries and applications. Government investments in research and development and regulations promoting ethical and responsible AI use are poised to be additional drivers for expanding the market. 

In essence, proponents of this technology emphasize the importance of striking a delicate balance: harnessing AI’s capabilities to augment human creativity while concurrently addressing the associated concerns. This equilibrium should enable AI to enrich human creativity rather than supplant it entirely.

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