People are more pessimistic about AI now than before the boom, a study shows

Are you more or less optimistic about AI than you were two years ago?
Written by Sabrina Ortiz, Editor
futuristic ai wave graphic
Yuichiro Chino/Getty Images

Artificial intelligence has been running in the background of many of our favorite pieces of technology for years. However, the AI boom ChatGPT brought on shined a spotlight on AI, and it may not have been for the best. 

Steven's Institute of Technology released its annual TechPulse report, which measures the public's attitudes toward different technologies. The findings in the 2023 report show that AI's increased popularity may have actually harmed the public's perception of AI. 

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Out of the 2,200 adults surveyed, only 38% said that the positive impact of AI would outweigh the risks, compared to the 48% of respondents who said it would in 2021. In two years, optimism went down 10%. 

Stevens Institute of Technology report graphic
Stevens Institute of Technology

This negative impression of the impact of AI spread across the different potential applications of AI. The respondents were less likely to say that AI could positively impact personal safety, national security, and personal privacy than in 2021. 

Stevens Institute of Technology report graphic
Stevens Institute of Technology

Furthermore, 25% of the respondents shared that concern was the emotion they most strongly felt regarding AI. 

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These feelings likely flow from all of the unforeseen, negative situations that have resulted from the widespread use of relatively new technology. 

A few of these include ChatGPT's March 20 data leak, FTC investigation of OpenAI's technology, several lawsuits, and even warnings from AI experts about the risks of AI, not to mention AI-driven stock drops and hiring pauses

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