While the potential and power of AI to transform our lives is almost universally accepted -and applications can be foreseen in almost all sectors from education to healthcare - there are still hurdles to overcome, such as ethical concerns about how data is stored and used.
Concern about the widespread use of the technology is shared across sex, age, income and educational demographics, according to the poll, which was compiled by polling firm Ipsos for the World Economic Forum’s Annual Meeting of the New Champions in China.
“Artificial intelligence is one of the most powerful tools we have as a society,” said Kay Firth-Butterfield, Head of Artificial Intelligence at the Forum. “But, without a governance structure to provide the guardrails for how we interact with this, we risk leaving large parts of the population behind.”
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Overall, the poll found that more than 40% of respondents were worried about the use of AI, while 32% were undecided and 27% were unconcerned.
Almost half of the people surveyed said companies using AI should be regulated more strictly, while just 20% disagreed. Government adoption of the technology was viewed slightly less sceptically, with 40% of people saying restrictions needed to be tightened.
The survey highlights broader themes that the Forum’s Expert Network is exploring, as AI becomes increasingly sophisticated. These topics, along with the wider impact of technological innovation on the global economy and society, are being explored by more than 1,800 leaders at the Forum's annual China meeting in the city of Dalian, from 1 July to 3 July.