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Most Americans Want Federal AI Regulation [Chart]

Americans are concerned about AI and strongly support federal oversight to manage risks, according to a survey by the Artificial Intelligence Policy Institute (AIPI). The results found 62% of respondents are somewhat or very concerned about AI, versus 21% saying they were excited about AI. That fits with how 56% support the creation of a federal AI regulatory agency and only 14% oppose the idea.

The survey of 1,001 registered voters was conducted by YouGov for the AIPI, a nonpartisan think tank launched to study AI governance. The results point to an unusual level of consensus for precautionary AI policies. The survey shows a lot of uneasiness about AI and its developers. The poll came back with 72% preferring to slow AI development and 82% saying they don’t trust tech executives to regulate AI. That naturally leads to the idea of a regulatory agency.

“The data is clear—Americans are wary about the next stages of AI and want policymakers to step in to develop it responsibly,” AIPI executive director Daniel Colson said. “At a time when nearly every issue is polarized, there’s a broad consensus among Americans that policymakers need to decide what path AI development should take. In the coming years, AI will become increasingly pervasive, transforming various aspects of our daily lives. As a result, the country is in need of an organization to provide the general public and policymakers with polling, information, and research that will play a key part in regulating the technology.”

The federal government has been reluctant to rush into regulating AI, with the White House instead securing voluntary assurances from most of the major generative AI developers. For now, companies like Microsoft, OpenAI, Google, and Anthropic have formed a cross-company industry group called the Frontier Model Forum to attempt to reassure people they can self-regulate.