Pew Gen AI Chart 1

Increased AI Usage Concerns Far More Than It Excites [Charts]

The growing presence and use of AI is a cause for concern to slightly more than half of adults in the U.S., according to a recent Pew Research Center survey. Concern topped excitement for 52% of those surveyed, compared to just 10% who feel more excited about the growing prevalence of AI and 36% who felt both equally.

The share of respondents ranking concern over excitement jumped 14%, even as the opposing view dropped by 5% since the last survey in December. That puts the shift squarely in the period since ChatGPT and generative AI began to explode in the public consciousness. The rise coincided with greater public awareness, with 90% of respondents now saying they have heard at least something about AI versus 83% in December. Those most familiar with AI showed the greatest increase in concern over its societal impacts.

Correlation is not causation, but it’s not hard to link growing wariness about AI as at least partly a reaction to the mainstream visibility of generative AI tools, including Google’s Bard AI and Microsoft’s Bing AI, in addition to ChatGPT. The findings indicate AI developers still have significant work to address public perceptions. Building guardrails and human governance of AI aims to mitigate risks that may unsettle consumers.