While AI has been around for decades, the last year has seen rapid progress which has opened AI to be used by anyone. AI is offering up more opportunities for efficacy and learning opportunities. However, some others are concerned about the implications of AI doing more can be damaging, from misinformation to diminishing jobs.
The implication of any emerging tech is difficult to quantify in the early stages, and recently more tech leaders, policymakers and researchers have been contributing to the conversation on how AI should be handled. Professionals are concerned about how AI will change their job roles, while others wonder if it will result in the loss of some creative professions altogether.
Recently The Verge, alongside Vox Media’s Insights and Research team and the research consultancy firm The Circus, polled 2000 adults to understand better what the general population feel about the “AI Takeover”
From this survey, several key factors have become apparent over the acceptance of AI, here we look at three of those significant findings.
Qualifying as AI
While it feels like AI is dominating headlines and conversations suggesting that AI is in the middle of world domination, it is not something as widespread as you are set to believe.
Only 1 in the 3 people have tried using an AI tool, with most people unfamiliar with the main AI companies and start-ups. The only acceptation being ChatGPT, however, the level of coverage and Microsoft deals has elevated the name of the company and moved it into almost corporate status.
However, from the study, what is considered AI is not clear-cut. So many companies are adding AI features such as Google's predictive text in its docs, which has moved AI to be a common feature of products. As a result of AI being considered an almost standard feature of products, the expectation is that over two-thirds of people believe that the impact of AI will have a significant impact on society.
The Creative Experiment
More AI features are being embedded into creative programmes, and for the most part, of people surveyed, The Verge reported that, beyond using AI to answer questions, it was experimenting creatively was consistently the biggest use of AI. Trying to do things which individuals were unable to do themselves was the key use of the tool beyond general questions being answered.
Professional use was a significantly smaller percentage. Using AI for things like coding or data analysis was not prominent in its use. Consistently creative applications such as producing artwork or writing were its key feature.
Although AI is being put to creative uses, the report did highlight that it wasn’t always to the better result for its usage. What it did seek to infer was that AI is giving people the ability to do things they do not have the skills to do themselves.
Considering the people surveyed highlighted its use in the creative arts this begs the question on the ethics of AI. Already with lawsuits being drawn up, over 44% of those asked had admitted to using AI to produce artwork in the style of someone else.
76% of people believed that artists need to be compensated for when AI copies their work, which demonstrates that the public are looking for AI ethics and regulation to be considered moving forward, particularly around the creative world. This is also reflected in the fact that over 75% of people agreed that there is a need for regulations and laws around the use of AI, from clear fact checks, labelling AI-generated content and making it illegal to use someone’s likeness or voice in AI without consent.
There is an understanding that AI to the masses needs to be controlled and governed more closely so that it does not harm and affect individuals and industries as a result.
The Future of AI
AI is already far more embedded into our lives generally than realised. The use of AI professionally may seem small now, but continued developments will move processes and operations to involve more help from AI.
Being able to harness AI technology in the future will be key to how industries and roles will adapt and change in the future. There still is a concern and worry over how jobs could be removed because of AI, however, economic models demonstrate that AI has the potential to create more roles within businesses and can be used to enhance processes rather than replacement of people altogether.