Fear of AI and AI Trends for 2021


aims to shed light on AI-related fears, trends, and expectations. As AI is taking over the world, many people seem to be scared for their jobs, security, and even for their lovers. Most respondents are sure that AI will take over their jobs soon – cashiers, taxi drivers, and translators are voted to be at the highest risk. At the same time, police officers, doctors, and lawyers are believed to survive the AI revolution. Professions typically associated with creativity appear even less vulnerable to the disruptive effects of AI invading the job market. Artists and musicians have been selected as the least likely jobs to be taken over by AI. Interestingly, people with graduate degrees are the most afraid of AI stealing their jobs.

Together with fearing for their jobs, people seem to be scared of AI use getting out of control. Almost 78% are convinced that AI will be used to spread misinformation. By comparison, only 3% think that AI will take some sort of revenge on humanity. As far as the demographics go, men are almost twice as likely as women to put their trust in AI.

At the same time, many people think positively of AI leading the economy (45%), self-driving cars (60%), unassisted surgeries done by AI (52%), having sex with an AI robot (42%) and other things that seemed unimaginable before.

It’s visible that the trust in AI is growing. However, there is a certain threshold where people’s appeal steadily declines. This effect is called the uncanny valley – people stop perceiving robots as something human-like and start thinking of them as defective humans instead. The research explored what kinds of robots are the most and the least appealing to people and proved the relevance of the uncanny valley – the more overly human a robot looks, the less attractive people find it.

To add to these widespread worries, 68% of respondents expressed their fears that AI will be controlled only by the rich and will not benefit the lives of ordinary people. At the same time, almost everyone (95%) is sure that AI will help large companies and corporations automate their operations and make them more efficient for the benefit of consumers.

The fear of artificial intelligence is perfectly understandable. The acceptance of AI by different demographic groups is also very thought-provoking: AI fears are the most pronounced among the well-educated and women. Thus, technology may once again prove to be a factor that deepens social divisions.

Research methodology:

1,225 respondents participated in this AI Fears and Trends study. They were surveyed using Amazon Mechanical Turk and Reddit.

Out of the respondents, 55% were male and 45% female. The average age was 39 years old.

The respondents had to answer 40 single and multiple-choice questions, out of which one was

an attention check question.

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