- Twice as many people believe AI ‘being poorly managed’ as take a positive view
- Ministers want UK to become a global centre for its development
- People in Britain were among the most sceptical of the 28 countries polled
The public is losing trust in the pace of technological change amid the rise of artificial intelligence (AI), according to a global poll.
A survey of 32,000 people by public affairs firm Edelman has found that twice as many people believe that innovation ‘is being poorly managed’ as took a positive view.
And people in Britain were among the most sceptical of the 28 countries polled.
The findings come as business leaders and politicians gather for the World Economic Forum (WEF) in Davos where AI will be a big focus. Edelman said: ‘Mismanaged innovations are as likely to ignite backlash as advance society. Explaining the science and managing impacts is essential.’
So-called generative AI is trained on data to produce human-like content from poems to software code. The technology broke through over the past year with the release of the ChatGPT app.
Hands-on: A survey of 32,000 people has found that twice as many people believe that AI ‘is being poorly managed’ as took a positive view
Ministers want Britain to become a global centre for its development. However, many fear that it will destroy jobs. And a report by the WEF last week highlighted the threat that the misinformation, such as ‘deepfake’ videos produced using AI, could pose.
The Edelman poll found that 39 per cent believed that innovation was mismanaged compared with 22 per cent thinking it was well managed – with 39 per cent neutral.
Britain was the fourth most sceptical country on technological advances with 49 per cent saying it is poorly managed, and 16 per cent taking the opposite view. The US was the most sceptical, with 56 per cent taking a negative view, followed by Australia and Germany.
Overall, slightly more respondents reject AI than embrace it. Among reasons cited for the mistrust of technological developments were that science is losing its independence – to politicians or financial backers. Others point to a ‘system that is biased in favour of the rich’.
It has led to a situation in which scientists and experts are no more trusted than ‘someone like me’ to tell them the truth about new technologies, the survey found.
Edelman chief executive Richard Edelman said: ‘Innovation should be a growth enabler, but it will be stymied if business doesn’t pay as much attention to acceptance as ‘fear of innovation has now become the fourth log on the populism fire.’