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Infographic – US Public Split on AI, Gene Edits

Chart: technology advances opinions

Click on image for full-size view (Pew Research Center)

19 Mar. 2022. U.S. residents are largely divided in their views of advances in artificial intelligence and genomics that they may experience now or in the future. Pew Research Center reported the findings this week from surveys the group conducted in November 2021.

The Pew researchers asked respondents if six new innovations in science and technology are a good or bad idea for society. In three of the examples — facial recognition for crime control, artificial intelligence algorithms in social media, and robotic exoskeletons — do more people believe these innovations are a good rather than a bad idea for society, but none draw majority support.

On gene editing, the U.S. public is evenly divided, with 30 percent each saying it’s a good or bad idea. And for chip implants in the brain to improve cognitive abilities and driverless vehicles, more respondents believe they’re bad rather than good ideas for society, with a majority (56%) believing brain chip implants are a bad idea. From about a quarter to four in 10 respondents, 27 to 42 percent, are not sure about the value of any of these advances.

On other questions, survey participants indicate more caution and skepticism than support for these technologies, with equal numbers — about three to four in 10 — believing gene editing and robotic exoskeletons will make life better as keeping life about the same as now. About a third of respondents (34%) say facial recognition will make police work more fair, while four in 10 (40%) say it won’t make much of a difference.

About four in 10 (39%) also believe driverless vehicles will decrease the number of people killed or injured in accidents, while three in 10 (31%) says it won’t make much difference. About a quarter (27%) believe the technology will increase accidents.

Pew Research Center conducted the survey 1 to 7 Nov. 2021, with 10,260 adult participants in its American Trends Panel representing a cross-section of the U.S. public. Participants completed online surveys on their own or with tablets furnished by the research team.

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