People fear the idea of artificial intelligence (AI) acting without human assistance, new research by Fountech.ai has revealed.The poll of 2,000 UK-based adults has revealed people’s main fears about autonomous machines.
They found 44 percent of UK adults do not properly understand how AI works.
Three in five are concerned by the idea of AI systems being able to function without human assistance, and this rises to 70 percent among over-55s.
More than half, 57 percent, consider AI as fundamentally flawed because the technology cannot apply the same emotional intelligence or intuition that humans can when making decisions.
And the majority, 69 percent, of those surveyed think a human should always be monitoring and checking decisions made by AI.
At 77 percent, those aged over 55 were the most likely to hold this view.
Nikolas Kairinos, founder of Fountech.ai, which commissioned the survey, explained in an email to Express.co.uk how doubts over AI stem from a natural inclination to mistrust what is not understand.
He said: “There is still a significant knowledge gap when it comes to people’s general awareness and understanding of artificial intelligence.
“As a result, many people are naturally apprehensive about giving up certain decision-making powers to machines.
“There is a certain level of unproven mistrust towards AI, and one can argue this is a result of how it is typically portrayed in films and books.
“Humans have a tendency to fear things they don’t understand, and our research demonstrates this point.”
However, Mr Kairinos added how concerns about the technology should start to abate as its benefits for people’s daily lives become more apparent.
He said: “The reality is AI has already become engrained [sic] into our daily lives – many people are relying on and actively using AI without actually realising it.
“As this continues, I am hopeful more people will come to realise the many advantages this technology has to offer, including its ability to inform better decision-making.
“Until such a time, however, we must educate people on the basic principles of AI, and explain why it has the potential to transform our lives for the better.”
Positive applications for artificial intelligence:
Although films and sensationalised reports often discuss how AI might be misused, there is a wide range of ways artificial intelligence can be used for good.
AI’s imaging capabilities are highly encouraging for cancer identification and screening.
Artificial intelligence is also used to predict the development of diseases across a healthcare network.
Experts in AI and machine learning believe technology might play a leading role in tackling climate change.
Machine learning can improve climate informatics—machine learning algorithms power approximately 30 climate models used by the Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change.
AI can also help educate and predict the impacts of climate change on different regions.
Artificial intelligence is also one of the most viable tools in the fight to end the world hunger crisis.
AI is able to analyse millions of data points to help determine the perfect crop, develop seeds, maximise current output, and control herbicide application precisely.
And although a common criticism levelled at AI algorithms is the human bias that can be introduced via skewed algorithms or training data sets, AI can actually help reduce inequalities.
London’s Imperial College is training AI to identify inequality based on street images of living conditions in cities, with the aim to ultimately use this information to improve the situations
And similarly, AI analyses satellite imagery in a Stanford University project to predict regions of poverty, which can then influence economic aid.