The world has come a long way in the last few years and technological automation seems to be making its way into our everyday lives like never before. The question is – is Artificial Intelligence and automation a good thing or can it go too far?
It’s hard to argue that all automation is a bad thing. Technology has raised billions around the world out of poverty and raised the standard of living hugely since the industrial revolution.
But now we are going through another revolution – the tech revolution, and this will cost people jobs just like the last one did.
Those affected will probably be truck drivers, and taxi drivers, but also highly qualified roles too, from lawyers to surgeons many jobs are at risk.
So we asked our members what they thought about this trend. Here are the results.
We asked our members if they owned a virtual assistant like Siri or Alexa. 19% say they already have one, but a massive 35% of people say they don’t have one and don’t want to. This suggests that there is some hostility to virtual assistants – though this may be due to them being ineffective at the moment. Perhaps in the future as these improve people will want to own one. Right now, 27% of people say they would love to have one and 20% of people say they are not sure whether they would feel comfortable with owning one. So opinion is split!
How about driving?
Everyone will have heard about Google’s self-driving cars, but Uber, the taxi company, is looking into it as well. This is something that almost certainly will fundamentally change the way people have lived since the beginning of the twentieth century. So how do people feel about this? Well, we asked whether people would take a self driving taxi, and if a price mark would make a difference to their decision. Only 15% said they would take it at normal price, but 26% said they would take one if it was cheaper than a regular taxi with a driver. This is important as it shows that 41% of people would not have an issue with a self-driving car – and that is a big chunk of the market, so it will almost certainly be commercially viable. However that does mean that 58% of people would not take one, with a huge 40% of those saying they wouldn’t feel safe. Considering very few people have ever been in a self- driving car, this is to be expected.
So how do people feel about artificial intelligence?
33% of respondents said that they felt intrigued by the increasing prevalence. 19% said that they were excited, 12% said they were confused and 10% were indifferent. However 18% were concerned and 7% were scared by the encroaching influence of automation and artificial intelligence. So, again, sentiment is fractured. There is some concern but generally people feel positive about the future.