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Fear of sexbots and job losses lead UK public to demand laws for AI

Over half of Brits are worried that AI will become more intelligent than humans.

By Ellie Burns

Killer robots and the existential threat of AI has been a hot topic recently, with everyone from Putin to Elon Musk warning of the dangers of the fast evolving technology. The warnings have seemingly been heeded by the British public, according to a new report, with a huge 75% calling for new laws and regulations to control and govern AI.

The study from MACHINA Summit.AI found that 44% believed the UK government should lead new AI regulations, with just 11% wanting the tech industry to take responsibility and take the lead. The EU appears to have no support from UK citizens post-Brexit, with a paltry 8% supporting AI laws from Brussels.

Bradley Maule-ffinch, Director of Strategy for MACHINA Summit.AI, stated: “The results reveal that – although 65% agree with  Zuckerberg’s view that AI has the potential to make the world better – people do want it to be closely regulated. Just over four in ten people believe the Government is best placed to do this, although the rest disagree or are undecided on who should lead on AI legislation.”

READ MORE: Vladimir Putin, Elon Musk agree AI could start World War III

The study revealed that concerns regarding the use of AI is driving this demand for new laws and governance, with 82% concerned that AI will be misused by organisations.

A further 67% are concerned about the development of AI that reflects negative or immoral preferences, with more than half (53%) shocked about the potential rise in the use of sexbots.

The impact of automation on jobs has not been ignored by the British public either, with the majority (69%) worried about being hired and fired by a robot. A further 51% are worried about a robot becoming their boss, while 48% are concerned that AI will take over their jobs completely. Alarm about the superior intelligence of AI is reflected by fact that 55% are worried that AI will become more intelligent than humans.


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