Poll shows 61% of Americans say AI is a threat to civilization

Sure, it’s handy for cheating your way through an essay, or seeing what the Friends cast would look like as babies, but 61% of Americans who participated in a new Reuters/Ipsos poll say artificial intelligence is a threat to civilization. 

In fact, the poll revealed the number of people in this country who see the growth of AI as a bad thing is triple the number of those who aren’t concerned about it: Just 22% said they didn’t see AI as a threat to us, with 17% voting “unsure.” 

Interestingly, the poll numbers on the topic were skewed along political and religious lines: 70% of people who voted for President Donald Trump in 2020 say we’re at risk because of the rise in AI, compared to 60% of Joe Biden voters. 

Also, Evangelical Christians were the most skeptical of the rapidly advancing tech, with 32% saying they “Strongly agree” it’s a threat to humankind, compared to 24% of Christians of other types. 

Recently, SpaceX and Tesla CEO Elon Musk called for a six-month pause in AI research, after some computer scientists saw concerning replies when programs like ChatGPT and others were quizzed about the world. 

All that said, we’ve apparently got more pressing concerns: 82% of those polled said they’re worried about a recession, and 77% say the rise in crime supersedes their fear of the rise of machines. 

Survey questions, methodology and results have not been verified or endorsed by ABC News or The Walt Disney Company.