CivicScience | Americans Have a Love-Hate Relationship With AI

General, Technology

Americans Have a Love-Hate Relationship With AI

Image Credit: Photo by Bernard Hermant on Unsplash

If our robot overlords aren’t yet here, they’re certainly knocking at our AI-enabled Ring doors.

This past December, despite some in-the-news hacks of the system, Ring’s sales jumped 180% year-over-year, according to Jumpshot. 

Of course Ring isn’t the only video surveillance doorbell in the game, and with prices for the tech now starting in the $99 range, it would be a shock if this segment of the video surveillance market didn’t continue to grow.

As it stands, nearly 30% of Americans rely on video surveillance around their home at least “somewhat” often, according to a recent CivicScience study of over 2,000 U.S. adults 18 or older.

When asked about high-tech, AI-enabled video surveillance systems – like those used in some CCTV systems around the world – 21% of U.S. adults said they would purchase them for their home security system. Another 33% were undecided.

When asked about how comfortable they were with AI-powered CCTV systems, the data show a high level of discomfort among U.S. adults.

Only 10% said they were very comfortable with this, while 59% said they were not comfortable with it. While it would be nice to put AI-powered cameras in and around our home, when it comes to someone else using the technology to watch them, Americans are less enthused.

Gender Plays a Role

When looking at gender, men are 21% more likely than women to be comfortable with AI-powered CCTV systems, and 41% more likely than women to get AI-powered video surveillance for their homes.

CivicScience data has shown women to be more skeptical in general when tech becomes “smart.” For instance, in December of 2019 women were 42% more likely not to purchase a smart TV because they were deemed hackable by the FBI.

Love-Hate Relationship with AI

Men catch up to women in concern over AI technology when it comes to jobs and the economy. While women are still slightly more concerned that AI will take over jobs, the genders show near-equal levels of concern.

Looking at U.S. adults overall, 7 out of 10 are at least “somewhat” concerned about the future of American jobs due to artificial intelligence.

Virtually everyone who harbors even the slightest concern are significantly worried about the potential of artificial intelligence putting people out of work.

It is possible that people start feeling less nervous about AI and jobs the more they interact with artificial intelligence. For instance, Americans who believe AI voice assistants will be “common” in the next few years are 22% less likely to be concerned by artificial intelligence taking over jobs than people who think the tech will remain niche. Worth noting, however, is that a full 62% of people who think Alexa and her sisters will be “common” are still concerned.

Additionally, people who closely follow trends in tech are 9% less likely to be concerned with AI taking away jobs than people who don’t follow tech trends closely. But again, over 60% of people who are reading about and listening to the latest in technology are still at least somewhat worried.

Clearly, U.S. adults are seeing the rise of AI through different prisms. On one hand, AI is desirable when it comes to our safety and convenience, but on the other hand there is a general fear over just how powerful the tech could become, and what that means for jobs and the economy. CivicScience will be closely monitoring sentiment of AI, and if sentiment might start impacting more consumer decisions. 

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