Artificial Intelligence And the Automation Of The Workforce Worries Americans In Latest Study

Technology has always been present in the development and evolution of humans. The latest Pew Research Center Survey, the study revealed that Americans expressed more worry (72 percent) than enthusiasm (33 percent) at the prospects of robots and computers taking over the workforce.

To get a sense of what the American public thinks about robotics and artificial intelligence (AI), this study offered respondents with four different scenarios. This approach was designed to get a sense of the opinions Americans have on the matter.

According to the Pew, "The Scenarios included: the development of autonomous vehicles that can operate without the aid of a human driver; a future in which robots and computers can perform many of the jobs currently done by human workers; the possibility of fully autonomous robot caregivers of older adults; and the possibility that a computer program could evaluate and select job candidates with no human involvement."

In each of the scenarios discussed, the visual graphic below illustrates just how much more people are concerned or worried than enthusiastic about a machine takeover. The exception is visible when you compare the development of a robot caregiver for older adults, the separation was just three percent (44 percent enthusiastic vs. 47 percent worried).

Americans express widespread concern

Also, there are many concerns expressed throughout the survey and especially with the automation of the American workforce. If robots were to take over, 76 percent of Americans expect income inequality to worsen because computers and autonomous machines will replace human beings.

Income inequality remains a contentious topic and an ongoing debate. In the United States (U.S), there is evidence of a wealth gap between the rich and the working classes. A New York Times economic report published by Thomas Piketty, Emmanuel Saez, and Gabriel Zucman identify nine instances of income inequality. Conforming to the first finding, the bottom half of the country has been excluded from income growth for 40 years.

Participants of the study expected automation to occur during their lifetime. Approximately three-quarters or 77 percent of U.S adults think it is realistic for robots and computers to do many of the jobs performed today.


The responses varied by the profession, and the distributions are different depending on the industry, and if you own a job or have a profession.

The data collected from the report was conducted May 1 to May 15, 2017. There were precisely 4,135 U.S adult respondents. For more information on this detailed report, you can visit the Pew Research Center´s page.

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