The Strategist

A third of Americans believe the world needs a special agency to control robotics

07/02/2018 - 17:11

According to the Brookings Institute, most Americans are confident that the robots may not completely but almost everywhere replace people in 30 years. The widespread distribution of robots often frightens people, especially considering that artificial intelligence (AI) can surpass human intelligence one day. Therefore, a significant number of respondents want the development of robotics to be controlled by the authorities through creation of a special agency.

Cheryl Ng
Cheryl Ng
According to a recent survey of the Brookings Institute, Americans feel uncomfortable thinking about the future of coexistence with robots controlled by artificial intelligence. So said 61% of the respondents. Americans are worried that robots will rather force people out of jobs. 52% of respondents are sure that in 30 years the robots will perform most of the work in which people are currently engaged, and this will mean an increase in unemployment.

Sci-fi books and films about the future, where robots rule, videos demonstrating capabilities of Boston Dynamics robots, gloomy forecasts and warnings from scientists and representatives of IT corporations seem to try their best to make people start to fear an uprising of machines. But according to the poll, this is not happening yet. More than 60% of the population "are not afraid" of robots. Some of the respondents even wanted to have their own robot. However, in this case we are talking rather about home helpers, such as a "smart vacuum cleaner" (20% want to have it). At that, the survey participants were not ready to entrust the robots with their life, the life of a child or care for the elderly. The overwhelming majority of the respondents answered this question negatively.

In recent years, experts have many times raised the issue of the need to establish a special government committee in the United States, which would be engaged in control in the field of robotics. Brookings Institute asked the survey participants if they would like to see a conditional "Federal Committee for Robotics" appear in the country. 32% spoke in favor of its creation, against - 29%, and 39% do not yet have a clear position.

It is noteworthy that the results of the surveys differ greatly depending on the age category: 39% among respondents aged 18 to 34 immediately support the introduction of state regulation in this area. The share among people aged 35 to 54 reaches 31%, and only 25% among people over 55 share this opinion.