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More Americans becoming afraid of artificial intelligence, poll finds

Fifty-seven percent of 1,004 registered voters who participated in the poll believe artificial intelligence is a threat to the human race.

A new poll says that Americans are becoming more afraid of artificial intelligence.

It can be scary to think about, especially if you have seen movies like "The Terminator" or "Eagle Eye" where artificial intelligence becomes more controlling than humanity ever thought possible.

According to the recent poll from political analyst Scott Rasmussen, 57 percent of 1,004 registered voters who participated in the poll believe artificial intelligence is a threat to the human race. About 16 percent of this group even indicated that they believe A.I. is a "very serious threat."

The other 43 percent do not see A.I. as a threat.

"I think the threat there is very minimal," said Dr. Kirk Besmer, a philosophy professor with Gonzaga University. "First of all, it's not even clear that such a thing is possible, it's not clear how we would get there, it's not clear who would do it. When you listen to the stories of how an AGI would emerge, it's sort of fantastical and almost magical."

"Either we control the technology or it controls us. I think that's just the wrong way to think about technology in general, and therefore not the right way to think about artificial intelligence," he added. 

"It depends on how it's used, how it's controlled," said Dr. Paul De Palma, a computer science professor with Gonzaga University. "I find facial recognition software disturbing, but only because of how it might be used. If it's democratically controlled that's one thing, if it's controlled by five monopolies and a bunch of tech billionaires in Silicon Valley, yes indeed, it's deeply frightening."

Students walking to and from class on Gonzaga's campus also weighed in.

"We've always had to write code for technology and now knowing that technology can write code for itself is threatening to us and actually our existence," one student said. 

"I think it can be beneficial to helping us improve different parts of our lives, but I also think it could be a little bit potentially dangerous with just how much information other companies are gathering about our private lives," another student said.

The poll also revealed that voters younger than 50 were more concerned about A.I. than voters over the age of 50.

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