Majority of Europeans Call for AI Regulation Amid Job Displacement Concerns

Europe – October 18, 2023 – A recent survey conducted by Spain’s IE University, as reported by CNBC, has unveiled a growing demand for artificial intelligence (AI) regulation among most Europeans. The survey findings, revealing that 68% of respondents support the need for AI regulation, reflect rising concerns about job displacement due to the rapid advancement of AI technologies.

The fear of job loss emerged as the primary concern, with the emergence of generative AI-based products like ChatGPT cited as a key factor behind the growing sentiment for regulation. Ikhlaq Sidhu, the dean responsible for science and technology at IE University, emphasized the evolving public opinion’s inclination towards regulating AI.

Interestingly, the survey indicates a significant increase in the demand for AI regulation compared to the previous year. In 2022, only 58% of respondents expressed the need for limitations on AI.

The European Parliament has already taken the first steps towards AI regulation, having approved a proposal earlier this year. This development marks a significant milestone in the continent’s efforts to regulate the AI sector, with similar endeavors observable in the United States.

While a majority of Europeans advocate for AI regulation, Estonia’s residents hold a distinct perspective. Only 35% of Estonians believe that the government should impose clear rules on artificial intelligence.

Beyond concerns about job security, the survey also highlights the challenge most people face in distinguishing content generated by AI from authentic content. Only 27% of participants in the survey expressed confidence in their ability to identify AI-generated fake content.

The survey underscores the significant role that AI, particularly with the emergence of ChatGPT, plays in contemporary society. ChatGPT, a conversational AI system capable of generating various texts, has gained attention for its ability to learn and respond to user prompts based on extensive data. In March of this year, a more advanced AI model, GPT-4, was introduced, aimed at providing more accurate and useful responses, paving the way for human-like technologies’ proliferation.

Addressing concerns about AI’s impact on employment, the International Labour Organization (ILO) has offered reassurances that such fears may not be entirely justified. A recent ILO study indicates that AI is unlikely to fully replace most jobs, emphasizing the automation of specific tasks instead, which could lead to the emergence of new roles and responsibilities redistribution.

The impact of AI is expected to be most significant in office-related activities, which could disproportionately affect women’s employment in wealthier countries where they are often strongly represented. The study suggests that up to a quarter of office tasks can be automated, while professions such as managers and salespeople are likely to be less affected.

While AI presents both challenges and opportunities, it is crucial to recognize that there remain tasks that AI cannot handle. Tasks that demand purely human qualities, such as emotional intelligence and creative thinking, are expected to remain beyond AI’s capabilities. A shift towards professions that leverage these unique human traits could mitigate the risk of job displacement by AI.

Article by Prague Forum

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