At Remesh, we spend a lot of time thinking about artificial intelligence. How can we use it to help make our platform more intuitive? How can we fully understand the potential machine learning has to surface insights? How can it think like a human in order to get to an answer? What does the future hold for the intersection of AI and humanity? Why does artificial intelligence run like that??
While we have all kinds of thoughts about AI and what this means for both market research, and how we’ll function as a society in the future, we also wanted to understand how you* feel about AI.
*(In this case, you = Average American.)
Dystopian and robots-take-over-the-world themed films and shows have become all the rage- does this negatively impact the way people feel about AI and what it means for their future? Are people watching these shows and chuckling at the special effects or are they getting a slowly creeping sense that this a glimpse into the future? I mean, Bender from Futurama is troublesome but also endearing, so, how bad could it really be?
In order to get a better understanding of how people think of the reality of AI, we decided to run a Remesh session for about 90 participants of different ages, genders, and income brackets.
We got some pretty eye-opening insights, and learned quite a few things about the way people think about AI!
To help you better understand the results, we use two different metrics for analyzing open-ended responses:
Popularity: This is the % probability that any given participant would pick this response over any other random response.
Consensus: A number from 1 to 100 describing how aligned participants are about a response (a 12 would signify that respondents didn’t agree one way or another about the response, a 93 would signify that respondents were highly aligned with how they felt about the response).
95% of respondents said that AI will fundamentally change the way we work or live.
In our conversation, participants were quick to mention the job market, one of the top responses with a 75% popularity score stated that “There will need to be shifts in employment or massive unemployment”.
In addition, respondents had some shared ideas about which industries would see the largest impacts -
Medical Industry (74% popularity)
Finance Industry (71% popularity)
Service Industry (70% popularity)
Respondents highlighted two main changes AI will incur- the automation of jobs with repetitive tasks that are currently being performed by humans (clerks, warehouse workers, mailmen, etc), as well as the advancement of smart technologies that can enhance our current processes- such as more precise medical tools and predictive financial models.
AI in Pop Culture - Skepticism with a Side of Curiosity👀
We also wanted to understand how Hollywood’s depiction of AI relates to how people think about AI and if there was any alignment, correlation, or causation.
When we asked, “How accurately do you think TV shows and movies depict the future of AI (e.g., Westworld, Ex Machina, Her, Terminator, etc.)?
The top response we received was:
The second most agreed with answer held a similar sentiment:
When asked how these sorts of shows and movies make them feel, respondents had some very mixed feelings including cynicism, curiosity, hope, and fear.
The top answer had a very strong popularity and consensus score:
With a bit of positivity:
And a bit of the opposite:
Sentiment Towards AI- For Better or For Worse?
65% of respondents said the AI will impact humanity for the better, only 13% think AI will impact human for worse (22% are unsure).
One of the top responses with a 74% popularity score touched on very powerful ways AI can impact the future
AI: Is the Future Now?
When asked about when these changes caused by AI will take place, there were 3 main schools of thought amongst participants.
First Segment: Not yet but it’s not far.
Second Segment: It’s happening as we speak
Third Segment: Changes are happening now and will make major strides over the next decades
We were a little surprised to see such a critical view of the way AI is depicted in pop culture (sorry Bender🤖), but it’s great that our societal outlook of artificial intelligence can’t be so easily swayed by what we watch on television. Additionally, the generally positive outlook of how AI will impact the future (66% of respondents said AI will impact the future for the better) reflects an optimism for what’s to come.
Want to check out the full session and dive face first into the data? See it here! Want to run a Remesh session of your own and go face first into your own insights?