NEW YORK — Majority of voters support government policies on AI, 76% want AI-generated images to be marked with proof they were generated by a computer, and 60% believe AI systems used for military purposes should be subject to international regulation in a similar way that nuclear weapons are, a new survey shows
A new poll from the Artificial Intelligence Policy Institute (AIPI) shows overwhelming bipartisan support for policies to enact guardrails on AI development. The release of the survey—commissioned by AIPI and conducted in late July by YouGov—demonstrates that voters of all ideologies and ages want elected officials to pass various measures that would protect people from averse AI outcomes, like deceptive deep fakes and physical harm.
Among the findings:
- 76% of voters want AI-generated images to be required to contain proof they were generated by a computer
- 64% of voters support a policy that would require any organization producing advanced AI models to obtain a license, that all advanced models be evaluated for safety, and that all models must be audited by independent experts, while just 13% oppose such a proposal
- 60% of voters believe that AI systems used for military purposes should be subject to international regulation in a similar way that nuclear weapons are.
- 65% of voters support requiring advanced AI models to demonstrate they are safe before they are released while just 11% oppose this policy
- About half of voters support a legally mandated pause on AI research, including Republicans by a 2:1 margin, compared to just one-quarter who oppose it
- 58% of voters want the federal government to thoroughly regulate AI, including a plurality of Republicans, and just 15% believe the government should not be involved
“On a wide array of AI issues, voters want stricter regulations and safeguards against the harmful outcomes AI can bring,” said Daniel Colson, Executive Director of the Artificial Intelligence Policy Institute. “It’s crystal clear from the data that voters prefer responsible development rather than over barreling full steam ahead without putting safeguards in place.”
This poll marks the first of many from the Artificial Intelligence Policy Institute, a think tank dedicated to providing public opinion research and policy expertise on AI regulation. AIPI will conduct frequent surveys to demonstrate where Americans stand on Artificial Intelligence issues and provide regulatory proposals to policymakers that address the public’s concerns. With AI evolving every day and Americans wary about its rapid advancement, it is critical for policymakers to meet this moment with urgency and consideration of their constituents.
“As we enter the next phases of AI development, policymakers need to understand that voters are sounding the alarm about everything from the need to prevent people from being tricked by deepfakes to regulating its use in military settings,” added Colson. “There is a clear consensus that should encourage action from elected officials and outlines a path forward for doing so.”
AIPI was founded to serve as a go-to resource for assessing American public opinion on AI and provide policymakers and the media with a fuller understanding of the risks posed by artificial intelligence–and solutions that reining in the worst-case scenarios. By measuring public opinion, AIPI will show policymakers that being active on AI policy is not only the right path forward on the merits but also necessary to better represent their constituents.
With years of experience in the field, AIPI has a deep understanding of AI’s dangers and opportunities. AIPI proposes a way forward where lawmakers and influencers in Washington can be informed by a common, nonpartisan set of resources so they can speak collaboratively, productively, and urgently about the need to control AI development and regulate it to mitigate the most dire risks. AIPI will also advocate for a broad range of responsible policies on AI and development of superintelligence.
About the Poll
From July 18 to 21, 2023, YouGov conducted a survey of 1,001 voters nationally using online respondents. The survey was conducted in English. The margin of error is ±3.3 percentage points.
About The Artificial Intelligence Policy Institute
The Artificial Intelligence Policy Institute is an AI policy, and research think tank founded by Daniel Colson to advocate for ethical oversight to mitigate potential catastrophic risks posed by AI. AIPI’s core mission is to demonstrate that the general public has valid concerns about the future of AI and is looking for regulation and guidance from their elected representatives. If politicians want to represent the American people effectively, they must act aggressively to regulate AI’s next phases of development. AIPI seeks to work with the media and policymakers to inform them of the risks of artificial intelligence and develop policies that mitigate risks from emerging technology while still benefiting from artificial intelligence.
While much of the public discussion has been oriented around AI’s potential to take away jobs, AIPI will be focused on centering the importance of policies designed to prevent catastrophic outcomes and mitigate the risk of extinction. Currently, most of the AI space comprises those with a vested interest in advancing AI or are academics. The AI space lacks an organization to both gauge and shape public opinion on the issues—as well as to recommend legislation on the matter— and AIPI will fill that role.
Ultimately, policymakers are political actors, so the country needs an institution that can speak the language of public opinion sentiment. AIPI’s mission is about being able to channel how Americans feel about artificial intelligence and pressure lawmakers to take action.
AIPI will build relationships with lawmakers by using polling to establish AIPI as a subject matter expert on AI safety and policy issues. Politicians are incentivized to support responsible AI policies due to the strong majority of voters supporting such measures. But AI is currently less salient as a political issue than other topics, as so far, there have only been moderate impacts from emerging AI tech.
AI technological advancement is and will continue to be an evolving situation, and politicians, the media, and everyday Americans need real-time information to make sense of it all. AIPI’s polling will show where people stand on new developments and provide crucial policy recommendations for policymakers.
About Daniel Colson
Daniel Colson is the co-founder and executive director of the AI Policy Institute. AIPI is a think tank that researches and advocates for government policies to mitigate extreme risks from frontier artificial intelligence technologies. Daniel’s research focuses on how AI weapons systems will impact military strategy and global political stability. Prior to AIPI, Daniel co-founded Reserve, a company focused on offering financial services in high inflation currency regions lacking basic financial infrastructure, and the personal assistant company CampusPA.
Daniel has spent the other half of his career as a researcher working at the intersection of theoretical sociology, history, military theory, and catastrophic risk mitigation. He helped Samo Burja write his seminal manuscript on sociology, Great Founder Theory, and has several forthcoming articles on the military strategic implications of Palantir’s AIP targeting and command product which has been operational in Ukraine for the past year.