BITKOM: Three quarters see artificial intelligence as an opportunity

February 27, 2023

  • One in two already uses AI in everyday life today
  • More than half expect AI to change society within five years – or are already doing so

The chatbot answers every question ready to print or the app paints a picture according to instructions and in the desired style – a broad public has tried out in recent weeks and months what artificial intelligence can now do. Around three quarters of German citizens (73 percent) now believe that AI is an opportunity. 26 percent see AI exclusively as an opportunity, 47 percent rather as an opportunity. In contrast, 14 percent consider AI to be more of a danger, and one tenth (10 percent) even see it exclusively as a danger. This is the result of a survey of 1,007 people aged 16 and over in Germany commissioned by the digital association Bitkom. “We are currently experiencing a historic moment in artificial intelligence: for the first time, computers are really speaking our language and we no longer have to learn the language of computers in order to understand or instruct them,” says Bitkom President Achim Berg. “We can already say today that artificial intelligence will be the technology of 2023. In the coming years, AI will change the world more than such a major innovation as the smartphone did.”

Expectations of AI are high among the population, with 8 in 10 (79 per cent) convinced that AI will strengthen the competitiveness of the German economy – three years ago the figure was 66 per cent. Two-thirds (66 percent) now want AI to be used when the technology brings them concrete benefits, for example in medicine or transport. And around half (51 percent) say they already regularly use AI-based products and services in their everyday lives, such as voice assistants. Around a third (35 percent) fear that humans will be disempowered by machines; in 2020, this concern was shared by significantly more people (46 percent). Only 26 percent assume that AI will not fulfil the great expectations (2020: 28 percent). At the same time, however, a broad majority (88 percent, 2020: 85 percent) would like to see AI software tested particularly thoroughly in Germany and only be allowed to be used in devices after it has been approved. At the same time, a third (34 percent, 2020: 44 percent) demand that AI should be banned in certain areas of application. “We need guidelines for the use of AI. These guidelines must be designed in such a way that the benefits of AI are maximised and risks minimised,” says Berg.

Most people think that artificial intelligence will noticeably change our society in the coming years – or is already doing so. 28 percent say the changes are already noticeable, 30 percent expect it in the next five years, 13 percent in the next ten and 11 percent in the next 20 years. Only 8 percent expect it in more than 20 years at the earliest and just 4 percent believe that AI will never noticeably change society.

Note on methodology: The data is based on a survey conducted by Bitkom Research on behalf of the digital association Bitkom. A total of 1,007 people aged 16 and over were interviewed by telephone. The survey is representative. The questions were: “Do you see artificial intelligence more as an opportunity or more as a danger?”, “To what extent do you agree or disagree with the following statements on artificial intelligence?” with percentages for “agree completely” and “agree somewhat” and “When do you think artificial intelligence will noticeably change society, whether negatively or positively?

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