Kiwi's concerns around AI a 'reasonable reaction'

The research found the majority of New Zealanders admitted to not knowing a lot about AI. Supplied photo.

The majority of New Zealanders are concerned about the future use of artificial intelligence, a new study shows.

The annual research commissioned by InternetNZ surveyed just over 1000 people online on their awareness, feelings, and concerns about the developing technology.

It showed 72 per cent of people were concerned it would be used for malicious purposes and without regulation.

A total of 42 per cent of those surveyed say they are more concerned than excited about it, with 11 per cent feeling more excited than concerned.

InternetNZ chief executive Vivien Maidaborn says the internet evolved at a rate that could be hard to keep up with, and it would keep presenting new challenges, like AI.

"We need our government to be thinking about what guidelines, policies, and laws are required to keep us on the cutting edge."

The research also found the majority of New Zealanders admitted to not knowing a lot about AI, with 63 per cent having says they only know 'a little' and 13 per cent indicated they know nothing at all.

Vivien thought it was not surprising that there was fear around the technology.

"We're new to understanding what AI is and what it really means for us.

"The level of concern that New Zealanders are expressing is a responsible and reasonable reaction."

The report was done by research company Verian and also surveyed New Zealanders on a range of other internet-related questions.

It found more than a quarter of New Zealanders spend five hours or more on the internet for personal use and that 80 per cent think the positives of the internet outweighed the negatives.

It also found one in five people says they have personally experienced online harm or harassment.


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