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How much do people really know about AI? Apparently not much

(TECH NEWS) AI is one of the newest hot topics of the tech world, but for as much as it is talked about, how many people actually call themselves experts?

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Artificial Intelligence

It’s undeniable that artificial intelligence (AI) is one of the hottest topics in the tech scene right now.

However, much like gluten-free diets and global politics, even though everyone’s talking about it, few people actually understand what it is.


According to a recent Qualtrics survey, only 10% of global internet users consider themselves Artificial Intelligence experts. “Expert” refers to someone who both knows the technology and understands how it works — not someone who’s watched Her twelve times.

More than half of respondents (53%) are aware of what AI is, but don’t consider themselves an authority on the subject. More than 30% have heard of AI but that’s about it.

Additional studies confirm the general lack of true knowledge around this topic in the US even among people you’d think would know a thing or two about it, like business and IT executives.

Only 54% of respondents in a study from CompTIA knew about AI.

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So what gives?

These people aren’t hiding under rocks. They’re well aware of other technologies: 78% of respondents were aware of 3D printing, and 71% were familiar with virtual reality and drones. Despite devices like Siri and Amazon Echo becoming household names, artificial intelligence itself remains a unique enigma.

At least now we have some solid information on exactly how much we don’t know about AI.

Yet the news is oozing with headlines about machines on the verge of taking over humans’ jobs in the next 10 or 20 years–experts went so far as to predict that AI will outperform humans at just about everything in the next 45 years.

Okay, what exactly is artificial intelligence?

Artificial intelligence refers to the ability of computer systems to perform tasks that normally require human thinking, reasoning, and decision-making.

Plenty of people understand that idea well enough, but the gap lies between the “what” and the “how.” Explaining the “how” requires more than a simple definition. It requires computer science algorithms, philosophical exploration, and the mental strength to integrate the two — and probably a lot more that only experts could tell you.

Carry on

Aside from that brainy 10%, when AI comes up in conversation, most of us think fondly of a robot apocalypse and have nothing intelligent to say.

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Perhaps that’s what makes it so fun to talk about.


Written By

Helen Irias is a Staff Writer at The American Genius with a degree in English Literature from University of California, Santa Barbara. She works in marketing in Silicon Valley and hopes to one day publish a comically self-deprecating memoir that people bring up at dinner parties to make themselves sound interesting.

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  1. Pingback: Giant nerd fight over which AR is better: Google's or Apple's - The American Genius

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