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Artificial intelligence tools that can produce human responses have suddenly become the hottest part of the tech industry, with Google, Microsoft and billion-dollar startups seeking to release the first versions of search engines and productivity tools using the new technology.

The companies that develop this software claim that it will save hours of time and increase a person’s creativity.

But the public is not yet convinced. Only 9% of Americans believe the impact of artificial intelligence on society will do more good than harm, according to a new Monmouth University poll.

About 5 in 10 respondents — or 46% — believe the development of artificial intelligence will bring about equal amounts of good and harm, while 41% of people in the sample believe the technology will eventually harm society as a whole.

According to the survey, more than half of Americans – 55% – are very or somewhat concerned that artificial intelligence could one day become a danger to humanity.

Artificial intelligence is an umbrella term that describes a number of different programs that use a lot of data to improve their functionality without the intervention of software developers. But recent hype has focused on a new technique called “large language models” that analyzes terabytes of data.

Large language models (LLMs) are increasingly used in generative AI tools such as ChatGPT or the unreleased Google Bard, which can spit out blocks of text. Linked models can produce images or audio that resemble human output.

But there have been problems with large language models that can simply make up information, a phenomenon known as “hallucinations.” Both Google and Microsoft recent AI launches have shown that their software makes factual errors.

In addition, some observers worry that advanced artificial intelligence could put people out of jobs or make certain professions obsolete. In addition, LLMs and chatbots based on them can also convince people that the tools actually think and feel.

For example, 72% of survey participants believe that AI will eventually write entire news articles, while 78% of respondents believe that this is a bad thing.

Recent advances in generative artificial intelligence are not the only public concern. Some AI algorithms can be used for facial recognition, such as identifying people attending sporting events. Although this practice has been criticized, a slight majority of respondents – 54% – supported this type of use.

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