A growing number of detractors, including Elon Musk, who has warned about the power of artificial intelligence, worry that automation could disrupt entire communities and disproportionately affect low-income workers. It is believed that 40% of the world’s jobs will be replaced by robots capable of automating tasks. Both blue collar and white collar professions will be affected.
Majorities of people in the United States, Canada, and the United Kingdom think that artificial intelligence will improve their lives, but they believe that higher education, government, and employers are not doing enough to improve their skills.
Fears that the new era of automation will leave educated workers behind are crystallized by a first-of-its-kind survey conducted by Northeastern University and Gallup.
Fewer than 10 percent in each country said their undergraduate education will provide the skills they will need when artificial intelligence displaces millions of people from their jobs.
Respondents in all three countries cite cost as a major barrier they “face when seeking education or training over the course of your career.”
Majorities in each country favor the development of employer and government-matched lifelong learning accounts. Also, when using products or services that employ artificial intelligence, majorities in all three countries said they worry “often” that their personal information is at risk.
But the poll also revealed several differences of opinion among the three countries.
In the U.K. and Canada, majorities believe their current skills and education are already outdated or on the verge of becoming redundant. But only 35 percent of Americans admitted to similar fears.
“As we prepare for the age of artificial intelligence, people around the world understand that learning will need to become a lifelong endeavor,” said Joseph E. Aoun, president of Northeastern.
But a majority of the public in all three countries believes large businesses and government are not “doing enough to address the need for career-long learning and training.”