AI: looming job threat for half of California voters!

According to a new POLITICO|Morning Consult poll, half of California voters are concerned that artificial intelligence (AI) will come for their jobs. The poll, taken from December 15-19, shows that half of registered voters were either somewhat or very concerned about their jobs being replaced by AI in the next five years. However, the poll also found that 43 percent of registered voters expect AI to have a positive impact on their lives, while 39 percent expect a negative impact, and 18 percent expect no impact at all.

The poll results come as California lawmakers prepare to consider proposals to regulate AI and its implications for workers. Labor and equity groups have warned that AI could displace workers and pose threats to vulnerable communities. Assemblymember Rebecca Bauer-Kahan, the newly-installed chair of the Committee on Privacy and Consumer Protection, emphasized the need for a balanced approach to regulating AI and learning from past failures in regulating social media. The Legislature will consider a long list of proposals next year, including union-backed bills to protect workers at risk of losing their jobs to AI.

California’s Silicon Valley has been at the forefront of the AI boom, with products like ChatGPT quickly changing the technology landscape. President Joe Biden has made some progress on AI regulation, but without meaningful laws from Congress, any bills passed by California are likely to set the tone for national standards.