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New Zealanders concerned about malicious use of AI, study shows – InternetNZ

Research commissioned by InternetNZ, reveals 72% of New Zealanders are concerned AI will be used for malicious purposes and without regulation.

The research surveyed New Zealanders’ awareness, feelings, and concerns about AI.

When asking New Zealanders how they felt overall about AI, 42% said they were more concerned than excited, and only 11% said they were more excited than concerned about the rapidly growing technology. 40% reported feeling a mixture of both excitement and concern.

While concern runs high, the majority of New Zealanders admitted to not knowing a lot about AI, with 63% saying they only know ‘a little’ and 13% saying they know nothing at all.

InternetNZ Chief Executive Vivien Maidaborn thinks it’s not surprising that there is fear around rapidly evolving 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.”

Maidaborn says that the Internet evolves at a rate that can be hard to keep up with, and it will keep presenting us with 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.”

“My big concern is that we won’t identify how fundamentally this will change our society and therefore get ahead of it in order to add value to us as New Zealanders”

The 2023 Government AI Readiness Index ranked New Zealand at 42nd in the world, well behind Australia in 12th.

“We call on the Government to start the process of developing guidelines, policies, and laws to meet the needs of diverse communities and people across Aotearoa,” says Maidaborn.

The full findings of the Internet Insights research is available on the InternetNZ website.


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