US voters prefer cautious AI regulation over China race

US voters favour cautious AI regulation over rushing to compete with China, poll finds.

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A recent poll by the AI Policy Institute has shed light on strong public opinion in the United States regarding the regulation of AI.

Contrary to claims from the tech industry that strict regulations could hinder competition with China, a majority of American voters prioritise safety and control over the rapid development of AI. The poll reveals that 75% of both Democrats and Republicans prefer a cautious approach to AI development to prevent its misuse by adversaries.

The debate underscores growing concerns about national security and technological competitiveness. While China leads in AI patents, with over 38,000 registered compared to the US’s 6,300, Americans seem wary of sacrificing regulatory oversight in favour of expedited innovation.

Most respondents advocate for stringent safety measures and testing requirements to mitigate potential risks associated with powerful AI technologies.

Moreover, the poll highlights widespread support for restrictions on exporting advanced AI models to countries like China, reflecting broader apprehensions about technology transfer and national security. Despite the absence of comprehensive federal AI regulation in the US, states like California have begun to implement their own measures, prompting varied responses from tech industry leaders and policymakers alike.