Majority (71%) say governments won’t be able to regulate companies that generate AI content for online/social media use
Toronto, October 23, 2023—A study released today by the Canadian Journalism Foundation (CJF) finds that most (58%) Canadians believe they’ve personally encountered misleading or false online/social media information generated by AI over the past six months—even though half (48%) admit they’re not confident in their own ability to distinguish the difference between online/social media content generated by AI versus content created by humans.
Perhaps not surprisingly, the survey conducted by Maru Public Opinion found significant intergenerational differences in experiences and attitudes on all questions posed – with one exception: a majority (71%) of Canadians joined ranks in their belief that governments will not be able to regulate companies that generate AI content for online/social media use.
The results also revealed that more than one in five (22%) Canadians are personally experimenting with AI to generate their own content for work/school/personal use (or know of someone who is doing the same 26%).
A majority (58%) of Canadians believe they have personally encountered misleading or false online/social media information in the past six months that was generated by AI. Intergenerationally, those most likely to admit this are:
Women (59%) and men (57%) are virtually the same in reporting that they have encountered this type of episode while those residing in British Columbia (63%), Manitoba/Saskatchewan, and Ontario (61%) as well as those who are the highest educated (university + 63%) are most likely to admit the same.
Half (48%) of Canadians admit that they are not confident in their own ability to distinguish the difference between online/social media content generated by AI versus content created by humans. Intergenerationally, those most likely to admit this are:
Far more women (54%) than men (42%) admit their vulnerability to this perception deficit, along with those residing in Alberta (56%) and Manitoba/Saskatchewan (55%), and those with higher education (college+ 50%).
Those who are most confident in their abilities to determine the difference between AI and human content generation (52%) are:
This group joins those who are most likely to be male (58% versus 46% of women), living in Atlantic Canada (57%), Quebec (56%), and Ontario, as well as those who are the least educated (<High school 54%).
A majority (71%) of Canadians say governments will not be able to regulate companies that generate AI content for online/social media use. This admission is more likely to be found among those who are:
In the alternate, just three in ten (29%) believe Governments will be able to regulate companies that generate AI content for online/social media use.
More than one in five (22%) Canadians reveal that they are personally experimenting with AI to generate their own content for work/school/personal use. This is most likely to be the case among those who are:
Notably, those with the least amount of education (high school or less 23%) are almost on par with those who are the highest educated (university+ 26%) in experimenting with AI (those with college/tech school are at 19%).
This is also more likely to be the case among men (28%) compared to women (17%), along with those living in the apparent hotbeds of experimenting in Atlantic Canada (27%) and Ontario (26%), followed by those living in British Columbia (21%), Manitoba/Saskatchewan (20%), Alberta (19%), and Quebec (18%).
Further, one quarter (26%) of Canadians admit to knowing people within their circle of friends/family who are currently using AI to create online/social media content.
These are some of the findings from a study undertaken by Maru Public Opinion with its sample and data collection experts at Maru/Blue October 11-12, 2022, among a random selection of 1,525 Canadian adults who are Maru Voice Canada panelists. The results were weighted by education, age, gender, and region (and in Quebec, language) to match the population, according to Census data. For comparison purposes, a probability sample of this size has an estimated margin of error (which measures sampling variability) of +/- 2.5%, 19 times out of 20. Respondents could respond in either English or French. Discrepancies in or between totals when compared to the data tables are due to rounding.
Panel and data services provider Maru Blue is deeply rooted in the Maru/HUB technology platform and offers on-demand, high-quality, highly scalable online community samples of deeply engaged, known respondents. Excerpts from this release of findings should be properly attributed, with interpretation subject to clarification or correction. Maru Public Opinion is a professional services firm dedicated to improving its clients’ business outcomes. It delivers its services through teams of sector-specific research consultants specializing in the use of Insight Community and Voice of Market technology. Maru Public Opinion does not do any work for any political party. Maru Public Opinion polls with supporting detailed tables are found here: Maru Public Opinion Canada. Corporate information can be accessed here: Maru Group.
For more information contact:
President and Executive Director
The Canadian Journalism Foundation
Executive Vice President
Maru Public Opinion
Direct Toronto +1.416.700-4218
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