Responsible AI

Global Study Shows Optimism About AI’s Potential

A new global survey on attitudes about AI highlights optimism for its potential, concerns about ensuring AI’s responsible development, and a desire for collaboration with governments, civil society, and the private sector.

Jan 15, 2024 6 min read

In the last few years, the conversation around AI has shifted as people have first-hand experiences with AI applications, hear about it in the news, and talk about AI’s future. To better understand global sentiment around AI, Google and Ipsos conducted one of the largest global AI surveys of over 17,000 participants across 17 countries resulting in a new report: “Our Life With AI.”

This survey is part of Google’s Digital Futures Project, an initiative that aims to bring together a range of voices to support researchers, organize convenings and foster debate on public policy solutions to encourage the responsible development of AI.

Key highlights:

  • Respondents see the potential for AI’s positive impact across society, particularly in healthcare, security, climate change, and research and development. People expect AI to benefit society and themselves personally, while having a positive impact on their health and wellbeing.

  • People with first-hand experience using AI tools have more overall excitement about its possibilities.

  • While, globally, excitement outweighs concern, people around the world do have concerns about the impact of the technology, and a desire for a collaborative approach between governments, civil society, and the private sector.

  • The public expects AI development that is both innovative and responsible, with strong public-private partnerships.

  • Workers are aware that AI is likely to change their jobs but contrary to conventional wisdom, a majority globally think the changes will be positive and will improve speed and efficiency.

Data presented represents an aggregate global percentage. The entire survey spans 17 countries globally. For more information on specific country and regional findings, see the full report.

Expectations About AI’s Impact

2023 was a big year for AI. It ushered in breakthroughs in generative AI, advancements in AI-powered personal assistants, and major leaps forward in healthcare, security, and manufacturing. Looking ahead, people see the potential of AI to help build a better world, positively impact society, and improve their daily lives.

  • Globally, more than half (54%) think AI will likely benefit “people like me,” and a similar number (52%) expect it to help their health and wellbeing in the next five years. More specifically, this ranges from around a third in the US (35%) to three quarters of the public in India (77%) and Mexico (75%) who expect their health to be positively impacted by AI.

  • When asked about how important different AI applications would be for various areas of society, medical breakthroughs topped the list across the 17 countries surveyed, with 45% of respondents seeing it as very important followed by better security (42%), climate change (37%), and research and development (36%).

  • Looking ahead 25 years, respondents around the world believe AI will be a force for good in every sphere surveyed, from healthcare to education to quality of life to addressing poverty and discrimination.

Optimism about AI varies by country: it is highest in emerging countries. In Singapore and Brazil, for example, excitement outpaces concern (54% excited / 46% concerned in Singapore, 60% / 40% in Brazil). Overall, and in most countries, optimism is greater than overall concerns.


globally believe AI will benefit people like them.

The global public see AI as a vehicle for a safer and more equitable world:

  • Better security (42% very important) is only outpaced by medical breakthroughs (45%) as a top application for AI. This reflects other findings in the survey, where national security and cyber security was identified as the top government priority tested.

  • Nearly half (47%) of respondents believe AI will benefit underrepresented groups, building a more equitable world for everyone.


globally view security -- detecting scams, security, risks, and other criminal activity and improving response to threats -- as a very or somewhat important application for AI.

Resoundingly, as people engage with AI through first-hand experiences or conversations, they feel more excited about its potential.

  • For those who have used an AI application in the last year, a broad majority (68%) are excited about the possibilities, while those with no recent experience are less likely to be excited about its potential (38%). 

  • AI usage varies by country, from 20% of the public in the United States reporting using AI in the last year to 49% of the public in Singapore. Globally, 38% reported using an AI application in the last year.


of those who have used AI in the past year (globally) say they are excited about its possibilities.

A Changing Relationship With Work

One of the places where many expect to experience AI for the first time is through their day-to-day work:

  • 51% of workers across the 17 countries say AI will have a positive impact on their job when looking out five years.

  • 39% of workers who feel their job or industry will be impacted by AI anticipate that tasks will take less time with AI.

  • While 9 in 10 (89%) believe AI will change some or most jobs or industries in the next five years, of those people, 52% feel that the change will likely be positive. This varies by country, with Mexico (68% positive), Brazil (62%), and Japan (56%) among the most positive about AI’s impact.

As workers think about adapting to an economy with AI, education will be an important component: 44% of workers who feel their job will be impacted by AI anticipate needing to learn how to use AI, and 34% say they will need to reskill or take some type of coursework to adapt.

There is naturally some concern as workers think about adapting to an economy with AI. 1 in 5 (19%) workers who say their job will be impacted by AI believe they will need to find a new industry or role. This is slightly more pronounced among those without a college degree (21%) and those with lower incomes (22%).

Going beyond the workplace, people are optimistic that AI will help them improve their quality of life.

  • 63% of all workers surveyed believe that in 25 years, AI will have a positive impact on work-life balance.

  • And 58% of all respondents (workers and non-workers) believe AI will help them have more fulfilling ways to spend time.


of workers globally who believe their job or industry will be impacted by AI are already seeing improvements in speed or efficiency at work or expect to see them within 5 years.

The Desire for Innovation and the Need for Responsibility

As AI continues to develop and more people experience its benefits, they see the opportunities for innovation while wanting to ensure that innovation occurs within the right framework.

  • “Innovative,” “responsible” and “safe” were the top three approaches desired by respondents, globally, when considering how to integrate AI into society.

Continuing to innovate as AI develops is a clear priority. However, while innovation tops the list of desired AI approaches, innovation is followed by three words: “responsible,” “safe,” and “cautious.” Countries that are most likely to gravitate to an “innovative” approach include: Brazil (56%), Mexico (49%), the United Arab Emirates (48%), and Singapore (47%). Whereas Sweden (46%), Singapore (38%), Mexico (35%) and South Africa (35%) are among the countries most likely to emphasize “responsible” alongside “innovative.”

But the private sector alone is not enough. Public-private partnerships with academic institutions, international non-governmental organizations and governments will be critical to AI’s future.

With the foundation of Google’s bold and responsible approach and AI Opportunity Agenda, efforts such as the Digital Futures Project, where Google is providing $20 million in grants to think tanks and academic institutions around the world to bring voices together to better understand the opportunities and challenges of AI, are important steps in earning and maintaining this trust.


globally agree that “government and technology companies should work together to oversee the development of AI.”

The survey shows that the potential and promise of AI is felt by people around the world. They see the opportunities to improve society, their work, and their personal lives. And when people get a chance to experience AI, they begin to be more excited about its full potential. As we continue to develop this technology, innovation must be tied to responsibility, reinforced through a network of partnerships that continue to build trust. It's incumbent on those, like Google, who are leading the development of this technology, to work with our partners to plainly explain its benefits and demonstrate the safeguards being built.

Want to learn more? Take a deeper dive into the full results – along with some important takeaways – in Ipsos and Google’s full report: “Our Life With AI.”