Press Release

AI and cybersecurity dominate global risk perceptions amid ‘polycrisis’, says report

Thu 14 Dec 2023

A significant shift in global risk perceptions surrounding artificial intelligence (AI) and cybersecurity were unveiled in AXA’s tenth edition of its Future Risks Report.

The report revealed that the risks associated with AI and big data have seen a dramatic rise in awareness and concern. These risks have catapulted from a relatively lower position of 14th in 2022 to a prominent 4th place in 2023.

This surge reflects a growing unease among experts and the general public about the rapid advancement and potential impacts of AI technologies.

Notably, a substantial majority of experts (64%) and the public (70%) believe that AI research should be temporarily halted, underscoring the apprehensions about the technology’s rapid progress.

Parallel to the concerns about AI, cybersecurity risks continue to maintain a high level of attention. For six consecutive years, these risks have remained a top priority among experts and, for the first time, have ascended into the top three concerns for the general public.

The report also indicated a close link between cybersecurity and geopolitical instability, which is increasingly relevant in today’s digital and interconnected world.

Amidst these specific concerns, the 2023 report introduced the concept of ‘polycrisis’. This term encapsulates the simultaneous occurrence of multiple global challenges.

“The last three years have been impacted by the global pandemic, the war in Ukraine, the worsening consequences of global warming,” said Thomas Buberl, Chief Executive Officer of AXA.

Geopolitical tensions, the rapid emergence of new technologies like Generative AI, and the acceleration of global warming are no longer happening in isolation, but are interlinked and impacting the world concurrently.

“Despite the scale of the challenges, we do not want to see the future as a risk. To achieve this, we need to build on the general population’s growing confidence in scientists and in businesses, particularly insurance,” added Buberl.

Three quarters of those surveyed in the report saw insurance as capable of limiting the impact of future risks.

The findings serve as a crucial barometer of global risk perceptions, pointing towards an urgent need for collaborative and strategic approaches to address these multifaceted challenges.

Conducted with the IPSOS polling institute, this comprehensive study surveyed 3,500 experts in 50 countries and engaged a representative sample of 20,000 people across 15 countries.

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