In our everyday conversations, the topic of artificial intelligence (AI) is becoming increasingly common. But what’s the general sentiment among Italians? According to a survey commissioned by Facile.it and conducted by mUp Research and Norstat, nearly 5 million people in Italy perceive AI as a potential threat. However, among the younger demographic, there’s a prevailing sense of optimism, with 34.5% of the population seeing AI as an opportunity. This optimism is even more pronounced among 25-34 year-olds, with 40.4% expressing positivity, and among those aged 18-24, where a remarkable 53.5% view AI favorably. On the flip side, as age increases, so do doubts: approximately 18% of respondents over 55 view AI solely as a threat.

But what are the specific concerns regarding AI among Italians? Well, over half of the respondents (52.6%) fear that AI could be exploited by criminals for fraudulent activities, while 39.6% worry about it becoming uncontrollable by humans. Additionally, there’s concern (39%) about AI flooding online platforms with false information, and more than 5.6 million Italians fear potential job loss due to AI, a worry particularly prevalent among the younger population, where over 1 in 5 individuals aged 18-24 admit to this concern.

Apart from AI, technology in general is rapidly evolving, bringing with it its own set of risks. The analysis reveals that almost 13 million Italians have fallen victim to cybercrime at least once in their lives. Unauthorized access to personal payment tools affected over 6.5 million individuals, while nearly 2.5 million had their identity or image stolen for illegal purposes. Additionally, close to 2.3 million were victims of unauthorized dissemination of personal or family digital material, and 2.2 million experienced identity theft resulting in fraudulent contracts being signed in their name.

Cyberstalking (almost 1.5 million victims), cyberbullying (about 1.3 million), and revenge porn (almost 1.2 million) also plague many individuals. As cyber threats evolve, so do insurance offerings. Policies are available to protect policyholders and their families from such digital dangers, yet surprisingly, over 6 out of 10 Italians (61.4%) are unaware of these products. Even among those who are aware, only a mere 3% have actually purchased such insurance.

Among those without coverage against cybercrime, almost 1 in 3 (37.7%) intend to get it, with the intention even higher among 25-34 year-olds, reaching 43%. Andrea Ghizzoni, Managing Director of Insurance at Facile.it, explains, “There are products available on the market to protect against the risks that may arise when using the Internet and digital devices. These policies offer a range of benefits, from removing harmful content from social networks to covering legal expenses in criminal proceedings for identity theft, to providing psychological assistance for online harassment or attacks. These benefits far outweigh the relatively low cost of these coverages”.

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