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Chart: How Well Do Americans Know the Internet? | #cybercrime | #computerhacker


The rapid pace of technological development in fields like so-called artificial intelligence, cybercrime and data protection — or the lack thereof — can overwhelm more casual observers. Still, our increasingly digital lifestyles require a basic understanding of various concepts if harm is to be successfully prevented. As our chart based on a 2023 survey by the Pew Research Center shows, many U.S. residents lack this basic understanding of more recent phenomena.

For example, 42 percent of respondents to the survey, which was conducted in May 2023 among more than 5,000 U.S. adults and utilized a random sample weighted against the United States average in terms of age, gender, voter registration and other indicators, know for certain what a deepfake is, a “seemingly real, computer-generated image, video or audio of something that did not occur”. 32 percent answered correctly how a large language model like OpenAI’s GPT-4 works, which in this case was “create a response based on word patterns and relationships it previously learned from text pulled from the internet”.

An even lower percentage of respondents know that there is no national law regulating data protection in the United States and offered the correct answer to the age below which data from children can’t be collected without parental consent, which is 13. When it comes to digital literacy, apart from knowing which tech entrepreneur owns which company, to what Facebook changed its name and which password out of four examples provided is the most secure, there’s one other aspect which a majority of survey participants got right: how cookies are used by websites and social media platforms.

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