The subsequent technology of digital expertise is spreading in Switzerland: Synthetic intelligence has already arrived, cyborg applied sciences for self-optimization haven’t but. Particularly amongst youthful folks, web use is turning into an on a regular basis digital faith. These are outcomes of a consultant survey of Swiss web customers performed by the College of Zurich.
Chatbots with synthetic intelligence (AI) corresponding to ChatGPT or Bard are already widespread in Switzer-land: 8 in 10 web customers (79%) have already heard of them and half of these (37%) have already both tried (18%) or used them a number of instances (19%). Youthful and extra extremely educated folks know of and use these companies significantly typically. “The excessive stage of consciousness and use of ChatGPT and related AI purposes is shocking, particularly since they’ve solely been out there because the finish of 2022,” emphasizes Michael Latzer, professor of Media Change and Innovation on the College of Zurich.
Clear indications of a religion-like digitalization
Digitalization is giving rise to a brand new social type of faith – an on a regular basis digital faith. The on a regular basis use of digital companies fulfills related social capabilities as conventional religions, e.g., lowering complexity, creating that means or social cohesion.
“The faith-like nature of web use is mirrored in mythologi-cal concepts about how digital companies work, of their ritualized use and in transcendental experiences with digital companies,” explains Michael Latzer.
Just below a 3rd of the inhabitants (30%) assume that advised content material in social networks or well being and well-being apps is managed by an inexplicable, increased occasion. For 1 / 4 of the inhabitants (27%), web use has change into a type of ritual: they begin and finish their day with it. Between 10% and 19% of web customers report transcendental experiences that exceed the standard boundaries of on a regular basis life.
These indications of a digital on a regular basis faith are extra pronounced amongst youthful folks: 4 in 10 of 14 to 19-year-olds (38%) say that their common use of those companies helps them rise above their speedy circumstances. third of this youngest group agree that utilizing their most popular digital companies offers them peace of thoughts once they have issues (36%).
Cyborgization continues to be in its infancy
The merging of people and expertise referred to as cyborgization reinforces the non secular nature of digitalization. Cyborg applied sciences are used to attain transhumanist objectives, i.e., overcoming human limitations and thus additionally reaching divine traits corresponding to omniscience and everlasting life.
The examine examines non-medically required cyborg applied sciences for self-optimization corresponding to stick-on patches for digital mind stimulation or chips implanted within the hand for making funds. They’re used to enhance bodily and psychological talents, exceed organic limits and thereby improve longevity and well-being.
third of the Swiss on-line inhabitants is conversant in cyborg applied sciences hooked up to the physique (37%) or implanted within the physique (35%). Their distribution is at present low and lies within the low single-digit proportion vary. Nonetheless, 4 out of 10 web customers consider that they might make their on a regular basis life rather more handy by utilizing them (39%).
On the identical time, there’s a excessive stage of threat consciousness, significantly with regard to cybercrime (78%) and privateness breaches (70%). 3 out of 10 folks would love the state to put higher restrictions on such new applied sciences (31%). One in ten folks (9%) state that they wish to use cyborg applied sciences hooked up to their physique as quickly as they’re out there and inexpensive. 6% can think about having a chip implanted.
Total, youthful folks and males are extra optimistic about such applied sciences. The transhumanist perception in a technically controllable evolution of human talents can be extra pronounced amongst youthful folks. They’re extra more likely to consider that new digital applied sciences can clear up nearly all of society’s issues (14 to 19-year-olds: 21%, 70+: 4%). Total, fewer folks really feel that they belong to the data society in 2023 (47%) than in earlier years. “The emergence of synthetic intelligence or cyborg applied sciences appears to be accompanied by a sure diploma of uncertainty,” says Michael Latzer.
Rising chilling results on account of on-line surveillance
The examine, performed by Michael Latzer and his workforce for the seventh time since 2011, reveals that 4 out of 5 Swiss web customers inhibit their on-line communication habits on account of a sense of being monitored: This is applicable to the disclosure of non-public data (83%), the seek for data (81%) and the expression of emotions or opinions (79%). In comparison with 2019 and 2021, this share is round 20 proportion factors increased. Beneath-20s are the most probably to expertise such chilling results.
Worry of privateness violations by governments can be on the rise (37% in 2023 vs. 27% in 2021). Additional-more, solely a small and reducing proportion consider they will management their privateness on-line (28% in 2023 vs. 41% in 2021). However, the bulk in Switzerland (61%) assume that the web is an effective factor for society.
Sustainability of digitalization pushes on account of Covid is various
For the reason that Covid pandemic, the period of time the Swiss spend on-line has as soon as once more elevated sig-nificantly: At present, the common is 5.6 hours per day (2021: 4.5 hours). An growing proportion (36%) assume that that is already considerably extra web consumption than they want (2017: 24%).
The digitalized on a regular basis lifetime of the inhabitants has modified considerably within the final decade: in 2023, one in two folks (53%) use well being monitoring apps for self-measurement, whereas voice assistants corresponding to Siri or Alexa are a part of on a regular basis life for one in three folks (33%). WhatsApp has change into a universally used communication infrastructure (94%) and a transparent majority eat music (67%), movies (74%) or podcasts (65%) on-line. Social media can be professionally engaging for younger folks particularly: 3 out of 10 14 to 19-year-olds wish to change into influencers.
The digitalization pushes triggered by the Covid pandemic are creating in another way. They’re prov-ing most sustainable for distant work: Through the pandemic, workers whose work can typically be carried out from dwelling labored from dwelling 3 times as typically as earlier than (61% vs. 19% of labor). In 2023, the proportion of working from house is at one and a half days (32%). Cashless funds have decreased barely in comparison with the pandemic interval, however the stage is increased than earlier than the pandemic.
On common, a 3rd of all merchandise are bought on-line, each now and through the pandemic. Earlier than the pandemic, this proportion was 26%. Personal conferences not often happen on-line, which was additionally the case earlier than the pandemic. Within the 2021 survey, the Swiss on-line inhabitants additionally didn’t need to see a shift to the digital house for personal conferences.
“There are clear variations between the short-term digitalization push compelled by Covid, what’s desired in the long run and what truly occurred,” emphasizes Michael Latzer. “We’re seeing sustained pandemic-induced digitalization pushes, particularly in skilled life, but additionally within the buy and fee of merchandise.”