Report: Gen Z Students Expect AI to Negatively Impact Society

Generation Z students (those born after 1997) have a number of concerns about artificial intelligence, according to a new survey conducted by the National Society of High School Scholars (NSHS). The academic honor society surveyed 10,072 high school and college-aged individuals across the country about their perspectives on AI, career aspirations, student debt, and more.

Fifty-nine percent of survey respondents said they believe that AI will have a more negative than positive effect on society in the next 10 years. And 55% said AI will have a significant impact on personal privacy. Nearly two-thirds — 62% — are worried that AI will take away jobs they're interested in.

Still, 64% of respondents said they are using AI in work, studies, or everyday life. The most common areas of AI adoption include brainstorming (cited by 39% of respondents), proofreading (33%), and data analysis (21%). Just 19% said they use AI for writing drafts.

Other key findings include:

  • About a quarter (27%) of respondents expect to incur $10,000 to $50,000 in student loan debt from their college education. And 41% believe that student loan debt has or will prevent them from pursuing their passions.
  • 49% expect to use an undergraduate degree "a great deal" in their future career.
  • Top career fields of interest include medicine/health (24%), healthcare (22%), and engineering (18%).
  • Respondents are looking for a workplace with fair treatment of all employees (ranked most important by 28%), work-life balance (25%), and corporate social responsibility (14%).
  • 67% expect employers to offer in-person training. 

The full survey report is available on the NSHSS site.

About the Author

Rhea Kelly is editor in chief for Campus Technology, THE Journal, and Spaces4Learning. She can be reached at [email protected].