By Tech:NYC | February 28, 2024

Statewide Survey Found 67% of Voters Support Proposal to Build a State-of-the-art Artificial Intelligence Computing Center

NEW YORK, NY – New Yorkers overwhelmingly support a state proposal to launch a state-of-the-art Artificial Intelligence (AI) computing center in Buffalo, according to a new statewide public opinion poll released today by Tech:NYC. The study with 1,008 New York voters found that 67% of New Yorkers support the plan to create an AI research center, led by New York State together with public and private universities. Merely 16% of New Yorkers are opposed to the proposal. This AI research center will position New York as the national frontrunner in responsible AI innovation and promote safe, equitable, and accessible AI research and development.

Empire AI is a bold and first-in-the-nation initiative proposed by Governor Kathy Hochul earlier this year to promote responsible research and development, create jobs, and unlock AI opportunities focused on public interest.

“Investing in AI is investing in New York’s future – something voters up and down the state clearly understand,” said Julie Samuels, President & CEO of Tech:NYC. “This research confirms that New Yorkers support more collaboration between universities, nonprofits, research institutions, and industry leaders to discover new ways that AI can benefit all New Yorkers’ lives while ensuring that the center of gravity for the broader AI industry remains in New York. With unlimited potential to strengthen an ecosystem of companies and organizations driving innovation in fields including medicine, education, and energy, Empire AI has the power to create transformative change that New Yorkers want to see now. The sooner we get started, the better for New York’s public good.”

Support for the AI research center extends across the state geographic lines, with 73% of New York City, 63% of upstate and 62% of downstate voters supporting the plan. Opposition to the proposed center does not exceed 21% in any of the three parts of the state. The support is equally strong among white (65% support), Black (66% support), and Latino (71% support) voters. The support is particularly strong with New Yorkers ages 18-24, with 86% of voters in this group saying they are in favor of the AI center.

The statewide survey was conducted by HarrisX among 1,008 registered New York voters. The online interviews were conducted February 12-15, 2024. The sampling margin of error of this poll is +/-3.1 percentage points. The results reflect a representative sample of registered New York voters. The survey sample was weighted for age, gender, region, race/ethnicity, and education where necessary to align with the demographic proportions among registered New York voters.

About Empire AI

Empire AI is a proposed consortium that would be created to launch a state-of-the-art Artificial Intelligence computing center in Buffalo. The consortium is comprised of several higher education institutions including SUNY, CUNY, Columbia University, Cornell University, NYU, and Rensselaer Polytechnic Institute (RPI), as well as philanthropic backers such as Tom Secunda and the Simons Foundation. Intended to promote responsible research and development, create jobs, and unlock AI opportunities focused on public good in New York, this initiative will bridge the gap between private funding and public interest through investments in both sectors to accelerate the development of AI centered in public interest for the state. Additional information can be found HERE.

About HarrisX

HarrisX, a Stagwell company, is a leading global market research and data analytics company that conducts multi-method voter and consumer research across the U.S. and over 40 countries. With offices in Washington, D.C., New York City, London and Toronto, HarrisX advises Fortune 100 companies, public policy institutions, global leaders, NGOs, and philanthropic organizations. According to The Washington Post and American Research Group, HarrisX conducted the most accurate poll of the 2020 U.S. presidential election. For more information visit: