Consumers and artificial intelligence: ‘AI-Ready or Not’?

63503204d18160dd6a733e989b70c404_xlIn all the literature produced up to today on artificial intelligence – and there is really a lot of it – little has been written on the perception of the phenomenon by those who use Artificial Intelligence in everyday life, namely consumers. A recent survey by Weber Shandwick and KRC Research, ‘AI-Ready or Not: Artificial Intelligence Here We Come, tries to fill this gap. The research surveyed online 2,100 consumers in 5 major global markets (USA, Canada, Great Britain, China and Brazil) on the idea of AI and the consumers’ take on it. We have summarised the interesting learnings into 6 revelations.

  1. 45 to 7

this is the ratio in percentage terms between positive consumers (the former) and negative consumers (the latter) in relation to the impact of artificial intelligence on society.

  1. What do you know about artificial intelligence?

Two thirds say they know something about it, while only 2 out of 10 say they know a lot about it. 22% of respondents associate artificial intelligence with robots and, quite interestingly, the results change depending on the geographical origin of consumers: the Chinese – not surprisingly, actually – prove they know much more about artificial intelligence than consumers in other countries.

  1. The message is up to the media!

80% of consumers say the main source of information comes from a mix of media: from the Internet to social networks, from TV to movies to the news.

  1. Let’s move on to personal issues

Up to what point would consumers allow artificial intelligence to be part of their life? ⅔ would use artificial intelligence for medication reminders, travel directions, entertainment, targeted news or info on manual labour. More than 50% to provide care for the elderly, health advice or financial guidance, and for social media content creation. More than 40%, to cook, teach, drive and provide legal advice.

  1. What do I lose?

For 82% of consumers, the role of artificial intelligence is significant in terms of job loss threat. Only 18% are confident that it can create new jobs.

  1. Privacy is mine and I want to keep it

What are the possible negative effects of artificial intelligence in everyday life? Consumers’ opinion is interesting: half of consumers say they are very concerned about cyber attacks (53%), less security of personal data and privacy (52%).

Conclusions? Consumers are ready to accept artificial intelligence, at least in the way they currently conceive it. A decisive role in this perception is given by everything that the media and entertainment are building on this phenomenon. Perhaps we would need deeper awareness and education, a critical capacity to distinguish the sci-fi and sometimes surreal projection that is given of this phenomenon from the real impact that artificial intelligence has on everyday life and will have in the future.

When imagining ourselves as part of the survey, we are in the optimists’ group: Artificial Intelligence is leading men toward a new dimension, and we are able to see its progress and utility, its advantage and development.