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Attitudes Toward Artificial Intelligence: Survey Finds Interest, Wariness

August 18, 2017 By Larry Fausett in

People are eager to exploit the benefits of artificial intelligence but also are wary of the technology, according to a new survey about attitudes toward artificial intelligence (AI).

Almost 70 percent of 6,000 consumers on six continents would welcome AI’s help in daily tasks, according to the survey conducted by customer engagement software vendor Pegasystems. Almost 40 percent expect AI to improve customer service in the future.

Attitudes Toward Artificial Intelligence

“AI is the future of customer experience but it is currently at a crossroads,” said Don Schuerman, CTO and VP of Product Marketing for Pegasystems. “Companies need to ensure their AI strategy is not treated as a novelty but rather is leveraged to dramatically change the way they engage with their customers at every touchpoint. As this study suggests, the promise of AI is there for the taking, but it’s now up to businesses to seize the moment.”

The Pegasystems survey – entitled “What Consumers Really Think About AI: A Global Study”– revealed significant concerns about privacy and security. Eighty-eight percent of respondents want businesses to be transparent in how they deploy automated bots and only 27 percent would hand over their private data in the hopes of getting better customer service.

Other data points suggested that humanization is important: 45 percent of respondents prefer human sales agents, making it by far the preferred approach. It was followed by online chat at 20 percent, visiting a store at 15 percent, and social media at 3 percent. Almost 80 percent prefer humans as the online point of contact. Significantly, this finding was shared across all age groups.

Respondents were most interested in using AI for a retail product recommendation, an option cited by 34% of respondents. Twenty-seven percent are open to using AI for medical diagnosis or recommendations. Only 10 percent trust government use of AI.

When asked whether AI delivers the same or better service than humans today, 26% said it did, while 38% said it did not.

Nevertheless AI is finding a home with mobile carriers