Survey suggests growing impact of AI on lives globally, but who trusts AI?

Survey suggests growing impact of AI on lives globally, but who trusts AI?

A new survey conducted by research company Ipsos for the World Economic Forum (WEF) suggests people believe artificial intelligence (AI) applications are having a substantial impact on individuals’ lives globally. As is expected with the topic, there is significant divergence about the benefit and drawbacks of AI revealed in country-level data.

The report claims three out of ten adults from 28 countries feel that products and services using AI have already profoundly changed their lives. Additionally, six out of ten feel this change will occur in the next three to five years. The same number expect that using AI products and services will make their life easier.

However, the research also unveiled some concerns, with half of those surveyed saying AI tools have fewer benefits than drawbacks.

Only half (50%) of respondents said they trust companies that use AI as much as they trust other companies. The report found that trust in companies that use AI is highly correlated with familiarity, with business decision-makers (62%) and business owners (61%) reporting the most trust.

The connection between emerging economies and AI

People in developing countries said they trusted companies that use AI more, and that the impact of AI-powered products and services in their life was mainly positive.

Ipsos found a divide between emerging countries and high-income countries. The report said that majorities trust companies that use AI as much as other companies in nearly all emerging countries, most of all China (76%), Saudi Arabia (73%), and India (68%).

Meanwhile, only about one-third in many high-income countries are as trusting of AI-powered companies, including Canada (34%), France (34%), the United States (35%), Great Britain (35%), and Australia (36%).

Geographically speaking, residents of emerging countries were substantially more likely than those from more economically developed countries to report being knowledgeable about AI.

For instance, just 41% of individuals surveyed in Japan and 42% in Italy said they had a “good understanding of AI”, while the number was substantially higher in South Africa (78%), 76% in Chile and Peru, and 75% in Russia.

In terms of applications, the majority of individuals surveyed agreed AI could bring the most out of specific sectors, including education and learning, entertainment, transportation, home, shopping, safety, the environment, and food and nutrition.

On the other hand, applications for income, personal and family relationships, and employment sparked more skepticism, with only 47% of those surveyed thinking AI could be a positive force.

The Ipsos survey analyzed the answers of 19,504 adults aged 18-74 in the United States, Canada, Malaysia, South Africa, and Turkey, and aged 16-74 in 24 other markets, between November 19 and December 3, 2021, conducted using the organization’s Global Advisor online platform.

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