Artificial Intelligence And The Changing Mindset Of Consumers

The biggest threat and benefit to U.S. consumers in the next 10 years will be artificial intelligence. U.S. search professionals will not only need to learn the nuances of platforms from Amazon, Bing, Google Oath, and others, but they will need to relearn how to rewrite and re-strategize campaigns to achieve a change in mindset among consumers who also are trying to readjust.

Earlier this week, IAB CEO Randell Rothenberg called for advertising industry professionals to step up and support the "direct brand economy" because he says "a two-way relationship is more valuable than a one-way impression." That goes for search too, as consumers wake up to a world where machines interact more prominently with humans.

Northeastern University and Gallup have released findings from a survey that gauges public perceptions about artificial intelligence (AI). The study -- Optimism and Anxiety: Views on the Impacts of Artificial Intelligence and Higher Education’s Response -- analyzes responses from 3,297 U.S. adults between September 15 and October 10, 2017, to explore the impact AI will have on people’s lives and work; their educational choices; and the potential interventions from higher education, government and private industry.



While the findings focus on how the educational system should make changes to help people prepare for this change, in my opinion the data should also serve as providing insight into consumer behavior when creating search campaigns, from maps to search engine optimization and paid search.

Search professionals must understand the mindset of the changing consumer. Most Americans believe AI will fundamentally impact the way they work and live in the next decade, with 77% believing the technology will have a positive impact, compared with 23% who believe AI is a threat to their job.

There's also a fear, per the findings, that AI will widen the gap between the rich and the poor in the U.S., with 69% of 18- to-35-year-olds agreeing and 60% of 36 to 50 year olds agreeing,

Some 73% say an increased use of AI will eliminate more jobs than it creates. Results are consistent across most demographic groups, but those with blue-collar jobs are particularly pessimistic, with 82% saying the transition will result in a net job loss, compared with 71% of those with white-collar jobs.

About 23% of employed adults are “somewhat worried” or “very worried” that they will lose their job to new technology.

American workers are not ready for AI, although 80% say they are "extremely confident" they can secure additional training required. About 25% are "confident." Fifty-one percent of employed U.S. adults 'agree” or “strongly agree” they would need additional training to secure a new position at an equivalent salary. 

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