There are conferences on AI, papers by learned authorities, and nonstop pitching of AI tools. But there is one group that is not quite so enthusiastic: consumers.
Many are nervous about our robotic future, judging by Artificial Intelligence And the Very Real, Real-World Anxiety It Causes, a study by Elicit.
For instance, 59% feel that while AI may provide benefits, there are inherent risks. Only 15% think it is a benevolent force for good, while 8% are undecided. And 18% say it will pose a threat to humanity.
It’s worth pondering as GDPR gets its grip on marketing activities around the world.
The study shows that 73% think some firms will go too far with AI. And 64% worry that they will use AI and “the information they have about me to engage with me.”
Case in point: “A subscription clothing retailer identifies a new outfit combination it predicts you will like and suggests it to you in an email.”
Some 67% would see this as a benefit. But 33% would not. And while 66% are happy with the idea, 34% say it makes them nervous.
The lesson here is that you can’t go too far with behavior-based emails.
Of course, people are more concerned about personal assistants such as Alexa.
For instance, 63% would be nervous if their smart fridge notified Alexa that they were low on milk, butter and eggs, and Alexa simply ordered them with a free, same day shipping service. Also, 55% say this would not be a benefit.
In addition, 66% would be nervous if a subscription clothing service made suggestions based on what they wear on a daily basis — as captured by a camera.
Many are also put off by the notion self-driving cars. And there are shades of Hal in 2001 a Space Odyssey -- 49% would be nervous if a personal assistant defined new household tasks it could perform and went ahead and did them. Where would it end?
Finally, while 58% would be happy if a dating site suggested a potential soul mate based on questions they answered, 73% would be nervous if the site suggested a date in an establishment that both parties frequent.
Our take on it? People want to retain their own free will.
Elicit, a data and technology consultancy, surveyed 697 consumers.