Global consumers reaching a better understanding of artificial intelligence

There is a general consensus that artificial intelligence’s impact on the daily lives of consumers today represents a tip of the iceberg of what is to come in five years or more.

In fact, for 36% of those questioned in a recent global survey by ARM designs in collaboration with Northstar Research Partners, 71% predict that in five years AI will have a far more noticeable impact on their lives while 100% feel that by 2027 the impact will be far greater.

With 61% of those surveyed believing that society will become better from increased automation and AI, about 22% believe it will worsen certain aspects of our society.

The survey sought a global consensus of 3,938 consumers interviewed through an online survey, who had some understanding of AI and found that just over one third of people now think AI is already having a notable impact on their daily lives.

“The bottom line is no matter where you look in the world, people understand and appreciate the value that AI technology is delivering and what it might deliver in the future. As a result, they want it stitched much more deeply into their digital lives. This tells me the killer-robot scenario is fast being relegated to the cutting-room floor and the outlook for AI is good,” Simon Segars, CEO, ARM.

The study found that the number one most appealing application of AI is for diagnosing medical illnesses, traffic controls that alter lights in real-time to cut congestion, as personal companions or assistants and for fully autonomous vehicles.

Further, those surveyed believe that the top three jobs that AI machines can do better than humans included heavy construction, package delivery and piloting public transportation.

While the world view of AI is quickly evolving, when it comes to the personal use of AI, there is a little less awareness. For example, one quarter of Siri users did not know that Siri is an AI powered personal assistant and those surveyed lacked awareness of AI-style tech driving channels like Facebook and Netflix.

Privacy is a key issue with US and European consumers who are more likely to worry about the “reliability” of AI machines, reflecting a lower positivity generally, the survey found.

“The perception that big brother is watching …privacy concerns ..and how much control in our life we are giving up,” according to a US consumer.

The impact that AI will have on jobs is difficult to predict, according to the report, but consumers questioned believe that manufacturing and banking jobs are most under threat, while jobs in science and healthcare are the safest.

Interestingly, across all industries, consumers hold fast to the belief that humans will still be better placed than robots to do most of the jobs listed in the survey which range from manufacturing to banking to insurance companies and financial analysis.

When it comes to communication 94% of global consumers think it is important that AI devices can understand and communicate using natural human language. With 60% using an AI system to provide home security, 52% using AI-powered biometric devices that constantly monitor health and provide improvement ideas, and 44% using an AI device linked to a fitness profile, 37% providing intelligence parental control on all device content and 28% using an AI device as a clothing stylist, there is no question that AI is more present in our daily lives today and will only increase.