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Nearly half of UK consumers don’t realise they’re using AI daily

Posted: 28 March 2017 | By Darcie Thompson-Fields

More than half of UK consumers regularly use artificial intelligence at home but many remain unaware of the technology’s influence in the workplace.

According to a report commissioned by InsideSales.com, 56 per cent of respondents say they don’t use AI in the workplace. The State of AI 2017 report found that UK consumers till have a love-hate relationship with the technology.

Scepticism of AI remains high with four in ten people saying that they don’t trust AI. Fears caused by potential job loss from automation and Hollywood portrayals of autonomous robots only heighten mistrust.

A growing acceptance

“The use of AI at work continues to be controversial as many people are concerned about the impact this technology may have on their careers,” said InsideSales managing director, Martin Moran.

“However, we are seeing a growing acceptance of AI and many people acknowledge the benefits of AI can have in our lives. Interestingly, consumers are more receptive to the use of AI when it is seamlessly integrated into their everyday applications, not as a physical robot.

“Medical advancements, robots taking over dangerous jobs, automation of mundane tasks are some of the key benefits that AI can bring to people in all walks of life. Many in the UK have also wised up to the idea that AI offers huge potential in key industry sectors, from engineering to customer service, from marketing to sales.”

Despite a lack of trust from some respondents, the view towards AI adoption was not entirely negative. 40 per cent trust AI to recommend personal entertainment with 27 per cent trusting products that are made by automated machines.

The growing of acceptance of AI in the home could be laying the groundwork for greater reception of the technology in the workplace.

Over half of respondents hold no strong opinion about AI in the workplace but six in ten believe they have never used the technology at work.

For those who endorse the use of AI in the workplace, 38 per cent also believe AI will create more job opportunities for them, while 21 per cent of respondents are confident that AI will not affect the number of jobs available.

The tools to succeed

“The reluctance to adopt AI technologies in a business setting can significantly impact an organisation’s ability to innovate and make a sale in an increasingly competitive market,” said Moran. “With Brexit on the horizon, companies must reassess their business strategy and ensure their employees have the right tools and support to succeed.

“Productivity remains a huge challenge for many businesses. The UK government’s commitment to invest in disruptive technology is a positive move in plugging the gap but the onus is on individual businesses to make a change. Challenged by demanding customer expectations and economic uncertainties, AI has a huge potential to help business leaders find new ways to motivate employees and propel the business forward.”

UK consumers believe that engineering, administration and customer service are the top three areas set to benefit from AI with finance, sales and marketing next in line.

The figures represent an ever-growing opportunity for AI product and service providers to educate consumers on the benefits of the technology.

A parallel survey of nearly 2,000 Americans revealed essentially identical attitudes toward, and degrees of acceptance of, AI to those in the UK survey.

You can read the full report here.

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