Market Watch: How Much Do US Consumers Trust AI

Colin Anderson

Colin Anderson

AI is the simulation of human intelligence processes by a computer system. These processes include machine learning, reasoning (using the rules to reach goal), and self-correction. Some AI may even include speech or image recognition. The term AI may sound like a high-end technological term, or those world dominating, destructive, and powerful robots in sci-fi films. In fact, some of us may not notice how seamlessly AI had integrated into our daily lives. AI products like cell phone assistant tools such as Siri and Cortana, entertainment recommendation tools like Netflix, chatbots, online customer supports, smart surveillance, interactive maps, and video games became part of many people’s daily lives in the developed world. AI products and services are indivisible from the consumer market now.

In a research by InsideSales, an AI-powered predictive sales acceleration platform, 2000 participants from different parts of the US and with different household income backgrounds were surveyed on what type of tasks would they trust AI on handling. At first, most of the participants answered that they had used navigation applications, video streaming, and music streaming services regularly. Of course, these AI are designed for all demographics and they are useful to majority of the population. Most people need direction when traveling to new places and entertainment. Some of the participants found that their smartphone assistants like Siri and personal fitness applications are helpful. At the same time, not everyone is using robotic floor cleaner to do the chores, nor do everyone use robots in their workplace. Nevertheless, only 18.14% of the respondents never used any of the AI products/services listed on the chart. This proves AI products are very widespread in the consumer market.

What type of AI do consumers use the most

What type of AI do consumers use the most

However, when the participants were asked whether or not had they ever used an AI product, only slightly more than half of the participants responded “yes, they had used AI products.” This is more likely because the participants don’t understand what the term “AI products” is exactly representing. It is unimaginable that more than 40% of the participants never used GPS in their cars, watched a movie in Netflix, or find friends with the Facebook friend recommendation feature. The latter option simply contradicts with the result given on the first chart.

Answer for AI usage

Answer for AI usage

When the participants were asked which tasks do they trust an AI on for, most of them (41.51%) claimed don’t trust AI on any task. Perhaps it was the same reason of how they don’t understand what AI is. At the same time, the most reliable tasks that are done by AI are choosing entertainment recommendation. Of course, how likely would recommending a heavy metal band to a heavy metal music enthusiast go wrong? Even if the user dislikes the recommended band, they could simply inform the AI of their disinterest and the AI will learn from it, improving the recommendation algorithm in order to give better suggestions next time. The recent automated production of other manual labor trends had proved that robots are capable of taking or helping hard labor positions in factories and warehouses. If the AI were programmed well, operation efficiency will increase with the AI’s help. Nevertheless, It is understandable how participants were not trusting to assign services like financial planning, medical diagnosis, hiring, and driving tasks to AI. Someone’s life or money is in the hands of a programmed machine. In addition, these machines could be maliciously hacked and altered which could lead to potential harm.

Trust on AI

Trust on AI

For the participants who trust AI, AI products from Google, Apple, Microsoft, and Amazon received the most positive recognition. The result somehow correlates to the tasks that are done by different types of AI. Google, the most powerful search engine with many features is the most trusted brand of AI. The second and third are Apple and Microsoft; Siri and Cortana are not only helpful smartphone assistants that help users navigate through their phone’s features, but they also possess some humorous interaction features.. In addition, Amazon may be known for their small but strong warehouse management AI. The list also included automatic cars from Tesla and Uber, the cognitive learning Watson AI developed by IBM, and recommendation AI that create suggestions based on user preferences and search history AI from Netflix, Facebook, and Pandora. 

Most trusted brands of AI

Most trusted brands of AI

As result, some of the US consumers may fear the name of AI, not knowing what AI products truly are. Yet, most of the consumers are using AI on daily tasks such as navigation, entertainment recommendation, and personal fitness. These AI serve as guides to their users. At the same time, if the given information is incorrect, there aren’t many serious consequences that could be dealt to the user; getting lost in new places with a smartphone, seeing a film that one doesn’t like, or doing dumbbell presses incorrectly may not be the end of the world. These are risks that can be tolerable and are able to be corrected by other people. Some consumers trust AI in the environment of manufacturing works and even in retailing services. However, most of the consumer market isn't ready for professional AI doctors, financial managers, investment bankers, or drivers. Money and health are serious matters and the majority of the population won’t take the risk of seeing something other than a human professional physician. At the same time, the current AI technology may not be sophisticated enough to take on important tasks that may impact someone’s life or money.