Trust and AIDespite the fact that Artificial Intelligence (AI) has become a household term over the last few years, studies show that there is still a widespread sense of trepidation around the topic. According to a report published by Forbes last month, when consumers were given a list of popular AI services, 41.5% could not give an example of AI that they could trust. Significantly, in verticals that traditionally have the human touch such as financial planning or healthcare, over half of customers say that they do not trust AI to help them out.

The study verified that users have become somewhat accustomed to having AI in some aspects of their personal lives. This makes sense since it is more familiar – we have used it in both entertainment and travel apps for over a decade, specifically in video and music streaming and our map apps. However there is a noted hesitation in allowing AI into the more personal aspects of our lives.

It is interesting to find that a consumer’s income as well as location make a difference in the acceptance of AI in our daily lives. The Forbes report tallied 23.3% of AI users as making less than $25,000 per year, the largest percentage in all income brackets. This same group also demonstrated the most familiarity with AI. Geographically, acceptance of AI centered on the East and West Coasts, with only 38% of West Coast participants saying that they did not trust AI. In New England, that figure was 36.6%. However, in the Mid-Atlantic regions, the distrust factor for AI was almost half at 49.2%.

What do these statistics tell us? First and foremost, businesses are not going to be able to take consumer trust for granted when it comes to AI. Individuals are wary and cautious; the more private and/or intimate the topic, the less likely that a customer is going to feel comfortable using AI. Health care, hiring and human resources and finances are particularly sensitive areas for AI to deal with. However, by demonstrating the convenience and time-savings for some tedious but necessary tasks such as filling in forms or re-ordering products, consumers can be won over to AI.

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