Artificial intelligence (AI) was once reserved for science-fiction movies but today, the technology is a reality and leaving consumers bewildered and concerned by its potential impact.
New research has revealed that 87 per cent would like to see AI technology advance in the future and almost half (43 per cent) are enthusiastic about its future development, however many Australians remain sceptical about its effectiveness – and ‘intelligence’.
The YouGov Galaxy Artificial IntelligenceStudy, commissioned by PR consultancy, Red Agency, as part of its annual Red Sky Predictions report, has revealed the principal concerns about the increasing use of AI include job losses (61 per cent) and making the right decisions in emergencies (60 per cent).
Additionally, more than half are worried about Governments or private companies using AI to spy or keep track of individuals (52 per cent) or the technology leading to more wars if it falls into the wrong hands (52 per cent).
Most workers (57 per cent) believe automation and technological advancements pose a threat to their current job, while a third (33 per cent) are confident that robots could never perform their current job. Those most enthusiastic about AI are more likely to think the increasing use of technology poses a threat to their job while in contrast, those concerned about AI are more likely to take the view that robots could never perform their job.
Nevertheless, when it comes to AI demonstrating functional benefits, Aussies are more buoyant about future possibilities. Six in ten would like to see the development of systems that will help doctors choose the most appropriate medication for their patients while others would like to see advancement of speech recognition software (37 per cent) and self-drive cars (37 per cent).
James Wright, CEO of Red Agency, said the study’s findings demonstrate a great opportunity to bring Australians closer to the technology to give them a deeper understanding of what it can do.
“The research highlights there is still a fair way to go to convince Australians about the merits of AI. Clearly perceptions need to shift – 43 per cent still typically think of robots when it comes to AI and there is a significant concern about the role of the technology in the workplace.
“But we’re not Luddites. Aussies understand how AI can help transform our future with healthcare the number one area we would like to see focused on. Now is the time for innovators and decision-makers to get together to demonstrate its value, developing technologies for good and giving confidence to Aussies that its role will enhance our future way of life.”