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Survey: Consumers would use AI to save time and money

A recent Gartner survey reveals that saving time and money are the top reasons why consumers would use artificial intelligence (AI). “AI is among the technologies that consumers consider using for tangible and more ‘serious’ benefits, as opposed to socializing, projecting self-image and having fun – three common reasons for using other personal technologies,” says Stephanie Baghdassarian, research director at Gartner.

Fifty-eight percent of respondents said they would use AI if it helps them save time by taking over some tasks (see Figure 1), and 58 percent said they would use AI if it helps them save money. “We can think of AI being able to look for the best deal for a specific purchase, or find the best route to a particular destination, enabling [consumers] to save money on toll payments and fuel,” Baghdassarian says.

Forty-seven percent would use AI if it gave them easier access to information, such as travel and transportation directions and details of their everyday consumption of goods.

“Consumers are ready for a new relationship with AI technologies, but have clear preferences about how they want that relationship to occur,” adds Anthony Mullen, another research director at Gartner.

The survey also found that more than 70 percent of respondents feel comfortable with AI analyzing their vital signs, as well as AI identification of voice and facial features to keep transactions secure. Nevertheless, 52 percent of respondents do not want AI to analyze their facial expressions to understand how they feel. Furthermore, 63 percent do not want AI to take an always-on listening approach to get to know them better.

“Not all consumers are driven by the same motives for letting AI observe them,” Baghdassarian says. “Millennials care about AI understanding them better and adapting interactions based on what they do, feel and need. Baby boomers seek safety and security when they let AI observe them. Generation Xers are close to millennials in terms of attitude toward AI understanding their needs, and close to baby boomers when it comes to safety and security.”

When it comes to privacy, consumers are skeptical about the use of AI and are concerned about what it may mean. “Sixty-five percent of respondents believe that AI will destroy their privacy, rather than improve it,” Mullen says. “As the shift to communicate with systems from humans to machines will accelerate, IT leaders must tailor AI’s approaches to customer engagement by persona to persona in order to cater for varying views and preferences. In addition, they need to respect user privacy as well as use AI tools to support privacy and transparency goals.”

The results are based on the 2018 Gartner consumer AI perceptions study, conducted online during January and February 2018 among 4,019 respondents in the U.S. and the U.K.

Figure 1: Reasons why consumers would use AI. Source: Gartner (September 2018)

Figure 1: Reasons why consumers would use AI.
Source: Gartner (September 2018)

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