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UAE consumers more open to AI than rest of World, says Accenture

Study by Accenture shows UAE consumers more interested in AI assistants, VR and AR phones

UAE consumers more open to AI than rest of World, says Accenture
UAE consumers are becoming more comfortable with AI chatbots and services.

Consumers in the UAE are more open to interacting with Artificial Intelligence-driven personal assistants and customer services than end users in other parts of the world, according to a global study conducted by Accenture.

End users in the UAE are more likely to update their mobile phones to gain new features and capabilities such as AR and VR, and although UAE consumers are more likely to share personal data with companies, they are equally demanding that companies respect their data and security.

The Accenture Digital Consumer Survey 2017 surveyed 1000 respondents in each of 26 countries to assess attitudes towards new developments in digital technology.

The survey found that 76% of end users in the UAE are comfortable with AI customer service applications, compared to 62% globally, and 62% of respondents in the UAE have interacted with AI-based applications in the past 12 months, compared to 52% globally.

Users are also becoming more comfortable with AI-based customer services and are embracing the benefits over human advisors, with 82% saying they like the anytime availability; 74% stating politeness of response and 74% saying speed of service as benefits.

New AI-driven capabilities and related technologies are also influencing patterns of device buying and usage, and attitudes towards personal data and privacy. Seventy-three percent of respondents said that they were using or were interested in using voice-enabled digital assistant functions on their smartphones, while 68% are interested in buying a smartphone with AR or VR capabilities. UAE respondents were also more interested in getting voice-activated, gesture-activated and eye movement-activated controls for their devices.

Respondents are also interested in getting access to AI personal advisors that create recommendations based on personal data, with entertainment advisor (56%) and events advisor (54%) cited as the services people wanted the most.

"The fact that more and more UAE consumers are comfortable using voice assistants, gesture control and eye movement on mobile devices and at home is encouraging for the devices and services markets ‒ and is helping make this the year when artificial intelligence goes mainstream," said Gerardo Canta, who leads Accenture's Communications, Media & Technology operating group in the Middle East, Africa, Russia and Turkey."

Consumers in the UAE were more likely to share personal data and allow tracking of personal data by companies. Sixty-five percent of respondents felt that sharing such data would save time and allow more personalised service for online shopping.

In line with global trends however, UAE respondents believe it is important to be able to review and control their personal data online (83%) and 73% would refuse to do business with a company that does not have an unclear policy or settings for privacy. Consumers also expect a return for providing their personal data to companies, either in the form of personalised or customised service (31%) discounts (25%) or actual financial reward (20%).

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