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Consumers want more education, regulation of AI

Report finds consumers generally positive about AI but want more education on AI's role in society

Consumers want more education, regulation of AI
Consumers want a better understanding of AI.

Over a quarter of consumers say they have little or no understanding of what Artificial Intelligence (AI) is and does, according to a new report from FleishmanHillard.

Along with the 26% of consumers who don't understand AI, over half (53%) believe there is need for more education around the role of AI in society.

The report surveyed 2,000 consumers in the US and UK about their current sentiment on AI. Respondents believed that businesses, government and academia all share responsibility for raising awareness about AI. Fifty-six percent of consumers already say that AI needs more regulation and restrictions.

Nearly half (45%) of respondents either agree, or strongly agree, that the positive aspects of AI outweigh the negatives, with 49% agreeing that AI is an exciting and exhilarating topic, and that automation will change our lives and jobs for the better.

A majority of respondents in the United States and the UK reported encountering or using AI technologies on at least a monthly basis (59% and 51% respectively). However, of respondents aged 18 to 44, over half reported using AI on a weekly basis, and made up over 80% of those who used AI daily. Less than one third of those aged over 45 reported using AI on a weekly basis.

 "The universal takeaway is that if the technology industry is to build public trust, we need to address the AI knowledge gap fast," said Sophie Scott, global managing director of FleishmanHillard's technology sector group. "We need to reassure both businesses and consumers that AI is not about remote science-fiction style gadgets in 2050. It's about tools - now and today - that can drive productivity, boost profitability and, done correctly, help everyone live better lives."

"The study found that regardless of age group, consumers are looking to a combination of stakeholders from business, government and academia to help educate the public," Scott said. "It's not enough to build the AI system, product or solution. We need to take an active role in helping consumers understand what AI is, how it works and its implications."

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