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Consumers want AI if it saves time or money

Gartner research shows AI OK if it save time and money, but not for emotional analysis

Consumers want AI if it saves time or money
Different generational groups have different comfort levels with AI interaction, says Baghdassarian.

A recent survey by Gartner 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," said 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, while fifty-three percent said they would use AI if it helps them save money.

The 2018 Gartner consumer AI perceptions study surveyed 4,000 respondents in the US and UK.

"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 to save money on toll payments and fuel," added Baghdassarian.

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.

The survey also found that while consumers are happy with AI analysis facial features and other biometrics for use in authentication of financial transactions, they do not want AI trying to analyse their emotions.

More than 70% of respondents felt comfortable with AI analyzing their vital signs, or with AI identification of voice and facial features for transaction security, but 52% did not want AI to analyze their facial expressions to understand how they feel, and 63% did not want AI to have an always-on listening approach to get to know them better.

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

"Not all consumers are driven by the same motives for letting AI observe them," said Baghdassarian. "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," said Mullen. "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."

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