Are Consumers Ready for AI? - eMarketer

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Are Consumers Ready for AI?

Marketers seem to think so

December 21, 2016 | Marketing

Artificial intelligence had a breakthrough year in 2016, not only with machine learning, but with public awareness as well. And most marketers believe consumers are ready for the technology.

US Senior Marketers Who Believe Consumers Are Ready for Artificial Intelligence, Nov 2016 (% of respondents)

Indeed, a majority of US senior-level marketers—more than three-quarters—said that consumers are prepared for it, according to November 2016 research from Boxever, a customer intelligence cloud provider.

Just 15% of marketers felt that consumers weren’t ready for AI, and 6% weren’t sure.

AI has become entrenched in many facets of everyday life, and is being tapped for a growing array of core business applications, including predicting market and customer behavior, automating repetitive tasks and providing alerts when things go awry.

At this time, the technology is mostly used by businesses who are looking to improve their operations. But consumers are aware of AI, and already see many benefits to using it. A separate survey from Weber Shandwick and KRC Research found that internet users worldwide believe AI can help them solve a lot of problems, in addition to assisting them with any decisions they need to make. Ultimately, they perceive AI to be convenient.

Completing tasks that are too hard or dangerous, making improvements to human health and providing companionship were just some of the benefits consumers mentioned.

While they are optimistic about the technology, they are cautious as well. In the same survey, 60% of respondents said they were very concerned about the criminal use of AI technologies, and many were also concerned that AI would replace their jobs.

—Rimma Kats

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