Consumers Prefer AI Supplemented By Human Interaction

Consumers are more comfortable with AI in healthcare than other industries, according to an SAS survey. Lack of human interaction is the most cited reason for discomfort with artificial intelligence.

While the buzz around artificial intelligence (AI) can seem ominous, consumers are surprisingly comfortable with the technology in healthcare than in banking or retail. The survey found that a lack of human interaction was the top reason respondents cited for feeling uncomfortable with the technology.

Just under half of respondents (47%) were comfortable with companies using AI in business interactions generally, with men (53%) slightly more comfortable than women (43%).

Data privacy is also a concern to those surveyed. Only a third of respondents were at all confident that their personal data used for AI was being stored securely. Those under 40 years of age felt more confident (42%) that their information was protected, versus just 31% of older respondents.

“Consumers feel positively about AI when they believe it s being used for good, ” said David Tareen, marketing manager for AI at SAS. “In this survey, healthcare scenarios were well-received, indicating that respondents were comfortable with a tangible benefit to the technology. Overall, a lack of understanding about what AI is and can do is a significant factor for those who fear it.”

AI technologies that assist physicians in patient care rated well with respondents, even when asked about surgery. Forty-seven percent of those surveyed were comfortable with AI assisting doctors in the operating room . More than half of respondents over age 40 were willing to go under the knife with the help of technology, compared with only 40 percent under age 40. Six in ten participants (61 percent) were comfortable with their doctor using data from wearable devices, such as an Apple Watch or Fitbit, to assess their lifestyle and make recommendations based on that data.

When it comes to dollars and cents, survey respondents were not comfortable with banks using AI to interact with them. Monitoring for fraud and other potential threats was the only exception, with 59% indicating they were comfortable with this use of AI.

Accessing a customer’s credit history to make a credit card recommendation was the least popular among potential real-world uses of AI by banks.

Of the three industries suggested by the survey, AI in retail made consumers most uncomfortable. Only 44% surveyed indicated they were willing to share location information in order to personalize their shopping experience. And only 36 percent were okay using their smart phones to enter and shop in a cashier-free store.

About Tom Groenfeldt

I write - mostly about finance and technology, sometimes about art, occasionally about politics and the intersection of politics and economics. My work appears on and and occasionally in The American Banker and Banking Technology in London.
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