Consumers Want Privacy, Better Data Protection from Artificial Intelligence, Finds New Research

NEW YORK, December 7, 2017 – Despite massive corporate investments in artificial intelligence (AI), nearly three-quarters of consumers are concerned about AI infringing on their privacy, according to a new study from Genpact, a global professional services firm focused on delivering digital transformation. The survey of more than 5,000 people across the United States, United Kingdom, and Australia also reveals that 59 percent of respondents think their government should do more to protect personal data from AI.

Disconnect incorporate and customer views:

Consumers’ warinessof AI contrasts significantly with optimism expressed by corporate management.According to a previous Genpact study conducted earlier this year, 88 percentof senior executives at companies that are leaders in AI expect the technology willdrive better customer experiences within three years.


The consumer surveyreleased today is the third in a three-part Genpact research series that offersa comprehensive view of AI adoption, readiness, and impact across threecritical and disparate communities – the C-suite, workforce, andconsumers. The first study, published in September 2017, explores theC-suite and senior management’s perspective, and the second survey, released in November 2017, looks atworkers’ views.


In the consumerresearch released today, only 12 percent of people surveyed say they wouldprefer to be served by a chatbot, evenif the service they receive is faster and more accurate than thatof a human. Yet over three times more executives (38 percent) think theircustomers will prefer service by a chatbot in three years, according toGenpact’s senior management study. Companies need to lay the groundwork now toaddress this disconnect and pave the way for smooth AI adoption.


Building trustwith cautious consumers:

Although companiescontinue to embrace AI (for example, 82 percent of senior executives say theyplan to implement AI-related technologies by 2020), many potential customersstill have substantial fears. Nearly two thirds of respondents in the consumerstudy worry that AI will make decisions that will impact their lives withouttheir knowledge. Moreover, 58 percent of people surveyed do not feelcomfortable with companies using AI to access their data to personalize andimprove their experiences with a brand.


“AI is agame-changer to improve the customer experience, yet real challenges remainregarding trust and privacy,” saidSanjay Srivastava, chief digital officer, Genpact. “To encourageadoption, the key is to have visibility into AI decisions, and be able to trackand explain the logic behind them. Companies need to break through the ‘blackbox’ to drive better insights for their business and give consumers theassurance they need.”


Meeting consumerexpectations today, and tomorrow:

Even with explosivegrowth of home digital assistants, chatbots, smart sensors, etc., consumersstill perceive they have little contact with AI. Less than half of thosesurveyed say they interact with some form of AI regularly. In addition, two infive (41 percent) believe that AI has made no difference to their lives.


However, the studyalso shows that younger generations interact with AI more frequently and citeits benefits. They are twice as more likely than older people surveyed to sayAI is making their lives better. Younger generations also don’t need the humantouch quite as much: Only one third of Gen-Z and millennials strongly agreethat they prefer human interaction rather than AI, compared to 57 percent ofbaby boomers.


“Youngergenerations’ rapidly changing views underscore how AI, even in these earlydays, is the single biggest shift that is transforming how people interact withbusinesses and the world around them,” continued Srivastava. “Thecompanies that will win in this new world are ones that seize AI’spotential in a way that deeply understands and solvesfor consumers’ concerns.”


For more details onthis study, see The consumer:Sees AI benefits but still prefers the human touch. For views from theC-suite, read Genpact’s first report, Is your businessAI-ready?, and see The workforce: Stayingahead of artificial intelligence for second part in the series. Combined, thesefindings give businesses valuable insights on how to succeed with artificialintelligence.


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