A key component of everyday living, AI's impact is expected to intensify as new models of machine learning and autonomous robotics push the boundaries of possibility.
Yet, underlying concerns over risk and regulation remain as the world comes to terms with a revolutionary era in innovation. From natural language processing to risk modelling and analytics, AI is helping to elevate human potential and power a faster, smarter and more efficient economy. While the benefits and promise of AI are undeniable, so too are the risks and challenges it poses.
These include social manipulation through fake content, deskilling and technological unemployment, mass surveillance technologies and autonomous weapons. With growing public concern about the trustworthiness and governance of AI systems, what can organisations do to reinforce public trust and build consumer confidence?
In this report, we take a deep dive to examine the public’s trust and attitudes towards the use of AI and expectations of the management and governance of the technology across the globe. Surveying nearly 17,000 people across 17 countries, we examine the use of AI across four key domains namely healthcare, public safety and security, human resources and consumer recommender applications to glean insights on the current understanding and awareness of AI and the key drivers of trust in AI systems.
All aboard the AI train: Key risks and opportunities
Trust in AI systems is contextual and heavily dependent on the tech's application. People are generally less trusting and accepting of AI use in areas like human resources where hiring and promoting decisions are concerned. Conversely, they are more trusting of its use in sectors like healthcare for diagnosing and treatments.
People perceive the risks of AI in a similar way across the globe, with cybersecurity rated as the top risk globally.
People’s wariness and ambivalence towards AI can be attributed to their mixed views of the benefits and risks. Nearly 85% of respondents believe that AI can help improve efficiency, innovation, effectiveness, resource utilisation and reduce costs. However, only one in two respondents believe the benefits of AI outweigh its risks.
There is strong global endorsement for the principles of trustworthy AI systems. Trust remains a key foundation to ensure that these principles are fulfilled. Each of the Trustworthy AI principles originally proposed by the European Commission are viewed as highly important for trust across all 17 countries. Data privacy, security and governance top the criteria across all countries.
People expect AI to be regulated with some form of external and independent oversight. Most respondents view current regulations and safeguards as inadequate.
Most respondents are comfortable with the use of AI to augment work and inform managerial decision-making. But ultimately, they want humans to retain control of operations.
Respondents from younger demographics, the university educated and those who hold managerial positions are more trusting and accepting of AI.
There are stark differences in trust and attitudes towards AI globally. People in the emerging economies of Brazil, India, China, and South Africa are more trusting and accepting of AI.