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Study.com Survey: Are Consumers Really Ready for the AI Revolution?

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With all the talk of robots taking over jobs and doing more in our everyday lives, Study.com had a key question: are consumers actually ready for AI? We conducted a survey that asked how comfortable consumers are with robots performing various tasks. Keep reading for some surprising artificial intelligence statistics.

Self-driving cars, robots that vacuum for you, drones that deliver packages - those are just some of the ways we're starting to see artificial intelligence creep into our everyday lives. While artificial intelligence applications have their benefits, that doesn't mean consumers actually want them.

To find out how consumers felt about artificial intelligence, we conducted an online survey of more than 1,000 U.S. adults ages 18-60+ to see what tasks they'd trust a robot powered by AI to do, from cleaning their house or driving their car to teaching their child or investing their money.

Key Findings

Consumers aren't ready for AI to perform personal tasks.

Consumers' level of comfort with tasks decreased as the tasks grew more personal. Although 73% of respondents would let a robot powered by AI clean their house, only 18% would let a robot take their child to school and just 14% would let one defend them in court. The task that respondents were least comfortable with involved artificial intelligence influencing their love life -- only 8% would let AI select their spouse.

Consumers aren't fully ready for self-driving cars.

Driverless cars are already on the road and all over the news, but that doesn't mean consumers support them. Despite the autonomous vehicle hype, 71% of survey respondents said they wouldn't let an AI-powered robot drive their car, which means the auto industry may need to rethink their timeline for increasing artificial intelligence capabilities in cars.

Consumers are more comfortable with AI if it's related to services they're familiar with.

The majority - 70% - of consumers would let artificial intelligence recommend movies or TV shows. People may be more comfortable with this because anyone using sites like Netflix or Hulu is used to having an algorithm give them suggestions.

Consumers are more comfortable with AI when the stakes are low.

For most people, having a package delivered to the wrong place or having your hedges trimmed too low wouldn't be a huge deal, which could be why a significant amount of respondents would let robots handle both. 73% of respondents would let an AI-powered robot deliver their package while 64% would let one landscape their yard. People weren't so quick to hand tasks with higher stakes off to robots - only 14% would let a robot pick their political party's senatorial candidate and 19% would accept relationship advice from a robot.

Even seemingly low stats show that a surprising number of people are receptive to AI.

Only 14% of respondents were willing to let an AI-powered robot pick their party's senatorial candidate or defend them in court. That's still 1 out of 7 people that would let AI take on such an impactful task! As AI continues to become a bigger part of our everyday lives, consumer confidence will only grow.

Survey looks at how ready consumers are for AI

What This Means for the AI Revolution

While tech companies aren't going to stop making use of artificial intelligence, they will need to gain the public's trust before they can fully rollout AI-powered products and services to consumers. The AI revolution will still happen. It just may take more effort to get consumers onboard than companies realized.

As for the workforce? Specialized workers like lawyers or surgeons may be safe for now, but most of the workforce should prepare for at least some type of automation in their industry. The ability to learn is already becoming the most in-demand soft skill in the workplace and workers will need to apply this skill regularly as automation happens. You can help meet the changing needs of your employer by taking advantage of learning opportunities that help you adapt to role and function changes while future-proofing your career.

Check out Study.com's media kit to download the infographic and full survey results. For any questions about the survey, please contact study.press@study.com.

By Jessica Lyons
September 2018
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