Transparency Is Key For Positive AI Innovations


A new survey found consumers’ perceptions of AI were generally approving, with 43 per cent  viewing the technology as a positive innovation

Artificial Intelligence (AI) has the potential to simplify various tasks, but the problem with the technology is there is often a lack of understanding among consumers and brands.

According to a new study by Cogito, 26 per cent of consumers believe AI is misunderstood, reinforcing the need for organisations to demystify AI, become more transparent about the technology’s uses and educate how humans and machines can work together.

The survey, which was designed to capture consumers’ understanding of AI, their overall perception and utilisation, and any apprehensions related to data privacy and regulation, found that consumers’ perceptions of AI were generally approving, with 43 per cent viewing the technology as a powerful, positive innovation, despite some lingering hesitations.

Also, nearly half of consumers (45 per cent) believe AI supports employees by making complex tasks easier. An additional 22 per cent believe AI takes the mundane, repetitive tasks away, so they don’t have to do the work themselves.

Key findings:

AI Has Clear Workplace Benefits, But Hesitation Persists

There’s a growth in adoption and interest for AI technology, allowing companies to meet digital innovation, business intelligence, and human empathy needs with machine support in the workplace, balancing human intelligence with machine intelligence. Cogito’s survey revealed that when it comes to the general perceptions of AI, only 10 per cent of respondents believe the technology is a threat to jobs. However, when asked about workplace perceptions of AI more specifically, a slightly higher number of respondents (15 per cent) reported AI could be a threat to jobs.

The survey highlighted lingering hesitations and a lack of trust that must be addressed today to pave the way for future, long-term technology adoption and success. Specifically, the survey found that while 45 per cent of respondents believe AI can support employees making difficult tasks easier and 22 per cent agree AI can take care of mundane, repetitive tasks, still 23 per cent are unlikely to trust recommendations informed by AI-enabled tools.

“There is an AI trust gap that must be closed. It starts with being more explicit about AI’s role and the support it provides humans,” David Sudbey, President and Chief Customer Officer of Cogito, explained. “We have an opportunity to augment customer and employee experiences, enhance human performance, and create improved outcomes for both employees and customers. Though many realise AI’s potential, the creators and organisations using the technology must play a role in demystifying it to ensure we have a more productive, trusting and open-minded future of work – one in which humans and AI can work together in symbiosis.”

Today’s Sentiment will Shape AI Standards of Conduct

One-third of respondents believe regulation of AI-enabled tools would help them become more comfortable with the technology. When exploring the requirements and opinions related to companies, 39 per cent of respondents would feel more comfortable using AI-enabled tools if brands had a clear customer code of practice. Additionally, nearly half of respondents (43 per cent) would have a more positive perception of a company and AI if companies were more explicit about their use of AI, the data collected and how it is used.

“Collectively, we must create technology that is effective and fair for everyone—this includes supporting standards of conduct designed to remove bias and improve the technology,” said Josh Feast, CEO and co-founder of Cogito. “Today, we have the power to follow industry principles that ultimately increase trust in AI. It’s not enough to create and deploy the technology. Instead, we must prioritise delivering transparency and communicating the clear benefits to all. I believe that by supporting standards of conduct, prioritizing debiasing techniques and making AI fair, we can operate in the interest of advancing technology and of supporting people.”

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