Almost half of consumers think AI means robots - VMware report

There's still a long ways to go in educating people what AI is - and isn't.
Robot, AI, Artificial intelligence, VMware, Tech, Society, Future

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GITEX 2018 in Dubai was chock-full of robots.

While consumers are increasingly using emerging technologies in their daily lives, they’re also crying out for greater education from businesses and public authorities on the likes of Artificial Intelligence, blockchain and the Internet of Things (IoT). For many, the true benefits of these disruptive technologies are yet to be understood – with consumers seeing AI as the ‘robot’ from cinema, rather than a super-computing intelligence built into services to create improved, more immersive experiences across industries.

New technologies mean progress

According to a new consumer survey (conducted in UK, France and Germany) from VMware, a leading innovator in enterprise software, technology is now at the heart of the daily lives of almost half (46%) of people, who recognize benefits in a multitude of areas. Fifty three per cent, for example, realise this is driving a better customer experience with businesses, such as banks, retailers and doctors, while almost three quarters (71%) have faith in the power of these emerging technologies to monitor their elderly parents at home alone. Consumers also believe in this technology’s potential to improve environmental issues such as climate change (50%).

Overcoming the reluctance when it comes to using personal data

With such breakthrough technologies, however, comes the challenge of security and trust. Regarding new services and the use of personal data to support of these, over two thirds (68%) of consumers admit they do not actually know who has access to their personal data. Sixty six per cent, meanwhile, feel scared or nervous about banks having access to personal information about their lifestyle, such as purchasing habits, food, and travel – even if this is in support of better managing their finances.

Demand for more transparency and education

An element of confusion perhaps fuels these concerns; 50% admit they have a poor understanding of these new technologies such as AI, the Internet of Things or blockchain. Forty five percent, for example, believe Artificial Intelligence ‘is a robot’. In terms of addressing this, the majority think it that it is up to public authorities (50%) and businesses (53%) to help them understand these emerging technologies, and a way to do this is through better education and offering greater transparency.

“As we approach a new digital frontier of technology, new opportunities emerge for businesses to drive innovation and positively impact our daily lives. There still remains room for greater education to fuel confidence in further innovation and adoption, and consumers have singled out the role of public authorities and companies to support this. Businesses, therefore, can seize the day – embracing these emerging technologies to deliver new and differentiated services to delight customers. With the right digital foundation, businesses can deliver on innovation now, and whatever is around the corner,” says Ahmed Auda, Managing Director Middle East, Turkey & North Africa at VMware.

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