89% of UK consumers concerned with immoral use of AI and cyber-attacks

News by Danielle Correa

Nearly half of consumers see Artificial Intelligence as having a positive impact on society, compared to seven percent who do not.

Nearly half of consumers see Artificial Intelligence as having a positive impact on society, compared to seven percent who do not.


New research from Weber Shandwick examined AI from the perspective of 2,100 adult consumers in global markets that included the UK, US, Canada, China and Brazil.


“Right now, artificial intelligence can best be described as superficial intelligence for most people. Now might just be the opportune time to clearly define AI and explain its potential,” said Gail Heimann, president, Weber Shandwick.


Nearly two-thirds of global consumers registered concern about AI. When asked what their specific concerns are, consumers focused primarily on the impact it may have on humans. Concern for jobs and how AI might replace people are priority issues noted by 28 percent of concerned respondents.


When presented with a list of potential negative effects of AI, 70 percent or more of global consumers were somewhat concerned with every AI potential problem raised. Criminal behaviour and cyber-attacks rise to the top as critical concerns along with job losses. Much concern was also revealed toward loss of privacy and government interference with personal information.


In the UK, 89 percent of consumers are concerned with criminal use of AI technologies, cyber-attacks or computer hacking and machines or technologies making bad choices. Meanwhile, 88 percent are concerned with job loss and 86 percent with less security of personal data and privacy.


UK consumers are the most likely to agree that AI will lead to job loss (91 percent), yet they are the least likely to think AI could replace their own job even partially (47 percent). The research suggests that this paradox exists due to their high perception that AI is currently science fiction (21 percent).


Graham Jones, UK managing director at Exclusive Networks provided the following commentary on AI for IP EXPO Europe: “AI is already a factor in cyber-security with advanced User Behaviour Analytics technology that analyses and risk assesses behaviours, aiding the detection, response to, and remediation of, advanced attacks. But in 10 years the complexity of the digital world will be unrecognisable from today and I expect huge advances in processing power to enable advanced tracking, analytics and automated decision making to seep further and deeper into the wider world of humans and society. Perhaps we eventually become one of the things in the Internet of Things? Although, sizeable alarm bells will be centred on how far this is allowed to go in the name of security and who will make those decisions.”

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