CIArtificial Intelligence: Consumer experiences in new technology

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Consumers International

Release date:
April 2019

Consumers International – Coming together for change, research report

This study researched both consumer experiences of artificial intelligence (AI) and opinion from expert stakeholders. The consumer research carried out in Australia, India and Japan aimed to get a sense of peoples’ understanding of the way in which AI enabled services shape their consumer journeys and experiences, and consumer outcomes.

Consumers show firm enthusiasm and appreciation of what AI enabled technologies can do, giving them independence, entertainment and motivation in convenient and interesting ways. However, as participants had the chance to better think about the role of AI facilitated services in their lives, they identified a variety of possible negative outcomes and challenges. There was confusion over who is behind things, and how data is used. There was a desire for more clarity and control, and frustration at how hard it was to take individual responsibility for potential problems, or get recourse if things went wrong. Other downsides included: getting distracted and unfocused; having less real contact with family and friends; overshopping; and feeling like a part of a machine, and somehow less human.

However, the interest and enthusiasm for AI enabled services meant that whenever downsides were articulated, there was a corresponding appetite for improving them. There was a feeling that AI could work a lot better for people’s real needs and to meet real opportunities - and people have lots of ideas for how it could work better. On a practical level, new multi-national frameworks for responding to the challenges and opportunities of AI are needed to address the cross-border nature of the technology. This is not a new concept for digital technologies, however given the yet unknown impact of AI across consumer and other sectors, the need to bring in wider perspectives was seen as critical.

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