Consumer surveys show a growing distrust of AI and firms that use it

A global consumer survey from Salesforce shows a growing distrust toward firms that use AI, while an Australian survey found most believe it creates more problems than it solves.

Consumers are developing a widening “trust gap” with companies using artificial intelligence, with many airing concerns about the potential unethical use of the technology, according to a new Salesforce survey.

On Aug. 28 the customer relationship software firm released survey results from over 14,000 consumers and firms in 25 countries that suggested nearly three-quarters of customers are concerned about the unethical use of AI.

Over 40% of surveyed customers do not trust companies to use AI ethically and nearly 70% said it’s more important for companies to be trustworthy as AI tech advances.

One thing’s clear: there’s risk of an AI trust gap.

As more and more businesses use AI, it’s on the brands to earn their customers’ trust.

Check out more findings from the new State of the Connected Customer Report:

— Salesforce (@salesforce) August 28, 2023

Salesforce highlighted that respondents have become less open to using AI since last year.

In its 2022 survey, over 80% of business buyers and 65% of consumers were open to using AI to improve experiences — both have dropped respectively to 73% and 51%.

More problems than it solves

Meanwhile, a separate survey of nearly 1,500 Australians released Aug. 28 by market research firm Roy Morgan found nearly 60% of those surveyed agreed AI “creates more problems than it solves.”

One in five also believed the tech would risk human extinction by 2043 — echoing fears from AI pundits who signed a letter in May agreeing that mitigating human extinction risks from AI should be a global priority.

Roy Morgan’s survey was conducted alongside the newly formed lobby group Campaign for AI Safety. Source: Roy Morgan

However, despite the two recent showing a growing distrust of AI, another shows a majority in the United States haven’t heard of — let alone even used — what’s arguably the most widely-known AI chatbot.

Related: OpenAI debuts ChatGPT Enterprise — 4 times the power of consumer version

An Aug. 28 Pew Research report of over 5,000 Americans found that 18% had actually used OpenAI’s ChatGPT.

Around a quarter overall had heard of the chatbot and of the ChatGPT-aware cohort it was mostly those under 30 years old — around 40% — who had used the bot at least once.

Men, those under 30 and those with a postgraduate education were the most likely to have ever used ChatGPT. Source: Pew Research

As a global debate on how to regulate AI takes place — both sides of the U.S. political aisle that are aware of ChatGPT, nearly 70% overall, cited a greater concern about the government not going far enough in regulating AI chatbot use.

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