Wednesday, July 24, 2024

Business Leaders and Consumers at Odds over AI

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The enthusiasm surrounding artificial intelligence (AI) technologies from business leaders isn’t quite shared by consumers, according to a new report from professional services firm Genpact.

Capping a three-part research series on AI, the company found that three quarters of consumers are worried about AI violating their privacy in a survey of more than 5,000 people across the U.S., the U.K. and Australia. More than half of respondents (59 percent) felt that the government should step in to protect their personal data from AI.

Genpact’s research also reveals that consumers are wary about chatbots. Only 12 percent of respondents said they would use a chatbot for their customer service needs, even if it could outperform a human in terms of speed and accuracy.

If these concerns linger, they may spell bad news for organizations banking on AI chatbots to help reduce customer support costs.

This past summer, Juniper Research predicted that chatbots will yield banks and healthcare organizations cost savings of over $8 billion per year by 2022 compared to just $20 million this year. Banks are poised to save 70 cents per chatbot interaction in 2022 as success rates jump to 93 percent from 20 percent in 2017.

Fifty-eight percent of respondents in Genpact’s survey were uneasy about companies exposing their personal data to AI systems as a means to personalize and enhance the customer experience. Sixty-three percent are worried that AI can make decisions that affect their lives without them being made aware.

These views contrast sharply with how executives view AI and its business-boosting capabilities.

Most senior executives (88 percent) at firms that are bullish on AI believe that the technology will provide better customer experiences over the next three years, according to an earlier Genpact study. Eighty-two percent of executives said they plan to adopt AI by 2020.

Enterprises will need to do a better job of aligning their AI-enabled business strategies with the expectations of their customers, said Sanjay Srivastava, chief digital officer at Genpact.

“AI is a game-changer to improve the customer experience, yet real challenges remain regarding trust and privacy,” remarked Srivastava in a Dec. 6 announcement. “To encourage adoption, the key is to have visibility into AI decisions, and be able to track and explain the logic behind them. Companies need to break through the ‘black box’ to drive better insights for their business and give consumers the assurance they need.”

Pedro Hernandez is a contributing editor at Datamation. Follow him on Twitter @ecoINSITE.

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