Robots: Better Saved For Sci-Fi?

Are you afraid of artificial intelligence? If so then you’re not alone – the UK population fears that a Westworld scenario of intelligent robots malfunctioning and killing people may actually happen in the not too distant future. We at SQS undertook a study to explore the public’s comprehension and perception of emerging consumer technologies and likely adoption. Quite surprisingly a huge two thirds (62%) of UK adults, actually believe that the technology behind artificial intelligence (AI) is likely to fail resulting in robots destroying human life!

But AI isn’t going away so what can AI manufacturers and technology providers learn from this? While there is a strong appetite amongst the UK general public for what AI can deliver, safety is of paramount importance to them. The lack of consumer trust in AI and the technology itself may have been compounded by Hollywood and TV in films and series such as Westworld, I, Robot and Humans, but if these trust issues aren’t solved, AI may not progress

Unsurprisingly given this alarming fear of real life imitating art, the UK public are sceptical about the role of intelligent robots and technologies in their day-to-day lives. Almost half (48 per cent) suggest that the threat of hackers targeting AI technology would prevent them from buying these devices.

Self-driving cars and household robots are another area for concern. As one might imagine, safety is of paramount importance. Two thirds of UK adults, (66%) are concerned a self-driving vehicle would crash if they were in it and only 28% believe they will be better or safer than a human driver.

We’re simply not ready to adopt robots into our every day lives yet. Despite most of us (60%)agreeing that a home robot would save us time on our household chores and that having one would be ‘cool’, most (76%) do not believe in the safety of these home robots many (in fact more than half! 52 per cent) are concerned they could be easily hacked. This is a major factor which would prevent people from purchasing them in the future.

Brand, products and services are all built on consumer trust, and it’s vital the AI community does everything in its power to protect its customers. The best way to protect consumers is to ensure that quality assurance is embedded into every part of the design and manufacturing process of all AI products.

The UK currently has a doom and gloom attitude towards AI, thanks to TV, film, and regular AI failure news stories. To thoroughly ensure the public feel confident and embrace this technology, the businesses which manufacture, sell, use and promote AI must thoroughly test the quality of the software behind all AI devices to protect against hackers, threats or indeed, robots turning on us and destroying human life.

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