New Survey Explores The Role Of AI In Everyday Life



The Webby Awards partnered with YouGov to ask 2,000 adults about the role automation plays in their lives.


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With all the hype and hoopla around AI, there doesn’t exist a wealth of data around the ways in which everyday people view their relationship with automated technologies. To help fill that void, The Webby Awards recently partnered with YouGov to field a comprehensive survey.

Titled “This Automated Life,” the recently published report sheds light on the growing presence of artificial intelligence, including machine learning and bots. Specifically, survey respondents provided a variety of answers on how AI is influencing their day-to-day lives spanning hobbies such as travel and shopping to their careers and health.

Here’s a breakdown of some of the major findings:

  • Two-thirds of those surveyed stated that AI has “significantly” impacted their lives. Interestingly, when asked which types of AI they have used over the past 12 months, most people reported basic AI use cases like GPS (51 percent), online shopping recommendations (33 percent), and TV recommendations (39 percent).
  • A large share of Boomers and millennials claimed that AI helps them save time in their daily lives (42 and 45 percent, respectively).
  • Eighty-seven percent of those surveyed stated that AI has helped them obtain information more easily (51 percent of Boomers and 36 percent of millennials).
  • Sixty-three percent of respondents said that AI has helped them communicate with friends and family (36 percent of Boomers and 27 percent of millennials).

When it comes to how trusting humans are of AI, it depends on what the AI is being used for:

As the above chart depicts, most people don’t trust AI for medical diagnoses but are trusting of the tech to provide navigational directions. Further, with respect to relationships and receiving recommendations for content like music, videos, and TV shows, respondents preferred humans over AI. This was also the case when it comes to who bears authority over resolving customer service issues and managing a retirement portfolio.

Such preferences were echoed when respondents were asked if AI will replace humans. Feedback varied based on the tasks with the vast majority of people, 81 percent exactly, believing driverless cars are inevitable and 80 percent agreeing that products will be delivered by automated devices. Nonetheless, only 44 percent reported that they thought an automated device could perform a complex surgery within the next 10 years.

As this research underscores, with a growing number of possibilities within the AI space comes a certain degree of trust that humans will have to grow comfortable with, in addition to an acceptance of change, and increasing trust will undoubtedly take time.

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