Fear and confusion over brands using AI, report finds

Some 82 per cent of consumers want brands to be transparent and indicate when artificial intelligence (AI) has been used to create content, amid concern over the technology, according to a YouGov poll for PRWeek.

(Credit: Getty Images/Jonathan Kitchen)

The YouGov survey of more than 2,000 adults in the UK, conducted for PRWeek last week, also found that only 11 per cent would have more trust in content produced by AI than that produced by a human. Half (51 per cent) of the respondents said they would trust it less.

Fewer than one in five (19 per cent) are confident that they would be able to spot whether content had been produced by AI.

The majority would struggle to tell the difference, with 36 per cent saying they would not be very confident in knowing, while 29 per cent had no confidence that they could spot AI-produced content.

In terms of how consumers feel about brands having anything to do with AI, the most popular description chosen by respondents was “concerned”. This was cited by 40 per cent. One-third (32 per cent) said they are “curious”. Just over one in four (28 per cent) selected “interested” to describe how they view brands using AI.

But significant numbers described their feelings as “scared” (13 per cent) and “confused” (11 per cent). This comes amid warnings from scientists and researchers about the dangers of AI.

More than 150 AI scientists, along with the chief executives of Google’s DeepMind, the ChatGPT developer OpenAI, and the AI startup Anthropic, have warned that AI threatens the future of mankind.

They are all signatories to a statement, released by the Center for AI Safety on Tuesday (30 May), that warns: “Mitigating the risk of extinction from AI should be a global priority alongside other societal-scale risks such as pandemics and nuclear war.”

The YouGov survey for PRWeek revealed that consumers’ opinions on the benefits of AI are divided. Only one-third (35 per cent) think AI will benefit society in the long term. This is balanced by 36 per cent who disagree, while 29 per cent don’t know whether AI will prove to be a good thing.

Asked how interested, if at all, they would be in using AI in the future, 41 per cent of those surveyed said they would be interested. But almost half would not be very interested (25 per cent) or not interested at all (21 per cent).

There is also a significant amount of ignorance about AI. Almost half (48 per cent) of the survey respondents admitted they do not have a good understanding of how AI works and what it can be used for.

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