It concludes, says Readly, that concerns outweigh optimism when it comes to AI-enhanced technology amongst Brits, particularly in sectors such as journalism, banking and finance, legal and judicial plus social companionship and relationships.
Just one in five (19 percent) people are optimistic about the benefits of AI, compared to two thirds (62 percent) of respondents who were either worried or had mixed feelings, showed the YouGov research by Readly.
Men are more likely to trust AI with a quarter (25 percent) of men believing it is beneficial compared to just one in ten women (12 percent). Seniors aged over 60 are the most wary group with just 14 percent of them seeing the benefits and 32 percent voicing concerns over its presence in smart-home technology, revealed the poll of 2000 consumers.
The use of artificial intelligence in journalism appears to be contentious for the majority of people, with just 7 percent of Brits believing it can enhance journalism, compared to the 38 percent who deemed it potentially harmful. There is a clear divide when it comes to age too, with 12 percent of 18-29 year olds seeing it as a positive advancement, compared to just 5 percent of those aged over 60. Men are also most likely to consider it positively, with 11 percent of men viewing it as beneficial compared to just 4 percent of women.
Chris Couchman, Head of Content at Readly says, “These insights underpin the importance of human touch and oversight particularly in sectors like journalism, teaching and banking. Brits are happy to embrace technology when it has clear benefits to our daily lives, but are wary of overreliance on AI in areas where human judgment plays an important role.”
Similarly AI’s use in the legal/judicial world was regarded negatively with only 10 percent of respondents agreeing it would be of benefit to those working in the field compared to the 42 percent who were against its use.
Social companionship through AI was another divisive point, with only 13 percent of respondents saying the use of AI to fulfil social / companionship needs was a good thing in contrast to the 36 percent of Brits who believed it was harmful.
When it comes to finance and banking, whilst 19 percent could see some benefits in the use of AI, 43% agreed that they were uncomfortable with the use of AI in banking/financial services, indicating a preference for connectivity and communication when it comes to finances.
Echoing this preference, 32 percent of Brits said they felt the use of AI in teaching did more harm than good. In stark contrast, only 13 percent of Brits said AI was harmful in the use of more solitary work like agriculture.
“At Readly, our commitment has always been to quality journalism. While we believe AI has a place, we understand that its integration must be approached judiciously. Our survey shows that Brits believe that AI has a place in various sectors - the trick is to put it to work in a way that achieves balanced outcomes for all,” Chris adds.
Whilst many Brits are on guard against AI’s potentially harmful effects, 44 percent believe it is of use in medicine and medical technology. Other areas where AI was regarded to be the most useful included research (38%), smart-home devices (31%), tech coding (31%) and cybersecurity (24%).
(Research by YouGov for Readly, sample 2018 UK respondents, fieldwork dates: 22 August-1 September 2023)
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