Artificial Intelligence (AI) is the trending topic dominating the IT space of late, with its potential to imbue current technologies with added value clear for all in the industry to see.

The everyday consumer, however, does not exist in the same world as IT decision makers do, and their view of AI and its applications differ slightly.

What can you do for me?

As such a recent Garter report uncovered the top reasons that a consumer would choose to use the technology.

Perhaps unsurprisingly, two areas in particular came up trumps, with consumers willing to use AI if it helped them save both time and money.

More specifically 58 percent of survey respondents noted time-saving as their key reason, followed closely by saving money at 53 percent.

As such it looks like consumers are looking to increase their capacity by eliminating time-consuming tasks, as well as being able to reap greater financial reward with less effort.

“AI is among the technologies that consumers consider using for tangible and more ‘serious’ benefits, as opposed to socialising, projecting self-image and having fun — three common reasons for using other personal technologies,” adds Stephanie Baghdassarian, research director at Gartner.

Too close for comfort

Along with looking at where consumers would be most comfortable putting it to use, Gartner also asked respondents their opinion on what they’d be most at ease with AI analysing about their physical features.

This figures too, make for interesting reading.

According to Gartner 70 percent of respondents said they were happy to allow AI to perform analysis of their face and features for biometric security applications, but the moment emotional analysis enters the picture, the outlook is far less positive.

So much so that 52 percent of respondents noted that did not want AI to analyse their facial activity to find out how they feel, with 63 percent adding that they were not keen on always-on listening in order to improve the capabilities of Artificial Intelligence.

Reading into the feedback then, it appears as if there is a definitive threshold by which consumers are willing to allow it to be a part of their lives.

Generation game

Gartner adds that feelings about the technology is based on the generation of respondents, with younger consumers more open to the technology and the extent to which it has access compared to their older counterparts.

“Not all consumers are driven by the same motives for letting AI observe them,” notes Baghdassarian.

“Millennials care about AI understanding them better and adapting interactions based on what they do, feel and need. Baby boomers seek safety and security when they let AI observe them. Generation Xers are close to millennials in terms of attitude toward AI understanding their needs, and close to baby boomers when it comes to safety and security,” she concludes.

With Artificial Intelligence here to stay and a significant driver in several industries, debates around privacy and access are well under way.

[Image – CC 0 Pixabay]
When he's not reviewing the latest smartphones, Robin-Leigh is writing about everything tech-related from IoT and smart cities, to 5G and cloud computing. He's also a keen photographer and dabbles in console games.