AI is the theory and development of computers to perform tasks normally requiring human intelligence – or, in short, what computers do in the movies. But understanding how people feel about it can vary significantly.
Only 4% of the UK population currently have AI in a voice assistant function (Echo, Google Home, etc), but awareness of it sits much higher at 35%+, through the likes of Netflix recommendations. So AI is in its infancy, and faces the challenge all new tech faces – mass adoption and reach.
With all data, AI can only be as good as the information we feed it. In the words of Picasso, “Computers are useless, they can only give us answers.” Therefore, it’s important we continue to refine it with a human filter to get what we need out of it. If we all have access to AI tech, and are all asking it the same questions, we’re going to get the same answers, which could have negative implications for creativity and originality. We need to use AI to help people enhance their experiences, but not make their decisions for them. If we’re constantly being told what to watch, we’re going to lead the exact same lives.
Unsurprisingly, people are protective of their data, and there is a thin line between using that data to do something cool vs being creepy and annoying. Currently, we don’t understand enough about the negative nuances that make us the latter, but over time this will evolve. We want to avoid situations such as, “my husband saw I was shopping because of the ads I was being served and knew I’d been spending money.” We need to treat people’s data with respect, and ensure there is a genuine value exchange that benefits them as an end-user first.