A Clear Divide Exists Between High-Income and Emerging Economies in Attitude Towards AI, World Economic Forum Reports

A recent survey highlights a “clear divide” between high-income and emerging economies in “attitudes” toward artificial intelligence (AI), with “optimism” considerably higher in emerging economies.

Those in emerging economies noted that they are “more familiar with AI tools and products than those in developed economies.” Only half or 50% of the global public trust firms that use AI “as much they trust other companies.”

While six in ten people “expect AI to revolutionize daily life,” a majority are “concerned about its potential impact on fundamental freedoms and rights,” according to a new report.

As revealed in a survey, six out of ten or 60% “expect that products and services using artificial intelligence will profoundly change their daily life in the next three to five years and a half feel that this has already happened.”

Meanwhile, 60% of respondents believe that products and services using AI “will make their life easier, but four in ten admitted that the use of AI makes them nervous.”

These are “some of the findings of a 28-country survey conducted by Ipsos for the World Economic Forum of 19,504 adults under the age of 75 between November 19 and December 3, 2021.”

Kay Firth-Butterfield, Head of Artificial Intelligence and Machine Learning at the World Economic Forum, stated:

“In order to trust artificial intelligence, people must know and understand exactly what AI is, what it’s doing, and its impact.”

Kay added:

“Leaders and companies must make transparent and trustworthy AI a priority as they implement this technology. At the World Economic Forum, we are focused on multistakeholder collaboration to optimize accountability, transparency, privacy and impartiality to create that trust. With the ability to solve many of society’s pressing issues, we are focused on accelerating the benefits and mitigating the risks of artificial intelligence and machine learning. Only then can we gain public trust and benefit from the rewards of emerging tech like AI.”

For the purpose of this survey, AI was defined as “computers and robots doing things which traditionally require human intelligence.”

On average for all 28 countries surveyed, “almost two-thirds (64%) of respondents claimed that they have a good understanding of what AI is, based on this definition.” However “only half (50%) said that they knew which types of products and services use AI,” the update noted.

(Note: for more details on this survey and methodology, check here.)

In another update shared by the WEF, it has been revealed that SMEs “represent more than 90% of all companies globally and are the primary drivers of social mobility, creating 7 out of 10 jobs”

A report by the World Economic Forum shows “an increase in the number of SMEs seeking digital technology to overcome challenges caused by the pandemic.”

Despite the increase in demand, many SMEs “encounter barriers to adopting technologies that are critical to long-term competitiveness.”

Despite the increase in interest in digital technology, only 23% of SMEs surveyed have “said that the changes brought upon by the pandemic have led to the acceleration of their digitalization goals.”

Although some of this investment was shelved due to the economic impact of the pandemic, the survey “points towards the continued existence of barriers for a wider adoption of technology among SMEs.”

This includes “limited availability and access to financial resources, lack of a skilled workforce and infrastructure to support digitalization.” (Note: for more details, check here.)

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