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Most consumers comfortable with AI to secure transactions but privacy concerns remain


The majority of people want to use artificial intelligence to save time and money, but are not comfortable with emotion analysis and are concerned that it may threaten their privacy, according to a survey by Gartner. Despite the mixed feelings, more than 70 percent said they are comfortable with using AI to identify them through face and voice biometrics to secure transactions.

Gartner surveyed people online in the U.S. and UK earlier this year, and found that 58 percent would use AI if it saves them time by performing some tasks, while 53 percent would use AI to save money, such as by searching for the best deal for a purchase, or a route that avoids tolls or unnecessary fuel usage. Nearly half (47 percent) said they would use AI to provide easier access to information.

Closer to a quarter of those surveyed would use the technology to improve health or decision-making.

Although 70 percent say they would use AI to analyze their vital signs and protect transactions with biometrics, 52 percent say they do not want their emotions analyzed from their facial expressions, and 63 percent do not want AI to take an always-on approach to gathering data about them. Gartner analysts noted some generational differences, with younger people generally motivated to use AI for personalized interactions, and older people seeking improved safety and security.

While emotion analysis makes some people uncomfortable, even more are concerned about privacy.

“Sixty-five percent of respondents believe that AI will destroy their privacy, rather than improve it,” said Mr. Mullen. “As the shift to communicate with systems from humans to machines will accelerate, IT leaders must tailor AI’s approaches to customer engagement by persona to persona in order to cater for varying views and preferences. In addition, they need to respect user privacy as well as use AI tools to support privacy and transparency goals.”

The Subcommittee on Information Technology of the U.S. House Oversight and Government Reform Committee has examined racial bias in facial recognition systems as part of its hearings this year on government adoption of AI, and a survey this summer showed that most people believe technology is entrenching bias, rather than reducing it.

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