Interest in artificial intelligence (AI) in the US has grown 36% year-on-year while worries have doubled, according to new research.
Recent surveys by global consumer research group GWI found that some 60% of consumers say they are excited about the development of AI and that 71% believe it is moving at an alarming rate.
Companies will need to negotiate this excitement and apprehension around AI with care, as consumers become increasingly alert to unimaginative AI-generated content.
Reddit’s Head of Global Insights, Rob Gaige, said that Reddit’s users are early adopters of community-led AI-detection, flagging suspect posts by using the platform’s “flair” tool.
“Combined with the upvote/downvote system, this ensures the most helpful or entertaining posts rise to the top of discussions, giving brands an ideal testing ground to uncover how consumers will receive AI content,” he said.
Increasingly, tech companies are also developing tools to identify and label AI content, such as Google DeepMind’s SynthID, which embeds a digital watermark directly into the pixels of synthetically-generated images, preventing the tampering that can occur with images’ metadata.
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GWI’s survey found that only 30% of those who think they’ve seen AI-generated content are confident that they can identify it, while 80% of regular cinema-goers expressed concern about AI’s impact on artists and creatives.
“Interest and anxiety around new tech tend to stabilize once the initial hype dies down,” said Tom Hedges, senior trends analyst at GWI. “But AI touches on matters close to people’s hearts – like job security, so it’s likely worries will keep climbing.
“With regulation being discussed, brands should scenario plan, train their employees, and open up a tailored dialogue with their customers as AI upskills.”
A recent GlobalData survey found AI to be viewed as among the most promising technologies. The Thematic Intelligence: Tech Sentiment Polls Q3 2023 survey found that 89% of 368 respondents across the company’s network of B2B websites viewed the technology as either hyped but useful or expected it to live up to all of its promise.
There have been several high-profile AI flops in recent months, however. In August 2023, newspaper chain Gannett announced that it would suspend the use of LedeAI, a software designed to produce news stories, after several high school sports recaps went viral for being poorly written, repetitive and devoid of context.
Earlier this year, attorney Steven A. Schwartz also learned the hazards of using AI chatbots in the courtroom the hard way, after using OpenAI’s ChatGPT to research precedents in a suit against Colombian airline Avianca. At least six of the cases cited in the brief did not exist and contained false names and docket numbers.
Other AI-powered tools such as AdCreative.ai have also received poor feedback from consumers, with the automated ad generator being widely criticised for its ill-conceived and generic designs.