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North West consumers slightly more receptive to AI than national average, but over three-quarters still concerned


New research from KPMG UK has revealed that over three quarters (78 per cent) of North West consumers have concerns that are preventing them from using artificial intelligence (AI).

One of the biggest barriers uncovered by the business advisory firm’s AI Polling study was that nearly half of consumers across the region (49 per cent) prefer to interact with humans.

The survey, conducted in partnership with One Poll, quizzed 3,000 adults UK wide, and found that the number of respondents in the North West averse to using AI was slightly less than that seen at a national level (82per cent).

Alongside fears of reducing human interaction, a third of consumers (30 per cent) have data privacy concerns that stop them using AI, while a quarter (25 per cent) were waiting for further technological developments in the field before they engage with the technology.

On the affordability scale, one in five (21 per cent) said the cost of AI is too expensive. By contrast, North West consumers’ most popular motivation for adopting the technology is to save time, with a third (30per cent) choosing to use it for this purpose.

On the question of whether AI can support jobs, less than one in five (16 per cent) are convinced, again slightly higher than that seen nationally (13 per cent).

Warren Middleton, senior partner for the North West at KPMG UK, said: “A preference for human interaction, data privacy concerns and high costs all play a part in why three quarters of consumers are not actively choosing to use AI, although many may be unwittingly using AI daily through facial recognition on their phone, for instance.

“Undoubtedly AI is incredible technology with huge potential, but businesses need to be clearer about its transformational benefits, particularly for the workplace, as currently only one in five consumers are convinced AI can help jobs.

“Nearly half said they do not use AI as they prefer human interaction. This is a tricky barrier to get around, however the integration of smarter AI that adapts to human conversation style and preferences may help the interaction seem more natural. On top of this tech companies and regulators need to look at what can be done to protect data and ease concerns if these technologies are to become widely adopted.

“As is often the case, regulation has fallen behind the development of the technology and it is important that this catches up if it is to become ingrained in our daily lives.”

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