From voice assistants to smart appliances, artificial intelligence (AI) is all around us, and its influence on our lifestyle and work will continue to rise.
Innovation in AI technologies is moving at lightning speed, and it’s already being used in our homes and at work to automate a variety of tasks. How do people feel about this shift in technology? Are they optimistic about how the future of AI will affect us? Is AI to be trusted? Or, is the future of AI grim for our lifestyle and work?
We set out to answer some of these questions through surveying more than 500 people on SurveyMonkey Audience.
AI is common in households and at work
AI technology is used frequently, so the biggest question we had was do people actually know they’re using AI? We asked respondents what technology they are using in their homes and if they were aware that technology uses AI.
Nearly all those surveyed are currently using AI in their home or for work in some form or another. And surprisingly, the results led us to believe that people have a pretty good understanding of what AI technology exists in their home or at work.
- What’s your status? 78% are on social media, which uses AI technology in everything from ads to newsfeeds.
- What’s on? 77% have a music or video streaming service like Netflix, Hulu, etc., all of which use AI in delivering content.
- Need directions? 74% navigate using the AI technology within Apple or Google maps.
- Hey, Siri! 48% take advantage of AI voice assistants such as Amazon Alexa, Apple Siri, etc.
What the future of AI could look like
Harvard Business Review calls it “collaborative intelligence,” the idea that humans and AI are joining forces to automate processes. In addition to things like smart appliances and video streaming, AI is likely to handle other automated tasks in our lifestyle.
We asked respondents what they would use AI for if it was available in their homes to automate tasks. More than 57% said they would use AI to help regulate utilities like heating/cooling and the lights. An average of 50% said they would use AI in their homes if it were to contribute to cooking and cleaning.
When asked what consequences AI will have on our lifestyles, we got some mixed responses. 58% of respondents said AI was going to save us time by automating tasks. However, 61% also believed that automating tasks meant less face-to-face interactions between people—assuming computers and machines would be doing most of the work.
Concerns for our lifestyle and work
Overall, respondents felt pretty good about AI in their lifestyle. 54% feel positive or very positive about the impact AI will have on our lifestyle in the future. However, some respondents had concerns that AI might increase the time we spend at the computer, causing an increase in laziness or a loss in creativity.
“AI may become a crutch for thinking and doing,” said one respondent.
Other respondents appeared excited for the possibilities to increase income or learn more things. But there were some concerns about the consequences of AI on our livelihood and safety. A while back we conducted a survey to learn more about the sentiment around self-driving cars, which are synonymous with AI technology. We found that only 10% of nearly 2,600 respondents said that they feel “ very safe” or “safe” as a passenger in a self-driving vehicle.
Similarly, an average of 27% said that AI would cause health and safety dangers in lifestyle as well as work. What’s more, 64% of respondents said that AI will mean an increased reliance on workplace technologies and that worries some people.
We received a lot of responses expressing concern over jobs that will be impacted by AI. For example, people believe that AI means there will be fewer jobs and a reduced need for unskilled labor. However, a few respondents were excited about the opportunities AI will provide, “AI can create more income and reduce the stress of daily administrative functions in my business,” said one respondent.
Is AI to be trusted?
The consequences of AI didn’t completely dissuade respondents from trusting the technology, but AI has a ways to go before winning everyone over. 38% said they trust the use of AI technology in our lifestyle “a moderate amount.” However, 30% said they only trusted it “a little” or “not at all.”
People have a hard time trusting AI both at home and at work. We found that older generations tended to be pessimistic about its impact on their lifestyle and at work. “It’s too risky to rely on computers for vital functions. They constantly have problems and are vulnerable to hacking, or random mistakes,” said one respondent.
We also found that women tend to be more pessimistic about the impact of AI. Only 25% of female respondents trust the use of AI in our lifestyle “a great deal” or “a lot,” whereas 35% of males say they do.
“While there are many positives, AI is an intrusion of privacy,” said one female respondent.
AI technology is sure to transform the future of our lifestyle and work, even if there’s a blurred line between its positive and negative effects.
This SurveyMonkey Audience study was conducted from February 5, 2019. We surveyed 538 adults, 18 and older, who live in the U.S. The sample was balanced by age, race, among other demographic variables, according to the U.S. Census.