New poll exposes substantial AI trust gap despite looming technological revolution of society


Locale, the UK-based building occupier experience platform, has unveiled insights into the public’s connection with artificial intelligence (AI).

Despite the inevitability of AI revolutionising every facet of society in the coming years, the latest poll commissioned by Locale has unearthed a surprising truth: the general population’s understanding and trust in AI is very low.

According to the survey of 2,000 UK adults undertaken by pollster Opinium, a significant 33% of respondents fail to see the impact of AI in daily life, including 18% who haven’t noticed it anywhere and a mere 9% who acknowledge noticing its presence significantly.

Trust in AI’s capabilities: a blend of confidence and scepticism

Within specific domains, there is deep scepticism of AI’s integration, with a noteworthy 56% of respondents, for example, do not trust AI to control a vehicle, and two-fifths (41%) who exhibit doubt regarding AI’s competency in diagnosing health ailments, underscoring the indispensable role of human expertise in healthcare contexts.

In arenas perceived as lower risk, there exists a prevailing trust in AI, with over a third of respondents (36%) – the most of any specific life activity – expressing trust in AI’s aptitude for capturing personalised entertainment recommendations, acknowledging AI’s capacity to enrich leisure pursuits. Similarly, a significant proportion (44%) trust AI to help understand language and translations, clearly demonstrating AI’s potential as a useful aid for workday and leisure tasks. 

Notable lack of awareness regarding AI's integration within the real estate sector 

An absence of sectoral understanding of AI is particularly striking when it comes to real estate, with a meagre 3% professing knowledge of the multifaceted applications of the technology within the sector; and only 14% reported even a limited acquaintance with AI’s utilisation within the real estate domain.

A stark generational divide

Perhaps unsurprisingly, younger generations comprehensively outshine their elders in AI comprehension. Among respondents over 55 years, a substantial 75% lack any depth of understanding. The knowledge gap extends to the 34-54 age group, with 57% feeling adrift and only a third (34%) reporting they know a lot about it.

Yet, the generational divergence in understanding is shown by how almost two-thirds (61%) of those aged 18-34 express confidence or familiarity with AI’s complexities.

Guy Windsor-Lewis, Chief Executive of Locale, commented: “This research goes beyond just looking at our fears of AI but underscores the fact that there is still a lack of understanding and trust in it especially when it comes to some of the most personal aspects of our lives where our health and safety are at stake. In recognising that AI remains in its nascent stages, it becomes imperative for transitioning businesses to prioritise the foundational aspects of technology. By fortifying our understanding and proficiency in these fundamentals, we will establish a robust framework necessary for effectively harnessing and managing the potential of AI as it continues to evolve.”

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