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AI dilemma unveiled: 72% fear job losses, yet 68% anticipate easier lives, highlighting contradictions in global attitudes

58% of consumers believe that AI is a threat to humanity.

43% of consumers would trust a piece of news written by AI, however, 75% believe that AI increases the danger of fake news.

In a groundbreaking survey conducted by the leading communication agency MARCO, in partnership with the pioneer in Research Technology Cint, the intricate landscape of opinions and emotions surrounding AI (artificial intelligence) comes to light. The 3rd Global MARCO New Consumer Report 2024 reveals a striking contrast: expressing job loss fears on one hand, and anticipating easier lives on the other, underscoring the complex tapestry of sentiments generated by artificial intelligence. The survey was carried out from December 2023 to January 2024 with a total sample of 7.300 consumers from 11 countries (Brazil, France, Germany, Italy, Mexico, Morocco, Portugal, South Africa, Spain, UK, and USA) with Cint playing a pivotal role in both reaching research audiences and collecting comprehensive data.

Unlike the previous year’s survey, this edition of the Global MARCO New Consumer Report marks a significant shift by introducing comprehensive inquiries into AI. Last year’s survey did not delve into AI-related questions, making this year’s findings a groundbreaking exploration into evolving consumer sentiments surrounding this rapidly advancing technology.

Findings underscore prevailing concerns among consumers. A staggering 74% express apprehension about AI’s potential to create prejudices and undesirable behaviours in humans and 58% consider AI to be a threat to humanity, with Portugal and South Africa expressing the biggest concern about AI (78%). This highlights the need for responsible AI development and deployment to address ethical considerations.

“While AI might seem daunting, the key lies in education and awareness. Understanding the technology and its implications empowers individuals and helps demystify the fear surrounding AI. As we move forward, fostering a culture of education will be instrumental in embracing the opportunities AI presents to enhance our lives.” emphases Didier Lagae founder of MARCO.

As industries undergo digital transformation, understanding and addressing these concerns will be crucial for fostering a positive relationship between technology and the workforce.

Despite these concerns, a majority of 68% remain optimistic about the potential for AI to simplify and improve their lives. Notably, Brazilians top the list (88%) as the most optimistic, embracing the transformative power of AI, while Americans appear as the most cautious (57%), reflecting a greater reluctance towards the technology.

With regards to the most popular AI tools, the majority of consumers (59%) acknowledge its role in writing texts, followed by (58%) creating/editing images. Respondents are less aware of AI use in autonomous cars (40%), education (43%), the medical field (37%), agriculture and livestock (19%) and even fewer (11%) citing other applications. These figures reflect a growing familiarity with AI’s role in everyday activities.

In the UK, respondents exhibited a confidence level of 58% that AI will make their lives easier, which is the lowest rate among all countries. Optimism about AI’s positive impact is slightly less pronounced compared to the global sentiment with higher than average concern among UK respondents, also seeing AI as a threat (62%). The respondents also exhibited a higher awareness in AI applications that are lesser known in other countries: 45% being aware of AI use in the medical field (36% on average), 46% in autonomous cars (40% on average) and 22% in agriculture and livestock (18% on average).

Methodology:

The survey aimed to explore and analyse consumer attitudes and awareness regarding AI across 11 key markets. The research period spanned from December 2023 to January 2024, providing a comprehensive snapshot of contemporary views on global topics.

The survey engaged a diverse sample of over 7,300 participants, representing countries with distinct cultural, economic, and technological landscapes. The included markets were Brazil, France, Germany, Italy, Mexico, Morocco, Portugal, South Africa, Spain, the UK and the USA. This diverse selection aimed to capture a holistic understanding of global consumer behaviour.
A structured questionnaire was designed to cover various aspects of media consumption, brand commitment, AI applications, sustainability and work culture. Participants were asked to respond to both closed and open-ended questions, allowing for quantitative and qualitative analysis. Full reporting of the survey carried out by the research department of MARCO in collaboration with Cint can be consulted on http://themarcosurvey.com/