More Canadians Using AI Tools, Despite concerns that artificial intelligence lacks empathy and could eventually take their jobs, a recent poll shows that an increasing number of Canadians are turning to AI technologies.
More Canadians Using AI Tools, Despite ‘Deep-Rooted’ Fears About the Tech, Poll Show
According to the Leger study, 30% of Canadians already utilize artificial intelligence technologies, up from 25% a year earlier, yet two-thirds of respondents find the thought of having them in their lives worrisome.
The poll of 1,614 Canadians reveals a clear split in how younger and older individuals see AI: 58% of those aged 18 to 34 reported utilizing AI products, compared to only 13% of those aged 55 and over.
According to Christian Bourque, executive vice-president of Leger, the number of people who have been exposed to or engaged with AI is likely to be larger than stated because some people are unaware they are using it. A website may have a chatbot present itself as Dave, for example, and the user may be unaware that Dave is not a real person.
Respondents aged 18 to 34 were more familiar with the notion of chatbots, or automated chat assistants on websites, with 64% claiming knowledge vs 38% for those over the age of 55. The survey does not have a margin of error since online polls are not considered truly random samples.
Those who used AI services or products reported a positive experience, with 71% ranking them as good or outstanding.
However, Canadians tend to have mixed opinions, with 31% believing they are beneficial to society and 32% believing they are detrimental to society. Respondents’ views on the matter differed by age; 42% of younger respondents thought AI tools were beneficial to society, compared to only 23% of senior Canadians.
Some of the most prominent concerns are privacy and the risk that society could become overly reliant on AI, which 81% of those polled agreed with. Three-quarters felt AI systems lack the compassion and empathy needed to make effective decisions, endangering human jobs.
Bourque stated that the findings show that “people have fairly deep-rooted fears about the use of AI in our society.”
The majority, or 58%, trust AI to regulate their temperature, play music, or vacuum their home, but somewhat less, 53%, trust facial recognition or biometrics to access personal data.
Only 37 Canadians trust AI tools to develop content for essential school or job tasks. The age divide was also visible in that question, with 44% of those aged 18 to 34 believing in the technology for those initiatives, compared to 29% of those aged 55 and up.
Similarly, nearly half of younger respondents were OK with tech platforms utilizing AI to determine what information to display on social media, compared to 23% of older Canadians.
Trust in personal safety decreases. Fewer than one-quarter trusted AI to carry them in a vehicle, but the age disparity persisted, with 28% of the youngest population trusting AI driving compared to only 16% of the oldest.
A similar disparity emerged when it came to depending on AI to locate a life mate online, with a quarter of respondents aged 18 to 34 trusting the technology to do so, compared to only 10% of those over 55.