Just under half (47%) of surveyed shoppers are comfortable with companies using artificial intelligence (AI) in business interactions, with men slightly more comfortable (53%) than women (43%), according to a survey from SAS. Despite these general reservations, significant minorities of shoppers accept the use of AI for specific purposes:
- Sending personalized, in-store information based on their physical location (40%);
- Accessing payment information from their smartphones at cashier-free stores (36%); and
- Using drones to deliver purchases (48%).
Shoppers were evenly split on how they feel about retailers using past purchase behavior to recommend other items, with 49% comfortable and 51% uncomfortable.
Data privacy was a major concern among shoppers, with only 35% of shoppers confident that personal data being used for AI was being stored securely. Consumers under the age of 40 were more confident (42%) than older respondents (31%).
A lack of understanding about what AI is and what it can do is a significant factor for those who fear it, according to David Tareen, Marketing Manager for AI at SAS. Many shoppers have trouble understanding AI: only 44% of shoppers said they could explain the concept to a friend or colleague.