Consumers most comfortable with AI in healthcare

Written by staff reporter
2018-04-13

Despite the prevalent concerns around artificial intelligence, consumers are surprisingly comfortable with the use of the technology in healthcare. This is among the findings of a US-based survey conducted by SAS, which found that when presented with a variety of real-world AI scenarios, a majority of people were at ease with AI in healthcare, and more comfortable with AI in healthcare settings than banking or retail.
 
The SAS survey of 500 Americans found that a lack of human interaction was the top reason respondents cited for feeling uncomfortable with the technology.
 
Just under half of respondents (47%) were comfortable with companies using AI in business interactions generally.
 
Consumers were also confused about defining artificial intelligence. When asked if they could explain the concept to a friend or colleague, the survey found that fewer than half of the respondents – just 44% – said they could.
 
Data privacy is also a concern to those surveyed. Only a third of respondents (35%) were at all confident that their personal data used for AI was being stored securely. Those under 40 years of age felt more confident (42%) that their information was protected, versus just 31% of older respondents.
 
“Consumers have few qualms with AI when they see it is being used for their benefit,” said Peter Pugh-Jones, Head of Technology at SAS UK & Ireland. “Where it is shown to make a clear, positive impact, such as assisting diagnosis and operations in healthcare, AI sees little resistance from patients and healthcare providers. However, a lack of understanding around the technology and what it is capable of delivering holds it back in other sectors. If businesses wish to ease AI’s adoption it’s important they remain transparent about how they use it and communicate to customers how it benefits them.”


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