SINGAPORE: Artificial intelligence (AI) is beginning to revolutionise the business world, from autonomous vehicles to new medical devices, yet far from being alarmed about AI’s potential impact on society, most consumers across Asia are positive about the trend.

Almost two-thirds (63%) of Asian consumers believe that AI will improve the world and their lives in the future, helping them to make smarter decisions and their jobs more interesting.

That is according to Salesforce, a global customer relationship management (CRM) platform, which polled 7,000 consumers across seven Asian markets – Singapore, Hong Kong, India, Thailand, Malaysia, Indonesia and the Philippines.

Its study, entitled Artificial Intelligence in Asia: Trust, Understanding and the Opportunity to Re-Skill, found that while job opportunities are a top concern for Asian consumers, the majority (58%) recognise the need to develop their skills for the jobs of the future.

It emerged that Indonesians (68%) have the most positive outlook towards AI, followed by consumers in India (65%), which is interesting because the report suggests there is a clear correlation between outlook and levels of understanding about AI.

Put simply, higher levels of understanding translate to higher levels of trust, which the report argues offers “a strong opportunity for businesses to educate and inform their customers on the true value of AI”.

Attitudes inevitably vary across the region – for example, 61% of Singaporeans think AI will enable them to do a better or more interesting job, dropping to 55% of consumers in Hong Kong – yet, for the most part, Asian consumers still prefer human interaction.

Most consumers believe a human and a self-driving car have an equal chance of an accident, while many are still wary of chatbots and robo-advisers.

So while they tend to have a higher acceptance of product or content recommendations through AI, Asian consumers ultimately continue to trust the opinions of their friends and families.

However, that does not appear to apply to voice assistants, which are the most popular choice of AI interaction among Asian consumers with more than half of the respondents saying they would actively choose to interact with one.

Sourced from Salesforce; additional content by WARC staff