Image showing a hologram of a light bulb and symbols related to artificial intelligence.

Declining public confidence, particularly in the United States, could hinder the growth of the artificial intelligence (AI) sector. The statistics revealing this decline come from Edelman, a global communications firm, and were first shared with Axios.

As global regulators grapple with the complex task of identifying the right regulations for this burgeoning area, this trust issue has become all the more critical. Read our complete article about the topic to learn more about this important matter.

Declining Trust In AI: A Warning Sign

According to Justin Westcott, Edelman's global technology chair, trust is the essential currency in the era of AI. However, he warns that our "innovation bank account is perilously depleted." He believes businesses must move beyond discussing AI's basic operation and consider its actual cost and value.

Specifically, Westcott expressed the need for exploring the 'why' and 'for whom' AI is being developed. Here are some of the reasons for this necessity; read below.

  • The public is keen to see a commitment to personal privacy protection.
  • There is a demand for a thorough evaluation of AI's societal influence.
  • Scientists and ethicists are expected to play a significant role in this appraisal.

Westcott emphasized that businesses focusing on responsible AI, transparent partnerships with communities and governments, and returning control to users will lead the industry and help rebuild the trust technology has lost over the years.

What The Numbers Say

Edelman's statistics paint a worrying picture of global trust in AI companies, revealing a decline from 61% to 53% over the past five years.

The U.S. has seen a more dramatic drop of 15 percentage points, from 50% to 35%. Trust in AI is uniformly low across political demographics. Once the most trusted industry, the technology sector is no longer at the top. It held the top spot in 90% of the countries in Edelman's study eight years ago but now only tops half the countries.

The statistics also show that people in developing countries are more accepting of AI than those in developed nations. In countries such as France, Canada, Ireland, the U.K., the U.S., Germany, Australia, the Netherlands, and Sweden, the ratio of rejection to acceptance of the increasing use of AI is three to one.

Meanwhile, acceptance significantly exceeds resistance in developing markets like Saudi Arabia, India, China, Kenya, Nigeria, and Thailand.

What To Expect

Westcott concludes by underscoring the public's dissatisfaction with governmental efforts in AI regulation and calls for regulators to directly address public expectations. Without trust, even the most innovative technology will struggle to gain widespread acceptance, emphasizing the need for transparent and responsible practices within the AI industry.