Thirty percent of young Canadians use AI

Despite concerns that artificial intelligence lacks empathy and could potentially steal their jobs, a growing number of Canadians are turning to artificial intelligence tools, a new survey suggests.

Thirty per cent of Canadians now use artificial intelligence tools, Leger’s survey suggested, up from 25 per cent a year ago, although two-thirds of respondents said the prospect of having them in their lives is terrifying.

The survey of 1,614 Canadians shows a clear divide between how young and old view AI: 58 per cent of people aged 18 to 34 reported using AI tools, compared to just 13 per cent of people 55 years or older.

Christian Bourque, executive vice president of Leger, said the number of people who have been exposed to or interacted with AI is probably higher than reported, because some people may not be aware that they are using it. A website may have a chatbot that presents itself as Dave, for example, and the user may not realize that Dave is not a real person.

Respondents ages 18 to 34 were most familiar with the concept of chatbots, or automated chat assistants on websites, with 64 percent reporting familiarity with 38 percent of those ages 55 and older. The survey has no margin of error because online surveys are not considered truly random samples.

Those who have used AI services or tools generally had a good experience with them, with 71 percent rating them as good or excellent.

But Canadians, in general, seem to have mixed feelings: 31 percent of those surveyed think they are good for society and 32 percent think they are bad for society. The stance of the respondents on the issue varied with age; 42 per cent of younger respondents thought AI tools were good for society, compared to just 23 per cent of older Canadians.

Some common concerns include privacy and concerns that society will become too reliant on AI, something 81 percent of respondents agreed with. Three-quarters said AI tools lack the emotion and empathy needed to make good decisions and threaten human jobs.

Bourque said those results indicate that “people have some pretty deep-rooted fears about the use of AI in our society.”

More Canadians are using AI tools, despite ‘deep-seated’ fears about the technology: survey. #AITools #AI #Artificial Intelligence

The majority, or 58 percent, rely on AI to adjust their thermostat, play music, or vacuum their house, while slightly fewer, 53 percent, rely on using facial recognition or biometrics to access information. staff.

Canadians are more cautious about using AI tools to create content for important projects at school or work, and only 37 trust them in that context. The age gap was evident on that question, too: 44 percent of people ages 18 to 34 relied on technology for those projects, compared to 29 percent of those ages 55 and older.

Similarly, almost half of younger respondents were okay with tech platforms using AI to decide what content to show on social media, compared to 23 per cent of older Canadians.

Trust drops when it comes to personal safety. Less than a quarter trusted AI to transport them in a vehicle, although the age gap was again evident: 28 percent of the youngest demographic trusted AI driving, compared to just 16 percent of old.

A similar divide was evident when it came to trusting AI to find a life partner online, something a quarter of respondents aged 18 to 34 trusted in the technology, compared to just 10 percent of those surveyed. over 55 years old.

This report by The Canadian Press was first published Feb. 9, 2024.

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