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Blumberg Capital’s latest AI Survey reveals that consumers have a positive perception of artificial intelligence technology
After a record-breaking year for investments in artificial intelligence (AI) startups with AI funding up 108% in 2021, AI continues to be a key technology priority across industries. We continue to see organizations pivot from pandemic-driven initiatives to long-term productivity and growth, resulting in increased investments in AI solutions focused on enhancing productivity and efficiency. The past few years have proven that AI technology is becoming a need, not just a nice-to-have.
The Impact of AI on Consumers
Consumers are embracing experiences enabled by AI more than ever. Our latest AI study surveyed 1,000 U.S.-based consumers over 18 years of age to uncover consumer behavior and attitudes toward AI. We ran a similar study in 2019 which revealed that consumers’ attitudes towards AI showed a more cautious sentiment, while our new study showed that consumers now have a generally positive perception of how AI can improve their experiences across sectors such as healthcare, personal finance, and the shipping and delivery of goods.
From a generational perspective, Gen Z and Millennials are most likely to embrace AI-driven solutions, while Gen Z consumers are three times more likely than Baby Boomers to agree that AI saves time. Millennials are two times more likely than Baby Boomers to let AI takeover drudge work. As these two generations begin to outspend older generations and gain more control over consumer trends, we are likely to see AI technology become more integrated with our daily lives both personally and professionally.
AI in Healthcare: Increasing Access, Accuracy, and Efficiency
Healthcare costs approached a fifth (19.7%) of the total U.S. economy in 2020 and with this growth, our study found that the healthcare sector, in particular, has benefited from AI-driven solutions. Startups have accelerated the development of innovative AI-based solutions for providers and consumers to better diagnose diseases, plan treatment, deliver care, and provide aftercare support (including telemedicine), as well as streamline processes for sharing medical records and making payments.
With 85% of respondents stating that AI will improve healthcare delivery and patient care and 86% (vs. 82% in 2019) agreeing that AI will result in better healthcare data and increased collaboration, we expect that more AI healthcare startups will emerge to harness data in new ways that will benefit patients and healthcare professionals. The ongoing digitization of healthcare will reward medical providers, payers, and patients with new ways of leveraging data to improve diagnoses, treatments, and outcomes by improving accuracy, streamlining processes, and reducing costs.
Leading healthcare institutions like the Mayo Clinic are investing in AI-driven technologies companies like theator, a surgical intelligence platform that uses AI and computer vision, to broaden the capabilities of its market-leading Surgical Intelligence platform for use in the fields of urology and gynecology. This is a prime example of an innovative startup that is harnessing data to increase efficiency and improve patient outcomes. Organizations like this are on the frontlines of AI adoption and are driving meaningful digital transformation for the healthcare and health tech industry’s many constituents.
Personal Finance: Trust in AI’s Impact on Security
Gaining consumers’ trust in AI technology has been one of the biggest roadblocks when it comes to adoption. In a fintech survey that we conducted last year, we found that there needs to be a balance between technology and human interaction in order for it to be successful. 74% of consumers reported they have more confidence in employees at banks and stores versus pure technology-enabled user experiences when it comes to managing their personal financial information accurately and securely.
However, respondents from the 2022 AI survey reported that trust in AI’s role in securing personal information has increased, with 78% of respondents agreeing AI will enable financial organizations to keep financial information safer and more secure. We also found that 45% of consumers are comfortable with the use of AI for fraud prevention and 81% of consumers believe that advancements in AI will significantly improve the ability for people to manage their personal finances.
Consumers are turning to AI solutions to secure their financial accounts and are optimistic that these AI solutions will protect their data. Fintech companies like Trulioo are tackling global problems associated with verifying and authenticating identities in an effort to increase trust and safety online.
AI in Supply Chain: Increasing Efficiency, and Resilience to Keep Our World Running
Worldwide, we have seen tremendous stress on the global supply chain in recent years, which has underscored the need to improve efficiencies wherever possible. As a result of the pandemic, supply chain technology has become even more essential to consumers as e-commerce sales increased by $244.2 billion or 43% in 2020, the first year of the pandemic, rising from $571.2 billion in 2019 to $815.4 billion in 2020. AI-driven solutions have stepped in as businesses look to technology to work faster and smarter and keep up with consumer demands.
Our 2022 AI survey findings show that consumers are comfortable with AI playing a role in providing increased convenience, speed, and value when it comes to online shopping and receiving goods. Since experiencing the consequences of increased strains on the supply chain over the past couple of years, 74% of AI survey respondents would prefer AI to be used to automate the process of manufacturing and delivering products, and 62% said they would prefer AI to be used to automate shipping and delivery, versus the technology not being used at all.
Organizations will continue to accelerate digital transformation with the help of innovative startups like SupplyPike and NYSHEX, which provide AI solutions to help enable companies to manage their supply chains more efficiently. AI-driven companies like these are shaping the future of the supply chain and investors, shippers, and retailers, among others, are now prioritizing these technologies.
Increased Trust in AI Solutions During the Pandemic
The impact of the pandemic and lockdowns has consumer acceptance and appreciation of AI solutions, resulting in consumers becoming more comfortable using AI in their everyday lives. As AI continues to become an integral part of consumers’ day-to-day activities, the growing acceptance and reliance on these solutions provide an opportunity for entrepreneurs to create new AI-driven innovations. This, along with the increased acceptance of AI solutions among younger generations, is creating an ecosystem for AI-driven technology to thrive. We look forward to helping entrepreneurs build new AI-driven solutions that increase efficiency, productivity, and convenience that benefit businesses, consumers, and society.