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Australia has the lowest trust in AI globally

Opinions on artificial intelligence (AI) are divided worldwide, with much of the world excited about the new technological revolution and others deeply concerned with the role it may play in changing workforces and warfare.

user icon Daniel Croft
Thu, 19 Oct 2023
Australia has the lowest trust in AI globally
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While caution around its development is being encouraged, states and organisations that embrace the new technology are going to make the most of the opportunities that AI creates.

According to a study conducted by BSI, which surveyed 10,000 adults across nine countries, Australia expressed the most distrust in AI.

Almost two-thirds (64 per cent) of Australians want international guidelines for the safe use of AI in place, and compared to other countries, have been slow to adopt the technology in modern workplaces.


Additionally, only 22 per cent of Australians have more confidence in AI than humans for the detection of food contamination, while 73 per cent have said that medical patients need to be made aware that AI is being used in treatment.

BSI Australia managing director Charlene Loo said this creates the risk of Australia falling behind.

“AI is a transformational technology. For it to realise its potential to be a powerful force for good, trust needs to be the critical factor,” she said.

“There is a clear opportunity to harness AI to drive societal impact, change lives and accelerate progress towards a better future and a sustainable world.”

For example, where 70 per cent of Chinese respondents and 64 per cent of Indian respondents said they used AI every day at work, only 23 per cent of Australian respondents said the same.

Europe showed similar levels of adoption to Australia, with 33 per cent in Germany, 30 per cent in the Netherlands, 29 per cent in the UK, and 26 per cent in France. Japan was the lowest with 15 per cent.

Additionally, 63 per cent of Chinese respondents believe that by 2030, they will be using AI at home.

Globally, 58 per cent of respondents said they used voice-activated AI tools like Alexa, reaching as high as 88 per cent in China, while 62 per cent used AI-curated playlists based on past engagement.

However, many of these users are unaware that they are using AI-powered technology at all, with 48 per cent of smartphone users, 46 per cent of voice-assistant users, 57 per cent of playlist curator users, and 50 per cent of chatbot users are unclear if they are using AI.

Similarly, while many Australians use AI technology in areas like facial recognition, only 20 per cent are aware that these technologies use AI.

Despite topping the list for a lack of trust in technology, over half of surveyed Australians (52 per cent) said they were excited by how AI can sculpt the future of technology.

Fifty-two per cent believe that AI can play a role in creating a more energy-efficient world, while 49 per cent believe it can be used to reduce food waste.

For the goals of AI, 16 per cent of Australians have said that making the four-day work week possible for all should be a priority for AI, while half (50 per cent) of Australians say that AI can be used best with tasks humans don’t have time for.

Fifty per cent also say they would trust AI to do parts of their job, such as the more tedious and simple tasks.

“The magnitude of ways AI can shape our future means we are seeing some degree of hesitation of the unknown,” said the director of data science and AI at BSI, Craig Civil.

“This can be addressed by developing greater understanding and recognition that human involvement will always be needed if we are to make best use of this technology, and by ensuring we have frameworks that are in place to govern its use and build trust.

“Now is the moment for us to collaborate globally to balance the great power of this tool with the realities of actually using it in a credible, authentic, well-executed, and well-governed way.

“Closing the confidence gap and building the appropriate checks and balances can enable us to make not just good but great use of AI in every area of life and society.”

Daniel Croft

Daniel Croft

Born in the heart of Western Sydney, Daniel Croft is a passionate journalist with an understanding for and experience writing in the technology space. Having studied at Macquarie University, he joined Momentum Media in 2022, writing across a number of publications including Australian Aviation, Cyber Security Connect and Defence Connect. Outside of writing, Daniel has a keen interest in music, and spends his time playing in bands around Sydney.

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