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How well do Canadians understand Artificial Intelligence?

By May 15, 2017 No Comments

Seeing the enormous amount of press Artificial Intelligence has received recently, and the commitment that is being made to it by Prime Minister Trudeau’s government, the team at Havas Canada thought it was the perfect time to gauge how well Canadians understand AI.

The report entitled, “Havas Asks Canada,” is the result of an AI questionnaire sent out to over 1,500 Canadians, with questions ranging from “Have you heard of Artificial Intelligence” to “How do you think Artificial Intelligence will affect our lives in the future.”

In an Interview with Strategy Online, our CEO, Sep Seyedi, provided his thoughts on the implications of this study, and what marketers can learn from it.

“What triggered this research was when one of my friends came over, pointed at my Echo and refused to enter my house because he thought Amazon had a farm of people listening in to your conversations,” Seyedi says. “We’ve seen instances where everything that’s being done with AI was stuffed into the terms and conditions instead of how it was marketed, and the brand gets in trouble when consumers find that out and don’t understand the extent of how it’s being used.”

“Not hiding everything in their terms and conditions is key,” he says. “They should be specific and, in human terms, explain what it is doing with AI. If you’re Amazon, you say that Alexa only wakes up with keywords and understands certain statements and responds to them. Outside of that, we’re not collecting data or spying. And if you are collecting data, then what data is being collected and how it is being used needs to be declared so they don’t get put in the hot seat.”

Some interesting findings include:

  • 84% of Canadians believed they know what it is, but provided an incorrect definition
  • Only 1 out of 4 (23%) Canadian believed they encounter AI on a daily basis
  • 51% of Canada is unsure of how AI will Affect us in the future, 29% believe it will be a positive influence, 19% believe it will be a negative influence

The report was also featured on Mobile Syrup and BetaKit.

To view the report in full, download it for free here.