Artificial intelligence has been one of the hottest topics in B2B marketing in 2017. The hype surrounding A.I. and related topics, such as machine learning and predictive analytics, has been almost deafening. Many industry pundits are asserting that A.I. is already revolutionizing the practice of B2B marketing.
While some of the claims made about artificial intelligence are exaggerated, it seems clear that A.I. has the potential to be one of the most powerful marketing tools we’ve seen in the past several years. But some uses of artificial intelligence also have the potential to trigger negative reactions from potential customers. So, before marketers fully embrace artificial intelligence, they need to understand how people feel about A.I. generally, and more specifically, how people view the use of A.I. in marketing.
Syzygy (a WPP digital agency group) recently published the results of an August 2017 survey that was designed to uncover the attitudes of American consumers about artificial intelligence. This survey generated 2,000 responses from individuals in the US, with equal participation by men and women. The respondents were equally split among Millennials, Generation X, and Baby Boomers.
For this study, Syzygy defined artificial intelligence as “technology that behaves intelligently, using skills we normally associate with human intelligence, including the ability to hold conversations, learn, reason and solve problems.”
Syzygy found that US consumers have a broad range of feelings – both positive and negative – about artificial intelligence. When survey participants were asked how they feel when they think about A.I., the top four feelings identified were:
- Interested (45% of respondents)
- Concerned (41%)
- Skeptical (40%)
- Unsure (39%)
- Seventy-one percent of respondents said that companies should need their express consent before using A.I. to market to them.
- Nearly nine out of ten respondents (89%) said that the use of A.I. in marketing “should be regulated with a legally-binding code of conduct.”