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Survey Finds Consumers Are Wary of Generative AI

DISQO Issues a Report Focused on Consumers’ Experiences with and Perceptions of Generative AI

A recent survey conducted by CX platform DISQO found that although companies are continuing to invest in and develop AI tools and content, consumers are largely unfamiliar with generative AI technology, and will require education on how it is being used, and its potential benefits. “HI on AI: Human Intel on Artificial Intelligence,” a new report that captured the results from DISQO’s CX Feb. 28 to March 2nd survey of 28,376 nationally representative consumers from its 100% opt-in audience revealed consumers’ experiences with and perceptions of generative AI.

According to the results of the survey, the knowledge and use of generative AI is low, and many segments do not appear to be interested in using AI tools in the future.

  • Two-thirds of adult consumers have not used AI tools and are not interested in using them down the road.
  • Less than 10% said that they have a high level of knowledge about these tools; this drops below 5% among certain audiences, including Baby Boomers and members of the Silent Generation.
  • Only about 10% have used generative AI tools so far; this rises as high as 20% among Gen Z and as low as 2% among older adults.
  • 25% of those surveyed say they only know a little about generative AI.

The survey also surfaced insights about where and how consumers believe generative AI should be used.

  • 34% do not think generative AI tools should be used for most consumer-facing content. This rises to 43% among Boomers and is lower at 21% for Gen Z.
  • Older generations (Boomer+) are much less open to generative AI in various content, including marketing materials, online courses, social media posts, and news articles.
  • Contexts where AI-generated content is deemed least appropriate include blogs, interviews, and opinion pieces. There is also a great deal of reluctance around using these tools for news and entertainment.

One key concern for consumers is that they are unable to discern AI-generated content from human-generated content, and expect brands to disclose use of the technology.

  • Only 8% have high confidence in their ability to identify when generative AI is at play.
  • Only ~25% believe that they have read media content that was generated by AI.
  • 86% think it is important for companies to disclose their use of AI-generated content, and about two-thirds of those consumers think it is very important.

“Early adoption of emerging generative AI technologies represents a massive opportunity for brands to leapfrog their competition, but only if they are vigilant about customer experiences,” says Patrick Egan, Director of Research and Insights, DISQO. “Leveraging generative AI for innovation, increased efficiency, and profitability makes business sense, but consumers are wary and need to be informed and educated about what’s in it for them.”

From consumer brands to B2B organizations, the use of any AI technology products, but particularly those that are in the spotlight, such as large language model (LLM)-based tools such as ChatGPT, CoPilot, and others, should be accompanied by education plans, policies on use, and training around best practices.

  • Organizations need to provide education about what tools are being used, how they work, and what benefits are inherent to consumers. In particular, companies need to ensure that they are forthright about what data is being accessed and used by the generative AI tool (Is the data source restricted to certain data sets, and what privacy controls are in place?), as well as specific information about guardrails that are in place, such as the presence of humans to vet and ensure that the system is working as designed.
  • Organizations need to establish clear policies around the use of generative AI, where it will and will not be used, and what data will be accessed, so that it is clear to consumers.
  • Organizations should establish best practices for use of generative AI, for both customer-facing systems and outputs, as well as internal usage, to ensure that humans retain control over the quality and results of generative AI systems.

Author Information

Keith has over 25 years of experience in research, marketing, and consulting-based fields.

He has authored in-depth reports and market forecast studies covering artificial intelligence, biometrics, data analytics, robotics, high performance computing, and quantum computing, with a specific focus on the use of these technologies within large enterprise organizations and SMBs. He has also established strong working relationships with the international technology vendor community and is a frequent speaker at industry conferences and events.

In his career as a financial and technology journalist he has written for national and trade publications, including BusinessWeek,, Investment Dealers’ Digest, The Red Herring, The Communications of the ACM, and Mobile Computing & Communications, among others.

He is a member of the Association of Independent Information Professionals (AIIP).

Keith holds dual Bachelor of Arts degrees in Magazine Journalism and Sociology from Syracuse University.


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