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Artificial Intelligence: Survey Studies Consumers Knowledge of and Attitude Toward AI

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Report from Entrata finds consumers don’t yet fully understand or trust AI.

Whether we realize it or not, artificial intelligence is woven into the fabric of our everyday lives, from virtual assistants like Siri and Alexa, to Gmail and Netflix and much more. This kind of technology makes our lives easier in many ways, from finding our favorite songs and shows, to scheduling reminders, sending emails and even submitting a request with the landlord. According to a survey of more than 1,000 U.S. residents conducted by Entrata, even though many consumers know the broad definition of AI, most don’t fully understand its scope or how it affects their lives in countless ways. Due to this lack of understanding, many still harbor a lack of trust for both the technology and the companies that use it. 

Artificial Intelligence

Of those polled, Entrata found that more than 38 percent of respondents have either just heard of artificial intelligence or have no idea what it is. Surprisingly, of those who claimed to be an expert in their understanding of AI, 20 percent not only got the definition wrong, they were significantly more likely to get the definition wrong than other groups who say they know only a little or have just heard of it. 

Despite this lack of understanding, more than half (52 percent) of people say they feel comfortable interacting with AI, which is good, because more than 40 percent of people use some form of AI on a weekly basis, whether that be Gmail, Siri or Alexa, Netflix and much more. 

A major gripe many reported is the technology’s overall lack of human touch, with more than 20 percent citing it as their top complaint. 

Chatbots

In a similar vein, it’s clear people don’t yet fully understand chatbots, with 33 percent of people thinking that Alexa and Siri are chatbots. In fact, 20 percent of people claim to have never interacted with a chatbot. Nearly 30 percent of people don’t think they would recognize when they’re interacting with one. 

That said, respondents reported that their favorite things about using chatbots include:

  • It’s available 24/7 (39%)
  • It’s easily accessible (15%)
  • It’s quick and efficient (12%)
  • They don’t have to talk to a real person (9%)

And despite people overall wanting chatbots to have more human-like personality qualities, 36 percent of respondents don’t care about those traits as long as they get the information and help they need. 

AI/Chatbots and Apartment Living

For those who rent, chatbots and AI can be an incredible tool. Used as an extension of the leasing office, these technologies can improve the resident experience by allowing people to complete tasks or solve problems that are otherwise inconvenient or difficult.

  • 62 percent of people would trust a chatbot to schedule maintenance for their apartment or home.
  • 36 percent would use a chatbot when reporting a community violation.

Smart Home

Many respondents would like to have smart home features and think they would be helpful in their home or apartment. These include:

  • Home security (56%)
  • Smart thermostats (47%)
  • Smart lighting (44%)
  • Leak detection (43%)
  • Smart shades (31 %)
  • Voice assistants (28%)

Additionally, when searching for a new apartment, more than a quarter (27 percent) of people found that a community's use of various AI and smart home technology made the thought of living there more attractive. 

Summary

About the Research 

Generated by Entrata and fielded in August 2019, the survey collected online responses via Qualtrics from 1,051 U.S. consumers who are over the age of 18. 

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