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UAE Residents Prefer Automation in Their Homes & for Online Shopping

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YouGov’s latest technology report reveals the industries and institutions where consumers show enthusiasm for automation as well as the areas where they oppose it.

The whitepaper titled International Technology Report 2021 explores sentiments and perceptions towards AI across 17 geographies and 19,000 consumers, and aims to help public and private sector organisations plan, while acknowledging and empathizing with human aspirations and concerns.

The data shows beliefs about the impact of automation on society skew more towards positive feelings among UAE residents. About three in ten (30%) consumers in UAE stated ‘Acceptance’ as the word to describe their feeling towards AI & automation, and almost a similar proportion chose optimism, hope and excitement (28% each). Comparatively, less than one in five respondents in the country feel skeptical (18%) towards AI or chose words like fear (18%), confusion (19%) and unnecessary (15%) to describe their feelings towards automation.  

In UAE, almost three in ten (29%) consumers feel AI will have a “more positive than negative” impact on the society. However, this number increases to 44% among those who claim to be well informed about the technology, highlighting a positive correlation between knowledge and positive perceptions about AI.

Artificial Intelligence (AI) is now a part of our everyday existence and has impacted many sectors of our lives. On a personal level, UAE consumers are generally comfortable with automation in most life areas except a few. They are comfortable with AI in their homes (54%), for shopping (53%), manufacturing (51%), mobility (47%) and travel (43%), but prefer humans-led approach in areas such as education, medical consultation and government policies. 

When asked about the industries that will be more profoundly impacted by AI, about two in five consumers in UAE think that the manufacturing industry (41%) will have the greatest impact followed by communications (39%), banking & financial services (38%), transport and mobility (36%) and education (32%).

Finally, when we look at the entities that people trust with the developing ethical automated solutions, we find that consumers across the globe are more likely to put their trust in big, established companies over small ones, and the private sector more than the public sphere.

Among UAE residents, even though the big technology companies (46%) are trusted the most with this responsibility, the trust in government is also high and is above the global average (33% vs 16%). 

On the other hand, trust in non-government public serving entities and foreign governments is the least in the country (18% each). Therefore, building trust and credibility will be crucial for institutions to reinforce positive consumer sentiment.

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