Most Consumers Still Leery of AI: Report

Despite general reservations, new dunnhumby research finds that younger consumers appreciate AI-enabled personalization
Lynn Petrak
Senior Editor
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dunnhumby AI sentiment graph
Source: dunnhumby Consumer Trends Tracker, Nov. 2023.

Consumer wariness about artificial intelligence is all too real, a new study found. According to the latest edition of dunnhumby Consumer Trends Tracker (CTT), only 20% of people in the United States "mostly" or "completely" trust AI. 

As one might expect, there are demographic differences, apparent in varying trust levels among digital natives versus older consumers. Dunnhumby’s research shows that nearly a third (31%) of those under age 45 mostly or completely trust this technology versus 8% of those over 55.

[Read more: “How the Grocery Workforce Really Feels About In-Store Tech Tools”]

Assumptions, fears and gaps in knowledge about AI are driving some of the uncertainty. The consumer trends tracker from dunnhumby pinpointed the top five AI-related concerns as loss of jobs; security and privacy; loss of human touch; technology “in the wrong hands”; and misinformation.

In turn, those who embrace AI appreciate its benefits. Younger respondents said they like how it can be used for budgeting, personalization and sustainability, factors that dunnhumby noted are relevant for grocers. In addition, 46% agreed that security can be enhanced with this technology.

“What many Americans may not realize is that they have been interacting with AI for years whether it is through Netflix recommending what they should watch next or a retailer serving up personalized offers based on consumers’ past purchases,” said Matt O’Grady, president of Americas for dunnhumby. “The potential of artificial intelligence in grocery is tremendous and has been at the foundation of our own data science here at dunnhumby for over 20 years." 

Dunnhumby CTT inflation graph
The tracker study also revealed consumers' latest feelings about inflation.

He continued, "Although the trust in AI is far from widespread, grocers should bear in mind it only took ChatGPT two months to hit 100 million users, making it one of the fastest growing computer applications ever.”

This latest study is part of The dunnhumby Quarterly, an ongoing strategic market analysis of prominent retail themes. This is the first of that series to address consumer sentiment about AI. For this project, dunnhumby interviewed 2,000 individuals. 

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