Deep Dive: Europeans’ concerns about AI

A survey conducted across nine EU countries - Belgium, Denmark, France, Germany, Italy, Poland, Portugal, Spain, and Sweden - gauged consumers’ knowledge, concern, and trust in AI and their views on a regulatory AI framework.

One major finding: About two-thirds of Belgium, Italy, Portugal, and Spain respondents believe authorities should ban AI because it’s hazardous.

In this special feature, we delve deeper into the findings:

  • The European Consumer Organisation’s survey of 22 questions was given to panels of ~1,000 respondents each in Belgium, Italy, Spain, and Portugal and 1,500 in Denmark, France, Germany, Poland, and Sweden. 11,500 consumers were surveyed overall.
  • A large majority of those polled believe AI can be useful, but still don’t trust the technology and believe current regulations don’t shield them from harm.
  • In all nine countries, most respondents had heard of AI. It was most well-known in Spain and Germany.
  • Respondents found said machine learning was most useful to predict traffic accidents (91%), health problems (87%), or to help with financial problems (81%).
  • Less than 20% believe that current laws regulate AI efficiently enough. 56% had low trust in authorities to control the technology.
  • In addition, nearly half of those surveyed in Spain and Italy believe AI will help to make the world more sustainable and contribute to increased life expectancy.
  • 60% of respondents in Belgium, Italy, Portugal, and Spain say that AI will lead to more abuse of personal data.
  • More than half of respondents in Germany, France, Italy, and Belgium had low trust in their privacy being protected when using voice and virtual assistants.
  • A majority in all countries agreed that consumers should be allowed to say “no” to automated decision-making.
  • Roughly 55% of respondents in all countries reported low trust in authorities to exert effective control over AI. The highest was 70% in Belgium.
  • Overall, the European Consumer Organisation concluded that while Europe has some consumer and privacy rules around AI, such as the GDPR, the rules aren’t broad and tailored enough to address AI risks, based on consumer concerns. Governments should update existing laws and pass new measures to strengthen consumer rights in AI.

If you would like to contribute to our blog, or have something to say please get in touch.

Latest Jobs