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It doesn’t seem that long ago that artificial intelligence (AI) was a fantasy that made for thrilling sci-fi movies. Now, AI has become an everyday part of life, with marketers using it for anything from content personalization to gaining customer insights – and also chatting with customers online. However, customers are not necessarily ready for AI to take complete control over their interactions, as illustrated by a new survey from Invoca. The research indicates that half (52%) of US customers feel frustrated with companies that only provide automated communications with no offer of human interaction.

In fact, very few (16%) of the more than 2,000 US adults surveyed say they enjoy a fully automated, non-human, communication experience with companies, while 18% say the experience makes them angry. Although businesses may be opting to not have an option for customers to interact with a human, companies are also getting the message that customers at least want to be informed if they are speaking to a human or AI.

That being said, US adults have differing levels of comfort when it comes to trusting AI-generated advice, depending on the industry. About half (49%) of respondents say they would trust advice from AI for retail and 38% said they would trust AI-generated advice regarding hospitality. However, where trust tends to drop off considerably is with advice for healthcare (20%) and financial services (19%).

Age is also a factor when it comes to trusting AI-generated advice. In general, younger consumers tend to be more trusting of advice coming from AI, with 80% of 18-34-year-old respondents trusting AI compared to 62% of those respondents 35 years old and older. The gap is even more pronounced when looking at more sensitive advice like healthcare and financial services. Some 22% (each) of 18-34-year-olds say they trust advice generated through AI for these industries while only 10% (each) of respondents 65 years old and older could say the same.

About the Data: The survey was conducted online within the United States by The Harris Poll on behalf of Invoca from May 9-13, 2019 among 2,048 U.S. adults ages 18 and older. The survey was not based on a probability sample and therefore no estimate of theoretical sampling error can be calculated.

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