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Building greater trust in AI will be crucial to ensuring its beneficial effects prevail. That’s why Cognizant Research surveyed 1,000 consumers to discern how the level of trust and understanding of generative AI affects how they perceive this technology. 

In late 2023, Cognizant Research set out to determine consumer sentiment and trust in generative AI across a variety of contexts. To do so we conducted an online quantitative survey with 1,000 respondents in the US, and the consumer attitude results can most likely be applied elsewhere, regardless of country.

These are among the key findings:

  • Trust in gen AI among US consumers is low overall at 33%, but this varies widely depending on demographics. For example, males aged 25–54, those who are higher educated, employed, urban dwelling, and business decision-makers are more likely to say they trust gen AI.
  • 68% of consumers say they are familiar with gen AI, but overall consumers are evenly split between enthusiasm and concern about the prospects of the technology.
  • Familiarity and enthusiasm are the main drivers of trust in gen AI. Of respondents who believe they are very familiar with gen AI, 70% say they are more enthusiastic than concerned about its prospects.
  • 70% of consumers believe gen AI will make other technologies easier to use, and more than half believe gen AI will increase access to innovation (63%) and benefit education (56%).
  • Yet only a third of consumers believe gen AI will increase social mobility and employment opportunities.
  • 40% think the impact of generative AI on society is already noticeable; 95% think it will be noticeable within the next five years.

What does all this mean to a company wanting to leverage gen AI then? The survey result underscores the importance of building trust in AI to ensure it achieves its full potential. There’s an opportunity for businesses to build confidence with transparency and mitigate the perceived detrimental impacts of gen AI.

The most important thing to elevate trust, according to respondents, are a strict code of conduct and transparency through AI that provides source information. Training to help employees understand the technology is also important, and here, consumers trust higher education the most when it comes to reskilling and education for gen AI (33%), followed by big technology companies (26%).

A key element in the process of building trust is also about responsible AI, where responsible design and release practices are prioritized from the beginning. In a 2023 global summit within the World Economic Forum framework, experts and policymakers delivered recommendations for a responsible AI stewardship. Cognizant was one of the contributors, and you can view the 30 recommendations on responsible gen AI here.

For more insights, read the Oxford Economics/Cognizant report New World, New Work and visit our Generative AI webpage.

Duncan Roberts

Thought Leader & Futurist, Cognizant Research

Duncan Roberts

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