March 21, 2018


by William Turner in News

New Red Agency YouGov Galaxy research reveals Aussies’ uncertainty over artificial intelligence technology

Artificial intelligence (AI) was once reserved for science-fiction movies but today, the technology is a reality and leaving consumers bewildered and concerned by its potential impact. New research has revealed that 87% would like to see AI technology advance in the future and almost half (43%) are enthusiastic about its future development, however many Australians remain sceptical about its effectiveness – and ‘intelligence’.

The YouGov Galaxy Artificial Intelligence Study, commissioned by leading PR, social and experiential consultancy, Red Agency, as part of its annual Red Sky Predictions report, has revealed the principal concerns about the increasing use of AI include job losses (61%) and making the right decisions in emergencies (60%).

Additionally, more than half are worried about Governments or private companies using AI to spy or keep track of individuals (52%) or the technology leading to more wars if it falls into the wrong hands (52%).

Most workers (57%) believe automation and technological advancements pose a threat to their current job, while a third (33%) are confident that robots could never perform their current job. Those most enthusiastic about AI are more likely to think the increasing use of technology poses a threat to their job while in contrast, those concerned about AI are more likely to take the view that robots could never perform their job.

Nevertheless, when it comes to AI demonstrating functional benefits, Aussies are more buoyant about future possibilities. Six in ten would like to see the development of systems that will help doctors choose the most appropriate medication for their patients while others would like to see advancement of speech recognition software (37%) and self-drive cars (37%).

James Wright, CEO of Red Agency, said the study’s findings demonstrate a great opportunity to bring Australians closer to the technology to give them a deeper understanding of what it can do.

“The research highlights there is still a fair way to go to convince Australians about the merits of AI. Clearly perceptions need to shift – 43% still typically think of robots when it comes to AI and there is a significant concern about the role of the technology in the workplace.

“But we’re not Luddites. Aussies understand how AI can help transform our future with healthcare the number one area we would like to see focused on. Now is the time for innovators and decision-makers to get together to demonstrate its value, developing technologies for good and giving confidence to Aussies that its role will enhance our future way of life.”


The YouGov Galaxy study was conducted online among a nationally-representative sample of Australians.