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The Robot Fear Index: Alexa, Siri Lure US Into AI Future

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The Robot Fear Index: Alexa, Siri Lure US Into AI Future
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Beware the sirens. Apple Inc. (NASDAQ: AAPL)’s Siri and Amazon.com, Inc. (NASDAQ: AMZN)’s Alexa are quieting concerns over robot integration and winning consumers’ welcome.

A proliferation of digital assistants corresponded with a marginal increase in American comfort with robots, according to a Loup Ventures survey.

“We continue to see digital assistants as an on-ramp to AI and robotics for many consumers,” Andrew Murphy, managing partner at Loup Ventures, said in a Monday note.

Steadying Suspicion

On a scale from Mark Zuckerberg’s enthusiasm to Elon Musk’s skepticism, Americans are warming to automated aides.

Despite Musk’s warnings of an existential threat and reports of imminent job displacement, Loup registered “cautious comfort” of robots, measuring an average rating of 30.9 on a scale from zero (minimal fear) to 100 (extreme fear). Last year’s survey measured 31.5.

“We believe consumer fear of robots is essentially unchanged, despite growing awareness of the potential risks of automation,” Murphy said.

Of 500 respondents, about 27 percent said robots would significantly displace human employees within five years; 31 percent said it would occur within 10 years; 24 percent said robots would significantly displace humans within 20 years; and 17 percent said they never would. 

Robot Rising

Those surveyed reported a year-over-year increase in comfort for robotic use in house cleaning, lawn care, healthcare, entertainment, travel and shopping.

Of those not using robots, 70 percent cited either low interest or cost as the primary deterrent. Only 6 percent, down from last year’s 11 percent, eschew the technology out of fear.

Related Links:
The Business Leaders Who Aren’t Worried About Robots Replacing Us
Our Own Worst Enemy: AI A Lesser Threat To Humanity Than Humans Are

Photo courtesy of iRobot. 

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