Positive opinion on the potential of AI, but concerned about the invisible and ‘black box’ nature of it

For many Flemings, Artificial Intelligence (AI) is a very vague concept, despite the extensive media coverage it receives. Certainly when we ask for people’s experiences with AI applications, there is a striking discrepancy in their answers. To the question of whether they have ever used AI applications, only 20% answered ‘yes’. But when we prompt them with a number of possible applications (a virtual assistant, smart speaker or chatbot), then 44% answer that they have used at least one in the past year. This shows that many Flemings are aware of the term AI, but underestimate its application. This, of course, is typical for AI, which invisibly creates natural interaction between humans and computers in the background.

Twice as many Flemings have a positive opinion of AI than a negative one. But given that for many people the concept of AI is a vague one, it is no wonder that the largest group of Flemings has more of a neutral attitude to it.

Three out of ten people in Flanders don’t feel comfortable with any AI application. The cut-off point appears to be at age 45: especially respondents over this age find AI a problem.

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Infographic Artificial Intelligence | imec.digimeter 2018

For companies


Prof. Dr. Lieven De Marez

Head of imec - Ghent University - MICT


Olivier Rits

Program Manager imec.livinglabs

Digital Transformation? It takes two to tango

Biggest conclusion of Digimeter 2018 is that consumers are building a more grown up relationship with their digital partner. It takes two to tango; the consumer expects of you, companies who offer digital solutions, that they are involved as a full-fledged partner in your new digital innovations.

The success of an evolution to an AI and data driven economy are largely dependent on the consumer’s trust in the technology and the companies behind that technology. Digimeter shows that only 10% has no confidence in technology en two thirds of consumers see clear advantages.

More then ever transparency in data use and business models will be a differentiating factor in the digital playing field. We will stay on top of attitudes to AI and data driven products and services, on the one hand through Digimeter and on the other hand through organising user testing in real contexts for next generation digital solutions. This way consumers and companies can explore the advantages of digital technology together.

Is your company working on digital innovation? Do you have an idea, a first prototype or an almost finished product, but are you missing real life feedback of potential end users? Contact Olivier Rits.

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