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Ethical concerns mount among UAE consumers as AI takes a bigger role in businesses

New report says lack of transparency is enough for consumers to switch brands.

Ethical concerns mount among UAE consumers as AI takes a bigger role in businesses
[Source photo: Anvita Gupta/Fast Company Middle East]

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As the use of AI increases throughout society and brands integrate the technology into their operations to enhance efficiency and cut costs, consumers are increasingly losing trust that these companies will use the technology ethically. 

According to Salesforce’s latest report, State of the Connected Customer, consumers in the UAE are concerned about the unethical practices of AI in businesses, with 77% addressing unease about the usage.

The report revealed that while consumers believe the technology could enhance their experience, it has increased their distrust of the companies. A majority (57%) said greater transparency about the use of AI would improve their level of trust in a brand. It also found that 85% of people want to know when interacting with AI.

Salesforce found that consumers are becoming less open to AI integration. This year, only 51% of consumers want the technology used to improve their experiences, a dip from 65% last year.

Customer experience is recorded as a vital factor among consumers, with 89% stating that they expect faster service with advanced technology and 83% placing the user experience a company provides on an equal level of importance as the products and services.

The latest survey points to trust as the biggest challenge facing the adoption of AI technology. Earlier this year, a survey found that 48% of respondents don’t trust AI with their work. Only 12% trusted AI to be responsible for at least 75% of managerial decisions.

Another survey found that over three-quarters of respondents don’t trust AI with decisions that directly affect them.

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