The Tech Comfort Zone: UK Public Open to Robot Assistants, but Driverless Cars Currently a No-Go
- More than half of British consumers are positive about the societal changes technology is driving in the UK (53 percent)
- 88 percent of the UK public believe technology is driving societal change, but only a third (37 percent) believe they are fully prepared for such technological transformation
- Around half (49 percent) feel uncomfortable being diagnosed by ‘AI doctors’, while less than 2-in-10 will put their children in a driverless car alone
This positivity is driven from the opportunities associated with technology. Almost 6-in-10 (57 percent) of the public say technology enables access to new ways of learning, with skills – and technology’s ability to allow for the development of new skills (52 percent) – following closely behind. A reflection perhaps of the fact that only a third (34 percent) say the UK is prepared for a digital future and 37 percent believe they have the skills to take advantage of the opportunities ahead.
While the outlook is vastly positive, there is a note of caution for technology providers, with the findings highlighting a gap in the UK comfort levels with new innovation. While more than half (54 percent) are comfortable with the use of smart technology in their homes, a similar number (49 percent) say they are uncomfortable being diagnosed by an ‘AI doctor’ and less than 2-in-10 would be comfortable putting their children in a driverless car alone.Technology that the UK public is most and least comfortable with (%):
|1. Smart technology to monitor energy usage (54)
||1. Diagnosed by AI doctor (49)
|2. Speaking to my GP using online services (43)
||2. Being diagnosed via mobile app (49)
|3. Being served by a robot in the supermarket (37)
||3. Putting their child in a driverless car alone (48)
|4. Automated tax return (37)
||4. Having their work judged by a robot (47)
|5. Getting deliveries by drone (34)
||5. Being picked up by a driverless car (41)
“Technology is completely transforming Britain. For that to remain positive, technology companies must take responsibility and ensure innovation helps all people from all corners of the UK. From helping reskill those displaced by technology - something 60 percent believe tech companies are responsible for - through to bolstering our cyber security, it is vital that technology lives up to its promise to positively impact the entire country”, said Rupal Karia, Head of Commercial Sector, UK & Ireland, Fujitsu. “To ensure the UK remains at the heart of digital transformation, companies need to take responsibility for educating people. It’s not enough to simply innovate and send a product out, businesses need to take responsibility for the impact it has and work harder to educate the nation on the benefits these changes can bring in the long run.”
The UK public’s positive attitude towards technology does not extend to other external factors impacting their lives today. Around half (51 percent) say they are worried about the future, with the current political turbulence (59 percent) and global economic uncertainty (51 percent) the leading issues the UK fears will negatively impact the country’s outlook.
“From our morning alarm, to buying train tickets and paying for our morning coffee with contactless cards, almost everything we do today incorporates an element of technology that has made life more convenient,” said Karia. “Arguably, these changes have permeated our lives slowly. Yet, with the pace of change increasing rapidly, there is an expectation that the public will continue to embrace new technologies at the same rate. And while the UK is undoubtedly excited about the digital journey we’re on, there is a need for further education and a focus on consumer comfort levels. We cannot encourage a UK where only the digital-savvy can thrive. We need technology to be an encompassing, supportive and uniting force of innovation and positivity. A failure to do means a failure in mass adoption and ultimately, a stifled future for the UK.”
Notes to editors
Fujitsu’s “Tech in a Transforming Britain’ report is available for download here: http://uk.fujitsu.com/transforming-britain
This quantitative research was carried out in August 2017 by independent research company Censuswide. 2,000 UK consumers and 635 IT decision makers in the retail, utilities, financial services, central government and transport sectors were surveyed.
Fujitsu is the leading Japanese information and communication technology (ICT) company, offering a full range of technology products, solutions and services. Approximately 155,000 Fujitsu people support customers in more than 100 countries. We use our experience and the power of ICT to shape the future of society with our customers. Fujitsu Limited (TSE: 6702) reported consolidated revenues of 4.5 trillion yen (US$40 billion) for the fiscal year ended March 31, 2017. For more information, please see http://www.fujitsu.com.
About Fujitsu in the UK & Ireland
Fujitsu employs over 14,000 people in the UK & Ireland, with total revenues exceeding £1.8 billion. Offering an integrated product and service portfolio, we deliver consulting, applications, technology products, systems integration and managed services, including cloud-based solutions, for customers across both public and private sectors, including retail, financial services, telecoms, government, defence and consumer IT. For more information, please see http://uk.fujitsu.com.
Date: 28 November, 2017