Are Asian consumers ready to embrace AI?

Salesforce has launched a new research focused on Asian consumers which found that most Asian consumers believe that AI will improve the world and their lives in the future (63%); helping them make smarter decisions and their jobs more interesting. 66% of the Singapore respondents acknowledged the need to learn, develop and upskill themselves to be future-ready.

Titled “Artificial Intelligence in Asia: Trust, Understanding and the Opportunity to Re-Skill”, the study said that job opportunities were a top concern for Asian consumers, but most recognised the need to develop and upskill for the jobs of the future (58%). In the meantime, 61% of Singaporeans think AI will enable them to do a better or more interesting job and only 29% think AI will put them out of a job.

Asian consumers still lack an understanding of AI, and the data shows that this corresponds with a lower level of trust. Those who believe that AI can improve their lives and the world, are also the ones who reported a higher level of understanding of AI. Higher levels of understanding translated to higher levels of trust, which represents a strong opportunity for businesses to educate and inform their customers on the true value of AI.

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Views on chatbots, robo-advisors and self-driving cars

Consumers in Asia still prefer human interaction, and exhibited low trust levels toward chatbots, robo-advisors and self-driving cars. Asian consumers across Hong Kong, India, Thailand, Indonesia and Philippines all prefer the human touch and trust a human to better understand the issue and will give them the answer they are looking for.

In Singapore (69%) and Hong Kong (77%), consumers still trust a human more and prefer to interact with one to offer financial and wealth advice. Singapore consumers (90%) overwhelmingly trust and prefer a human over a chatbot, have a good understanding of a chatbot and have interacted with one (79%).

Overall, the Asian consumer tends to have a higher acceptance of product or content recommendations through AI but ultimately still trust the opinions of friends and families. Voice assistants are the most popular choice of AI interaction among Asian consumers as more than half of the respondents would actively choose to interact with one.

"AI has the power to improve and transform the way societies live and work, and our interactions with one another. We are here to help companies and individuals get ready for the future - both the jobs of the future and the customers of the future. Our online learning platform, Trailhead, has transformed the lives and careers of 160,000 Trailblazers globally and will continue to help guide Asia businesses and consumers through this change and into the future," Renzo Taal, SVP, Salesforce APAC.

This research was conducted by YouGov, commissioned by Salesforce and covers seven Asian markets: Singapore, Hong Kong, India, Thailand, Malaysia, Indonesia and Philippines with a sample size of 1000 consumers in each market