The Age of AI: Consumers View Data Choice and Control as Fundamental Rights 

In a rapidly expanding AI landscape set to grow by $1.3 trillion over the next decade, Ketch partnered with The Ethical Tech Project to conduct a nationwide survey to shed light on the consumer perceptions of data privacy within the AI sector.

Only 14% of U.S. adults had experienced ChatGPT in March 2023, but the recent survey unveiled a rise, with 27% of respondents engaging with ChatGPT within the past six months. This surge reflects a rising interest in AI usage among U.S. adults.

"Data stewardship is directly linked to revenue and top-line growth – especially as AI heightens consumer anxiety around how AI models use their data from a variety of places. If this doesn't motivate business leaders to take data privacy seriously – then I'm not sure what will," said Jonathan Joseph, the Head of Solutions and Marketing at Ketch.

Balancing excitement and concern 

The survey underscores the readiness of the market for AI applications, with 68% of U.S. adults expressing enthusiasm and unease regarding innovative AI technology. However, consumers underscore the importance of ethical AI implementation. Deloitte's recent survey also highlights this, showing that 56% of respondents are uncertain whether their organizations have established ethical guidelines for its implementation.

About one-third of U.S. adults perceive AI's advantages and disadvantages as evenly matched. While AI applications like language translation and fraud detection receive broad support, apprehensions arise when AI assumes greater roles, such as self-driving cars or job displacement.

"Business leaders need to prioritize the ethical use of data as a competitive priority, particularly as AI changes their day-to-day operations. Instead of leaders prognosticating whether consumers care about these issues or not, the genie is out of the bottle: data privacy in the era of AI is no longer a nice-to-have, it's a need-to-have," said Tom Chavez, the Founder and Chair of the Ethical Tech Project.

Embracing ethical data practices 

The results resonate with consumers advocating for businesses to adopt ethical data practices in the age of AI. Consumers demand clear and upfront communication regarding AI's scope and consequences. They recognize AI's potential bias and highlight corporate responsibility in AI development and deployment.

Researchers conducted a conjoint analysis to better understand consumers' attitudes toward businesses' adoption of ethical data practices. This approach quantifies how responsible data practices affect purchase intent and brand preference. The most effective data privacy measure, enabling consumers to revoke data access at any time, significantly boosted purchase intent by 22% and bolstered brand trustworthiness by 23%.

Short-term privacy measures 

Additional short-term privacy measures, including appropriate data retention periods, regulatory oversight for accountability, agency measures granting data control and ensuring data destruction, fairness features permitting consumers to choose AI training data usage and transparent data usage communication, all yielded double-digit enhancements in purchase intent and brand trustworthiness beyond the baseline.

The survey highlights consumers' growing consciousness of AI and data privacy, emphasizing the need for ethical AI implementation in business practices. The results underscore the significance of consumer choice, control, transparency, and corporate responsibility in developing and deploying AI systems in the Age of AI.