Although Brexit deadlines are looming, new research by Hanover Communications, which included Ireland, has found that 46% of people fear the long-term impact of artificial intelligence over that of the UK’s exit from the EU.

AI is now part of everyday life. There is no other type of technology in recent history that has developed so quickly, and businesses are adopting it to help them innovate, improve efficiencies and cut costs. However, 50% of people surveyed feel that AI will change the nature of their jobs, yet 59% of these say that their employers haven’t discussed with them how this may happen.

Public perception of AI has yet to catch up to the benefits it could bring. 15% of people are worried it could “wipe out the human race”, suggesting that the name ‘artificial intelligence’ has science fiction connections that could hinder the understanding of its potential benefits. Such is the extent of consumer concern about AI – from personal privacy to job losses – that companies need to have a strategy to communicate their intentions from the start.

According to Charles Lewington, CEO of Hanover Communications, “AI has the potential to transform our lives for the better in an exponential way, so businesses adopting this technology need to grasp the communications challenges urgently. As well as company-by-company change management, all advocates of AI need to understand that misperceptions could strangle the next phase of the technology revolution at birth. Otherwise, businesses may find themselves suffering from a ‘reputation gap’, which is the difference between what they do and how these actions are viewed.”

“In order to protect brand reputation, companies need to include a communications strategy from the start. This includes communicating their AI vision internally as well as externally.

“Discussions on AI regulation is underway, and businesses need to engage with regulators and policymakers so that they can clearly demonstrate that their purpose has a wider, societal benefit.”

To find out more about AI and the reputation gap, Hanover Communications has published a new report, ‘Decoding brand reputation in the age of artificial intelligence’.

It examines the opportunities and challenges that business face when implementing AI, and offers practical advise on how to minimise the reputation gap. It also features exclusive research on consumer and employee sentient surrounding the technology.

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