IPA’s new research reveals fundamental disconnect on knowledge of AI terminology and tech take-up

There is a noticeable disconnect between the general public’s relatively low knowledge of most AI-related terminology and their high awareness of most listed technologies that use AI. This is one of the key findings of the IPA’s new quarterly AI Radar report.

According to the data, while the majority of GB consumers report to have heard of and know what Artificial Intelligence is (77%), knowledge of other prevalent AI terms drops off significantly, such as Algorithms (55%); Machine Learning (35%); Programmatic (18%); Artificial Neural Networks (16%) and Conversational UI (14%).

Despite this lack of knowledge on the terminology, consumers are however using AI-driven services and devices - if unknowingly. For example, among the British public, predictive text (78%), email filtering (66%), and predictive search terms (62%) are the most used services that harness some form of AI (such as algorithms, neural networks etc). It is also significant that almost half of consumers (48%) have used Voice Assistant technology, which is at odds with their awareness of conversational UI as a term (14%), as outlined above.

A further disparity revealed in the research is between advertising professionals and consumers when it comes to understanding the basic tenets of AI. While more than half of advertising respondents say that they know what Machine Intelligence (65%), Machine Learning (61%) and Game AI (52%) is, this understanding is far lower for the general public at (35%, 35% and 31% respectively).

Says Nigel Gwilliam, IPA Consultant Head of Media & Emerging Tech: “AI is bubbling up in all manner of places, but we don’t necessarily appreciate it as AI from the fuel injection and anti-lock brakes in your car to the heart of YouTube’s content filtering. What is fascinating about this first instalment of The AI Radar is the disparities it exposes and the subsequent opportunities this offers our industry, not only to engage and guide our clients on AI but to also take the lead in demystifying the landscape for consumers so they can better understand the real benefits.”

Each quarterly AI Radar contains new quantitative AI-focused survey responses from a panel of 1000 nationally representative GB consumers and 100 GB advertising and marketing professionals*. The reports also contains key headlines from the world of AI, as well as different opinion pieces on the state of play in AI.

Says IPA President Sarah Golding, CEO & Partner, The&Partnership: “When I set out my Magic and The Machines agenda last year, I made clear my intention to “learn from the front” in my quest to acquire and share the knowledge needed for the ad industry to embrace and implement artificial intelligence into client campaigns. Following on from the IPA’s excellent research on Voice Assistant Technology last autumn, this new series will help give me, and I hope you, the insight needed to enhance our understanding of people’s awareness of AI and appetite for artificial intelligence-based services.”


Last updated 21 January 2022