Advanced Computing in the Age of AI | Monday, July 15, 2024

COVID Prompts a Shift in AI Sentiment 

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COVID-19 has significantly shifted consumer sentiment towards automation technologies, including robot deliveries and AI-based chatbots used in telemedicine applications. However, a new AI sentiment report also finds the novel coronavirus has failed to move the sentiment needle when it comes to use cases like riding in self-driving cars.

The consumer sentiment survey released by conversational AI developer Interactions also confirms what others have reported, at least tangentially: Hospitals visits have plummeted during the pandemic, with critical ill patients dying at home out of fear of contracting COVID-19 while hospitalized. The healthcare news web site STAT reported in April that a survey of nine major hospitals found that the number of severe heart attacks treated at U.S. hospitals dropped nearly 40 percent since mid-March.

STAT labeled the sentiment shift “COVID phobia.”

Along with healthcare and telemedicine, the survey identified shifting attitudes toward greater use of automation in areas ranging from delivery robots to automating grocery store logistics for tracking inventory and cleaning. Indeed, automating grocery store functions rated highest in terms of shifting AI sentiment at 57 percent. One-third of survey respondents said they would be “comfortable with the idea of robots in grocery stores.”

Read the full story here at sister web site Datanami.


About the author: George Leopold

George Leopold has written about science and technology for more than 30 years, focusing on electronics and aerospace technology. He previously served as executive editor of Electronic Engineering Times. Leopold is the author of "Calculated Risk: The Supersonic Life and Times of Gus Grissom" (Purdue University Press, 2016).