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2.5 million Aussies terrified by AI, tech not meeting their expectations and 85% worried about data security

NEW RESEARCH 3 mins read

New research by Australian technology company Versent has uncovered significant gaps between what Aussie adults want, like and expect from the technology in their daily lives and what companies and government are delivering.


A key finding from Versent’s Great Tech-Spectations research is that data security is Aussies’ number one technology concern with 85 per cent of people surveyed reporting that they are worried (54%) or very worried (31%) about their data being stolen.


In what should be concerning to companies, just 16 per cent of people think they are doing enough to protect customer data, and this is being put down to: ‘they don’t want to spend money on it’ (69%), ‘they don’t see it as a priority’ (49%), they don’t care enough (43%) and they don’t know what to do (28%).


Turning to AI, Versent found that 42 per cent of adult Aussies are feeling ‘concerned’ and 11 per cent are ‘terrified’. This compares to 37 per cent who are ‘interested’ and 27 per cent who are ‘open-minded’. 


A large number of Australians have zero or low trust in Government (44%) and companies (45%) using AI appropriately.


Kate Wellard, Chief Marketing Officer at Versent, said: “What we found is that Australians are highly comfortable with tech, but we also have high expectations that aren’t always considered and addressed.


“AI is a case in point. Many organisations are bullish in the way they communicate their commitment to AI, but we now know that 8.5 million adult Australians are feeling concerned about AI and more than 2.2 million are ‘terrified’. It may pay for businesses to moderate their language and approach, to help bring their customers and employees along on their journey.


“At work, 96% of Aussies are using tech, but less than half think it’s fit for purpose (46%), convenient and easy to use (45%), or helps them do their job well (47%).


“When asked to rate the tech they use at work out of 10 against their expectations, employees of SMEs and medium sized companies said 7.1, large companies 6.8 and the public sector came in last at 6.6/10.


“Companies might put off upgrades because it seems difficult, but tech underpins how we work and engage every day. Clunky tech is not just a source of irritation; it is often a missed opportunity to improve your productivity, profit and brand reputation as well”, Wellard said.


The research benchmarked  industry sectors by asking people to rate the tech organisations use to engage with them out of ten. The average score across ten industry sectors was just 6.98/10.


The banking and home entertainment sectors were found to be leading the way with a modest score of 7.4 out of 10. Meanwhile the government and health sectors are trailing the field at 6.5.


Kate Wellard added that perhaps Versent’s most important finding was that it’s time to blow open age-based stereotypes because they are misleading.


“We had expected to report the results based on whether respondents were Gen Z, Milennials, Gen X or Baby Boomers but when we analysed the data we found generations are more alike than they are different. It’s attitudes, not age that determine people’s perceptions and preferences.


“When people self-selected from six ‘personas’ we found that there is a pretty good cross section of all generations in every one and some surprising results as well. For example, among the group who feel left behind and excluded, 30 per cent are from Gen Z. Meanwhile 11 per cent of Baby Boomers identify as technology ‘enthusiasts’.


“Before any organisation designs, changes or communicates about technology, it pays for them to find out first who they are designing it for, and what they expect and need”, Wellard said.


Other key findings:

  • What Aussies like most about tech is the easy access to information and connection with others it provides. Connection to others is especially liked among millennials (63%) and females (60%). However, 1 in 5 Aussies likes that technology allows them to do things without having to deal with people.
  • The second most common concern people have is ‘companies knowing too much about me’ (47%) which is considerably higher than ‘government knowing too much about me’ (36%).
  • Only 1 in 5 people like receiving ads that are relevant to them, and just 1 in 10 like that their favourite brands maintain contact.

A summary of key data is attached,

Key Facts:

Business urged to moderate their language when it comes to AI as new research finds 2.5 million adult Aussies are 'terrified' of AI, 8.5 million are 'concerned'

About us:

About Versent

Versent is an Australian technology consulting company, focused on architecting, building and operating cloud-native applications, enabling data and insights, and securing platforms and services.

Go to:

Contact details:

Paul Wickham

Boxing Clever


M: +61 412 398 489


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