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UK consumers want biometrics but fear driverless cars and AI

Report also shows many adults across the country have never heard of the internet of things or big data

Consumers in the UK are excited about the prospect of biometrics and improved connectivity, but are concerned about the issues that may arise from innovations such as autonomous vehicles, according to a new report.

The survey, of 2,000 adults across the UK, showed that 32% of consumers are positive about the increasing use of biometric technologies such as retina and fingerprint scanning.

The arrival of 5G is also seen positively by consumers nationwide, according to the study, which was carried out by market research firm Opinium and commissioned by London-based digital agency Studio Graphene. Other areas of excitement include wearable technologies.

However, concerns were expressed in a number of areas, including driverless cars, where issues related to the technology worry 43% of UK adults.

Fears over autonomous vehicles are most significant when compared to other technologies covered by the research, such as artificial intelligence (AI), seen as concerning by 24% of those polled.

The study also highlighted consumers’ unfamiliarity with some emerging technologies, such as the internet of things, which 37% of respondents had not heard of, followed by big data – a concept unknown by 35% of those polled.

“Despite the hype, AI and driverless cars still trigger fear among UK adults,” said Studio Graphene founder Ritam Gandhi. “What is more, these are hugely significant trends shaping the world around us – like IoT and big data – which consumers do not fully understand.

“It is important, therefore, that the businesses creating and using these technologies help explain to consumers exactly what the terms mean and how they can improve their day-to-day lives.”

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