Australians and New Zealanders Adopt a Cautious Approach to AI


An Ipsos report released this week reveals that the Asia Pacific region remains divided about whether to be nervous or excited about AI. China, Indonesia, Thailand, and South Korea are ready to embrace AI, while Australia and New Zealand are more cautious.

The report surveyed people in 32 countries, including the Asia Pacific, from mid-April to early May, measuring attitudes towards AI, particularly understanding the technology and its impact on day-to-day life.

In Asia, most people (62%) said they were excited about AI products and services. Interest is greatest in China (80%), Indonesia (76%), Thailand (76%) and South Korea (73%). English-speaking countries, including Australia and New Zealand, are more cautious around AI – just 39% of Australians and 43% of New Zealanders said they were excited about the technology. Both countries are more likely to feel trepidation about AI, with 66% of New Zealanders and 64% of Australians saying AI makes them nervous.

People in Asia Pacific recognise the changes AI will bring. 73% of people across APAC said AI will profoundly change their lives in the next year three to five years. Most people across APAC (66%) said AI would change how they do their jobs in the next five years.

“People are still firmly divided over whether AI will be a friend or foe in the coming years,” said Ipsos APEC CEO Hamish Munro. “Across the APAC region, Asian countries are leading the charge for embracing the technology, showing both a strong understanding and excitement about the technology. English-speaking countries, including Australia and New Zealand, remain skeptical about AI, particularly its impact on their day-to-day life and employment.”

Key findings from the report include:

  • APAC has mixed understanding AI: Indonesia is leading the charge in understanding AI – 86% of those surveyed said they understand it. In Australia, 63% said they had a good understanding of AI. The figure is lower than the global average of 67%.
  • Asia Pacific people are educated on AI products and services: Self-claimed knowledge about AI products and services is highest in Asia, with China (81%), Indonesia (80%) and Thailand (69%) topping the list. Just over a third of Australians (38%) know what products and services use AI, well below the global average of 52%.
  • A divide in feelings towards AI: People are split over whether to be excited or nervous about AI. Countries in Asia are where excitement is highest with China, Indonesia, Thailand and South Korea most interested in AI products.
  • AI expected to impact daily life: 73% of people across APAC said AI will profoundly change their life in the next year three to five years. China and Indonesia (78% and 73% respectively) are the most likely to think AI has already changed their lives.
  • AI and employment: Most people across APAC (66%) said AI would change how they do their job in the next five years. Indonesia (87%), Thailand (81%) and China (80%) are the most likely to say AI will change how they do their job. At least half of Australians think AI will change their job – 16% said it was very likely to affect their work, while 34% said it was somewhat likely. However, more Australians think AI will improve their job (29%) than those who think it will make it worse (20%). Just under half (46%) expect it to make the job market worse.

“Greater education around the technology and practical examples may help to build confidence in the AI revolution and how it can be harnessed to improve everyday life,” said Munro.

You can read the full report here.


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