I always look forward to reading the Edelman Trust Barometer and the latest release highlights paradoxes when it comes to our trust in politicians to regulate technology, such as #artificialintelligence. On one hand, rapid innovation is believed to be promising greater prosperity, but on the other hand people are wary of poorly managed innovation. And in most countries regulation of AI is lagging way behind tech developments. So can we really build responsible and trustworthy AI?
Here are some key takeaways that caught my eye:
➡ The Collision of Trust, Innovation and Politics: People don’t believe politicians have the competence to regulate tech innovations effectively (nearly 2-to-1!), raising concerns about its impact on society and exacerbating political divides.
➡ Business Takes the Lead (But Barely): Business retains the top spot in the trust rankings, but only just. The message? Trust is fragile, and maintaining it requires more than just technological advancements.
➡ Media Distrust Deepens: The media continues to struggle with trust, highlighting the critical need for reliable and transparent information sources in an increasingly complex world.
➡ Science: The Trusted Voice Amidst the Noise: Scientists emerge as key figures in fostering trust around innovation, emphasising the importance of evidence-based decision-making. But not all scientists are great at communicating in ways that the public “get”, so will their comms skills improve?
Where do we go from here? For leaders, the call is clear: innovation demands responsible stewardship. This means ensuring technology serves the good of all, not just a privileged few.
At the Tech UK Conference in December, Sue Daley hit the nail on the head – and summed up why I do what I do – when she said:
We need to ensure artificial intelligence benefits 8 billion people, not just 8 billionaires
This means embracing transparency and accountability, fostering dialogue with diverse communities, and prioritising ethical considerations alongside technological advancements.
For us as individuals, the responsibility lies in actively seeking diverse perspectives. Let curiosity be our compass, guiding us beyond echo chambers and into nuanced conversations. We need more critical thinking to protect us from misinformation and fuelling informed engagement.
And for the media, it’s time for change with authentic storytelling, grounded in evidence and devoid of bias.
The 2024 Edelman Trust Barometer unveils a society both enthralled and uneasy about the future. It’s a paradox we must face with open minds, collaborative spirit, and a shared commitment to building a future where innovation thrives alongside trust. Let’s begin the conversation, and together, orchestrate progress for all.