Robot Fear Index: 31.5

Like many in the tech space, we believe robotics is changing the nature of work; however, public perception of robots is still a question mark. We developed our Robot Fear Index to measure and track the average consumer’s perception of robots. We asked over 500 US consumers about topics ranging from their use of robots at home to their comfort level with self-driving cars. Then we distilled the data down to an index value that we will publish regularly. An index value of 100 suggests widespread and extreme fear of robots; an index value of 0 suggests minimal fear of robots.

Consumer adoption of Artificial Intelligence and robotics is already quite broad. Consider how often you see someone dictating a text message to Siri or using the self-checkout lane at the grocery store. Our data shows that 68% of US consumers have used a digital assistant and 68% have used some sort of robotic technology in the last three months. And yet, fear of robots is also pervasive. We fear that they’ll replace our jobs or somehow overthrow us; and to be blunt, those fears are valid. To quantify, 14% of consumers say that robots make them nervous and 46% suggest that they simply aren’t interested in robots. Our Robot Fear Index value of 31.5 suggests that, on balance, we’re cautiously comfortable with robots. Let’s look at what’s driving this perception.

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VR Excitement Index: 10.2

While we are big believers in virtual reality, along with many in the tech space, public perception of it is still a question mark. VR is far from mainstream with only a few million users globally today. We developed our VR Excitement Index to measure and track the average consumer’s interest in virtual reality. We asked over 500 US consumers about topics ranging from their interest level in various VR use cases to what’s held them back from trying VR. Then we distilled the data down to an index value that we will publish regularly. An index value of 100 suggests widespread usage of and peak excitement for VR; an index value of 0 suggests no public interest in VR.

So, what does a VR Excitement Index value of 10.2 mean? We think it quantifies consensus thinking that “VR is in its early stages”. We’re probably at the bottom of the first or top of the second inning. There’s a lot of game left to be played.

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