Emerging Economies More Optimistic about Artificial Intelligence – Modern Diplomacy

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According to a new survey, six out of ten expect that products and services using artificial intelligence will profoundly change their daily life in the next three to five years and half feel that this has already happened.
60% of respondents believe that products and services using AI will make their life easier, but four in ten admitted that the use of AI makes them nervous.
These are some of the findings of a 28-country survey conducted by Ipsos for the World Economic Forum of 19,504 adults under the age of 75 between November 19 and December 3, 2021.
“In order to trust artificial intelligence, people must know and understand exactly what AI is, what it’s doing, and its impact,” said Kay Firth-Butterfield, Head of Artificial Intelligence and Machine Learning at the World Economic Forum. “Leaders and companies must make transparent and trustworthy AI a priority as they implement this technology. At the World Economic Forum, we are focused on multistakeholder collaboration to optimize accountability, transparency, privacy and impartiality to create that trust. With the ability to solve many of society’s pressing issues, we are focused on accelerating the benefits and mitigating the risks of artificial intelligence and machine learning. Only then can we gain public trust and benefit from the rewards of emerging tech like AI.”
Familiarity with Artificial Intelligence
For the purpose of this survey, AI was defined as “computers and robots doing things which traditionally require human intelligence.”
On average for all 28 countries surveyed, almost two-thirds (64%) of respondents claimed that they have a good understanding of what AI is, based on this definition. However only half (50%) said that they knew which types of products and services use AI.
Reported familiarity with AI varied among demographic groups, with business decision-makers (74%), those with a university degree (71%), and those in their country’s upper-income tier (71%) most likely to report a good understanding of it. On average, men were also more likely to say that they understand AI than women were.
Geographic variations were even broader. “Good understanding of AI” ranged from lows of 41% in Japan and 42% in Italy, to highs of 78% in South Africa, 76% in Chile, and 75% in Russia. Reported knowledge of which products and services use AI ranged from 32% in Japan to 76% in China.
Impact of artificial intelligence on daily life
While a majority of global respondents agreed that AI is likely to profoundly change everyday life, certain sectors were expected to experience more noticeable levels of change than others. The areas that people expect to change the most due to AI are education and learning (cited by 35%), safety (33%), employment (32%), shopping (31%), and transportation (30%).
Citizens of emerging economies were significantly more likely than those from more economically developed countries to expect AI to significantly impact daily life.
Some 80% of respondents in China and Saudi Arabia expect AI to change their life, but less than half in Canada, Germany, France, United Kingdom, and the U.S. do.
Similarly, when asked whether AI would make their lives easier or better, respondents were more likely to be optimistic in less economically developed countries. For example, 76% in Saudi Arabia, and 70% in Peru agreed that AI would have more benefits than drawbacks, as opposed to only 31% in France, 32% in Canada, and 35% in the U.S.

The areas that people expected AI to impact most positively were education and learning (77%), entertainment (77%), transportation (74%), and the home (73%).
However, the global public was evenly divided on its benefits when it comes to income (better for only 53%), personal and family relationships (50%), and employment (47%).
Only four in ten expect AI to improve costs of living (42%) and freedom and legal rights (37%).
In certain countries, the percentage of those expecting a positive impact varied little across different categories. However, in several others (such as Italy, Japan, South Korea, Russia, Turkey and the US) opinions about which areas AI will improve vary far more widely. For example, 79% of Italians and 72% of Americans think AI will improve their home, but only 19% and 16%, respectively think it will improve their freedom and legal rights.
Trust in companies that use artificial intelligence technologies
Only half of respondents (50%) say that they trust companies that use AI as much as those that don’t. Trust in companies that use AI was again highly correlated with reported familiarity with AI.
There was a wide divide between emerging countries and high-income countries. A majority of respondents in emerging countries said they trusted companies that use AI as much as other companies, most notably in China (where 76% said they trusted such companies), Saudi Arabia (73%), and India (68%). In contrast, only about one-third of survey respondents in many high-income countries were trusting of AI-powered companies, including Canada (34%), France (34%), the U.S. (35%), Great Britain (35%), and Australia (36%).
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As global auto manufacturers continue to invest in electrified vehicle (EV) production, internal combustion engine (ICE) powertrains dominate future U.S. intentions, with 69% of U.S. consumers looking to retain the technology for their next vehicle.
Despite a growing interest in sustainability globally, more than half (53%) of U.S. consumers are unwilling to pay more than US$500 for alternative engine solutions.
Virtual sales continue to show promise for their convenience and ease of use; however, 75% of U.S. consumers would prefer an in-person experience for their next vehicle purchase.
Shared mobility services like ride-hailing and car sharing have been slow to return to pre-pandemic levels; 76% of Americans prefer their personal vehicles to other modes of transportation.
Why this matters
While the automotive sector focuses on the road ahead and a return to its pre-pandemic pace of growth, consumer values remain aligned with familiarity and affordability. For 12 years, Deloitte has been exploring automotive consumer trends impacting the rapidly evolving global mobility ecosystem. This year’s report, “2022 Global Automotive Consumer Study,” explores a variety of issues impacting the global automotive sector, including the development of advanced technologies, sustainability, cost expectations on new vehicles, virtual purchasing experiences and mobility services. The report is based on a survey of more than 26,000 consumers from 25 countries conducted between September and October 2021.
Mapping the future of EVs
As global automakers look to make good on their promises of an electrified future, consumer interest in adopting more sustainable powertrains is driven by reduced fuel costs, climate concerns and better driving experiences. However, EV limitations continue to draw many drivers to familiar internal combustion engine (ICE) vehicles. At the same time, consumer willingness to pay for advanced technologies remains limited.
Despite a growing interest in sustainability, a majority of consumers are still unwilling to pay more than US$500 for advanced technologies including alternative powertrains, including in the U.S. at 53%. Further, consumers are unwilling to pay for other advanced features including autonomous driving, enhanced safety and connectivity.
As a result, ICE vehicles continue to dominate future U.S. vehicle purchase intentions (69%). Among alternative powertrains, consumer interest in battery electric vehicles (BEVs) is highest in the Republic of Korea (23%), China (17%) and Germany (15%), while Japanese consumers showed the highest preference towards hybrid electric vehicles (HEV/PHEV) (48%) followed by Republic of Korea (35%).
However, mounting concerns about climate change and reducing emissions are consistently among the top two motivators for electric vehicle adoption among global consumers in the U.S., Germany, Japan, Republic of Korea, India and Southeast Asia.
The majority of EV intenders expect to charge their vehicles at home, particularly in Japan (76%), India (76%), the U.S. (75%) and Germany (70%). Demand for public charging is highest in the Republic of Korea (38%) and Southeast Asia (29%).
Among those planning to charge their vehicles at home, two-thirds (66%) of Americans will leverage traditional power grids. Meanwhile, consumers in India, China and Southeast Asia plan to use both the regular grid and renewable power.
Driving range is the top concern about EVs across consumers in Germany (24%), China (22%) and the U.S. (20%), whereas the lack of public charging infrastructure is top of mind in Asia (Southeast Asia at 28%, Republic of Korea at 26%, India at 23% and Japan at 19%).
U.S. consumers expect fully charged EVs to travel upwards of 500 miles, while those in China, Japan and India are content with a range of around 250 miles.
The road ahead for vehicle purchases
Consumers shopping for new vehicles prefer traditional, in-person experiences in favor of virtual platforms. However, virtual retailing is gaining traction for its convenience, speed and ease of use.
COVID-19 has significantly impacted car buying decisions for consumers in India and Southeast Asia (64% and 63%, respectively). Conversely, more than two-thirds of U.S. consumers (69%) say the pandemic has not affected their vehicle purchase plans.
Consumers in India (45%) and Southeast Asia (31%) cited an increased desire in acquiring a vehicle to avoid public transportation; only 14% of U.S. drivers reported the same.
For consumers across the globe, in-person shopping is the preferred channel to acquire a vehicle, including for three-quarters (75%) of U.S. consumers. In-person experiences are an even greater priority in Southeast Asia (80%) and Germany (78%).
However, when purchasing virtually, consumers in most countries would prefer purchasing directly from an authorized dealer, including in the U.S. (48%). Japanese consumers, in contrast, would prefer to buy directly from the OEM (49%).
Virtual vehicle sales are most often driven by convenience for those in the Republic of Korea (68%), Japan (41%), Germany (40%) and the U.S. (39%). Ease of use ranks highest for consumers in China (33%), as well as India (27%) and the U.S. (25%).
Personal mobility remains king
Shared mobility offerings, including vehicle subscriptions and ride-hailing services, face a slow return to pre-pandemic levels as personal vehicle ownership maintains its position as the most desirable mode of transportation.
More than three-quarters of Americans (76%) indicate personal vehicles as their primary means of transport. However, public transportation has a significant share among consumers in the Republic of Korea (31%) and Japan (27%).
Vehicle subscription services are more popular in global markets, yet still gaining interest in the U.S. Approximately one-third of U.S. consumers are interested in vehicle subscription services for access to different car models, brands of vehicles and pre-owned vehicles (each at 32%).
Convenience, the flexibility to exchange vehicles, and the availability of vehicles are the main drivers for engaging a vehicle subscription service in the U.S.
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The future of work—with advanced technologies and new working arrangements—is here and is changing economic opportunities and employment relationships. However, according to the 2021 APEC Economic Policy Report, certain economic structures, laws and institutions across APEC remain products of the past. 
The report highlighted four megadrivers of the future of work. These are technological change, climate change, globalization and demographic change. It also pointed out how these drivers promote innovation and advance development, although each comes at a cost.  
Unresolved issues such as environmental degradation and climate change resulting from the rise of industrialization, growing inequality and structural unemployment due to globalization, as well as the ageing population, are some of the remaining challenges that policymakers need to address.
On top of this, COVID-19 sent the world into isolation, left policymakers with many lessons to learn, and propelled people and businesses to adapt and accelerate digital technology adoption. Some managed to keep their jobs and businesses afloat but many had to face closure and unemployment, highlighting the need to make people the center of future-of-work policy.
“The future of work is not about technology, but about people,” said Dr James Ding, Chair of the APEC Economic Committee, the group that produced the report alongside the APEC Policy Support Unit. 
“Even as we get excited about the latest technology and advancements in artificial intelligence, discussions about the future of work should still be about the well-being of people and society in an increasingly digitalized economy.”
“There is an urgent need to address the real social and economic impacts that will bring change,” Dr Ding added. “We have to look at ensuring our economic security with structural reform and targeted policies, upskilling and reskilling the workforce, updating the relevant laws and regulations as well as strengthening our cross-border cooperation.”
The report, among others, recommends APEC member economies focus on improving their systems by expanding the scope and coverage of unemployment benefit programs to cover the most vulnerable, as well as include better health coverage in their social protection policies.
Policies that promote skills building are deemed crucial to mitigating the skills gap and strengthening the resilience of the workforce, and this can be supported by building better skills-forecasting systems, upskilling and reskilling workers, making targeted investments in education and promoting lifelong learning to keep up with the changing labor market.
Improving employment protection legislation is another policy lever to effectively react to changing market conditions. The report suggests policymakers upgrade the scope and coverage of employment protection laws by including non-standard employment, such as those who work in the informal sector, workers in temporary contracts and gig-economy workers.
“International cooperation is needed more than ever as we embrace the future of work and APEC needs to continue to be the forum where innovative approaches to addressing the challenges are developed, policies are discussed and consensus for implementation is achieved,” Dr Ding concluded.
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Denmark’s economy is enjoying one of the quickest post-COVID recoveries of OECD countries. While it is important to stay vigilant to further virus outbreaks, policy can now focus on advancing the country’s climate ambitions and expanding employment opportunities for low-skilled, foreign-born and female workers, according to a new OECD report.
Danish economic activity rebounded rapidly in 2021, exceeding pre-pandemic levels by mid-year. The latest OECD Economic Survey of Denmark projects GDP growth to remain solid, easing back to 2.4% in 2022 and 1.7% in 2023. The strong recovery has been coupled with widespread labour shortages, particularly in construction, manufacturing and hospitality, and is likely to be associated with a more enduring increase in inflation in 2022 and 2023.
Efforts should therefore focus on reducing barriers to jobs for youths and migrants, many of whom have been hit hard by the crisis, and making it easier for mothers to remain in work, the Survey says. Ramping up investment in green technology and infrastructure will be key for Denmark to continue its progress in cutting greenhouse gas emissions and fulfil its ambition to achieve net zero emissions by mid-century.
“Denmark’s policy response to the pandemic helped underpin a rapid economic recovery,” OECD Secretary-General Mathias Cormann said. “Macroeconomic policy must now find a balance between sustaining the recovery and tackling further virus outbreaks. Denmark must also focus on the ambitious economic, social, technological and industrial transformations needed to deliver on its climate goals.”
Denmark is at the forefront of global efforts to reduce greenhouse gas emissions and is directing 60% of its COVID-19 recovery spending towards environmental goals – a high share by international comparison. Denmark also demonstrated in the three decades before the COVID-19 crisis that it is possible to significantly cut emissions without hurting growth, jobs or living standards.
Progress in wind generation has led to the development of an important export industry. Nevertheless, Denmark has set itself ambitious emissions targets, and meeting them will require further progress across all sectors, particularly in agriculture and transport.
For example, because increased car use has pushed up transport emissions despite the introduction of greener vehicles, more will need to be done to encourage a shift to electric cars, including with incentives to build recharging stations in remote areas. In electricity generation, where the share of renewables has surged from less than 10% in the mid-1990s to over 80% in 2020, a reliance on woody biomass needs to be reduced.
More broadly, a more uniform pricing of emissions, structural reforms and regulatory measures will be necessary across economic sectors, with revenue from emissions pricing and green taxes used to offset adverse consequences through reduced taxation of renewable energy, means-tested support to affected households and help for workers reallocated to low-emission activities. Denmark’s “flexicurity” job system should also help to protect such workers by offering a safety net and support for developing new skills and job seeking.  
The high levels of investment planned in energy infrastructure and transport will require fiscal space. Denmark’s robust public finances withstood the impact of the COVID-19 crisis better than in many other countries. Cautiously relaxing the 0.5% structural budget deficit limit to around 1% of GDP would provide space to address investment needs and the long-term challenges of an ageing population without threatening the sustainability of public finances or the capacity for active fiscal policy. Plans to index retirement ages to life expectancy should be fully implemented, and efforts should continue to rebalance the tax system to shift from high taxes on income, which can stifle entrepreneurship, towards taxes on housing and environmental harm.
While the peg of the Danish Kroner to the Euro has served Denmark well, attention should nonetheless be paid to potential macroeconomic imbalances. This includes lower interest rates than would befit economic conditions in Denmark, which are contributing to rapid rises in house prices and increased household debt. It may be necessary to tighten mortgage regulation if risks continue to build, the Survey says.
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