September 15, 2023
In July 2023, Kasi Insight conducted the AI Perceptions and Adoption Survey, offering a comprehensive exploration of artificial intelligence (AI) from multiple perspectives. The survey aimed to assess familiarity levels, utilization trends, the impact of AI, and the challenges related to its adoption. Additionally, it examined the economic implications of AI and measured respondents' interest in acquiring AI knowledge. The survey also probed for demand regarding customized policies and regulations concerning AI across 20 African markets. Survey findings for Kenya revealed that 55% of respondents were aware of AI. Interestingly, there was a clear gender gap in AI knowledge, with 48% of females and 63% of males indicating familiarity with AI concepts.
When it comes to using AI-powered applications, the survey data reveals distinct engagement patterns. About 15% of respondents, regardless of gender, have yet to adopt AI apps into their daily routines, indicating a portion of the population is not fully integrating this technology. In contrast, roughly 16% of respondents, spanning both genders, consistently rely on AI-powered applications, demonstrating their strong commitment. The majority, making up 38% of respondents, engage with AI apps sporadically. Interestingly, within this group, a slight gender difference emerges, with 39% of males and 36% of females falling into this category. They use AI-powered applications occasionally, indicating moderate integration.
Lastly, approximately 31% of those surveyed, with 33% being males and 29% females, have experimented with AI apps, often trying them once or twice. This suggests curiosity and initial exploration of AI technology rather than sustained usage.
When surveyed about their barriers to AI adoption in Kenya, the top four challenges emerged. At the forefront was the widespread concern of job loss, consistently ranking as the primary worry among all respondents, regardless of gender. This unanimous apprehension underscored the widespread unease about AI's potential impact on job security and employment prospects. Following closely was the issue of a shortage of individuals with AI skills, maintaining the second position overall and retaining the same ranking among females. However, among males, this concern dropped to the fourth position, revealing gender-based variations in perceptions regarding the future accessibility of AI skills.
A gender-related dynamic emerged concerning inadequate investment and funding for AI initiatives, initially ranking third overall. Interestingly, it slipped to the fourth position among females but climbed to the second spot among males, highlighting disparities in expectations concerning financial support for AI projects. The fourth barrier pertained to limited access to technology infrastructure, consistently ranking fourth overall and third among both females and males. This underscored the widely recognized challenge of infrastructure constraints as a significant hurdle to AI adoption.
Addressing gender disparities in AI education is crucial, given the existing gender gap in AI knowledge, where males tend to be more familiar than their female counterparts. This disparity emphasizes the urgent need for inclusive AI education and outreach efforts that cater to diverse audiences. Ensuring equal access to AI knowledge is essential for fostering equitable opportunities and participation in the AI-driven world, necessitating proactive measures like workshops and educational programs.
Additionally, a comprehensive strategy is needed to address AI-related concerns, particularly the fear of job loss. This requires reskilling initiatives that empower individuals to adapt to the evolving job landscape while highlighting AI's role in augmenting, not replacing, jobs. To address the shortage of AI skills, significant investments in education and closer collaboration between academia and industry are paramount. Advocating for increased funding for AI research and development, along with offering incentives for businesses to engage with AI, can effectively address funding concerns.
Furthermore, promoting AI literacy through public awareness campaigns and integrating AI-related topics into educational curricula at various levels is imperative. This can help alleviate the lack of understanding about AI and its implications among the general populace. Additionally, enforcing robust measures and ethical AI practices is crucial to addressing data privacy and security concerns, thereby building trust in AI technologies.
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