CARY – Americans – especially older ones – are more comfortable with the idea of artificial intelligence being used with healthcare delivery than using AI in other uses such as banking and shopping, according to a new survey from SAS.

And if you think younger people are most comfortable “going under the knife” with AI than those over 40, think again.

Infographic from SAS explains AI survey findings.

Seniors, baby boomers and older Generation X members find AI involvement more comfortable at 50-percent plus than millennials and younger at 40 percent. Overall, 47 percent of the 500 people surveyed say they are OK with AI-assisted care.

But when it comes to data from wearables being used for a diagnosis, the percentage is much higher.

“Six in ten participants were comfortable with their doctor using data from wearable devices, such as an Apple Watch or Fitbit, to assess their lifestyle and make recommendations based on that data,” reports SAS, a global leader in data analytics which is investing heavily in artificial intelligence and machine learning.

Overall, a majority say they are “at ease” with the idea of mixing healthcare and AI, SAS points out.

Men are “slightly more comfortable” with AI than women, 53 percent to 43 percent.

But in the wake of data breaches, cyberattacks and the Facebook data mining controversy, those surveyed do have concerns.

“Only a third of respondents were at all confident that their personal data used for AI was being stored securely,” SAS says.

Yet this time the age confidence switches.

“Those under 40 years of age felt more confident (42 percent) that their information was protected, versus just 31 percent of older respondents,” SAS notes.

David Tareen, Marketing Manager for AI at SAS, concludes from the survey:

“Consumers feel positively about AI when they believe it’s being used for good. In this survey, healthcare scenarios were well-received, indicating that respondents were comfortable with a tangible benefit to the technology. Overall, a lack of understanding about what AI is and can do is a significant factor for those who fear it.”

Most people acknowledge they really can’t explain what AI means.

Read more online.

SAS, which is based in Cary, released the survey at an annual users conference in Denver.