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FGS Global Radar Report Reveals Generational Divide in Attitudes Towards Impact of AI

Survey finds only 1 in 5 young adults optimistic about AI; Londoners twice as confident in the technology than national average

A recent report by FGS Global unveiled significant demographic and regional disparities in the perceptions of artificial intelligence (AI). Debate on the risks and opportunities of AI and its impact on business and society will continue to dominate public conversation. The findings come at a crucial time as the UK government recently published its response to the AI White Paper, and the European Parliament will be voting on Wednesday, 13 March on the EU AI Act. 

According to the survey, optimism about the overall positive impact of AI varies widely among age groups. Young adults aged 18-34 show the most scepticism, with a mere 19% anticipating a positive impact from AI. This sentiment contrasts with 32% of individuals aged 35-54 and 48% of those over 55 who predict a beneficial outcome from AI advancements.

The regional differences are stark, particularly between London and the rest of the country. Londoners exhibit a higher comfort level with AI, with 25% expressing high confidence in explaining the technology, compared to just 10% nationally. As the UK's tech epicentre, London's familiarity with AI points to a knowledge gap that extends beyond the capital.

The survey's results suggest that without proactive efforts to educate and engage the public, negative perceptions of AI could influence a shift towards more, immediate, restrictive policy measures.

Sophie Scott, Partner and Global Head of Technology Sector said: “Our research shows a clear lag between trust in AI amongst the general public on the one hand, and business and government ambitions for it on the other. This means sector leaders need to prioritise transparency and education to build trust and understanding of technology among the British public. The future of AI acceptance, and associated policy debate and decision-making, hinges on addressing these demographic and regional divides head-on, and persuading people that the rewards of AI outweigh any perceived risks.”


  • FGS Global carried out a programme of research to understand major trends and emerging agendas.

  • The firm conducted 60 in-depth stakeholder interviews. These conversations lasted 30-45 minutes and took place through October and November 2023.

  • FGS Global also carried out public polling with 2,024 members of the UK public, weighted to be nationally representative on the basis of age, gender, ethnicity, region and 2019 General Election vote. Fieldwork was conducted from 17 to 20 November 2023.

  • Some of the stakeholders FGS Global spoke to include: David Cameron, Jonathan Cox, Jonathan Evans, Amber Rudd.

About FGS Global

FGS Global is a leading global strategic communications consultancy, with approximately 1,300 professionals around the world, advising clients in navigating complex situations and reputational challenges. FGS Global was formed from the combination of Finsbury, The Glover Park Group, Hering Schuppener and Sard Verbinnen to offer board-level and c-suite counsel in all aspects of strategic communications — including corporate reputation, crisis management, government affairs and is also the leading force in financial communications worldwide. The firm is backed by WPP Plc and KKR & Co. Inc.

FGS Global offers seamless and integrated support with offices in the following locations: Abu Dhabi, Amsterdam, Beijing, Berlin, Boston, Brussels, Chicago, Dubai, Dublin, Düsseldorf, Frankfurt, Hong Kong, Houston, Kingston, London, Los Angeles, Munich, Paris, Riyadh, San Francisco, Shanghai, Singapore, Tokyo, Washington, D.C., South Florida, and Zurich. Its headquarters is in New York.