People are twice as likely to trust robots to carry out surgery than set up a bank account
A report by HSBC has found that twice as many people would trust a robot to carry out heart surgery than they would to set up a savings account for them.
Only 7% of those 12,000 in 11 countries surveyed said that they would let a robotic humanoid compare deals and set up a new savings account, despite the fact the robots can accurately and efficiently compare accounts to find the best possible option for the consumer.
The low levels of trust in artificial intelligence could be down to a lack of knowledge and awareness about the subject, as 24% of respondents said that they did not know what voice activated technology is, despite the prominence of applications such as Apple's Siri, Amazon's Alexa and Microsoft's Cortana.
This is also shown by an over-reliance on traditional password security, with less than half saying that they do not trust fingerprint recognition to be a viable replacement to their current text and numerical passwords.
Whilst 46% trust fingerprint technology, that figure is dramatically lower for those actually using the tech at 21%, despite it being around since 2007.
An overwhelming majority agreed that technology is beneficial and makes life easier, yet most could not say that they knew what some of the most prevalent technology actually is. Blockchain was the least known by participants, with 80% not being able to explain what the digital database is.
The main problem is that technology often isn't fully explained except for the instruction manuals that come with many devices - yet who actually reads the manual and who skips ahead to just setting up the device?
John Flint, Global Chief Executive of Retail Banking and Wealth Management at HSBC, blames the lack of knowledge of technology in finance: "Our research shows many people do not understand new technologies and so are unable to place trust in them."
"We have a role to play in building our customers’ knowledge and trust so that they see the value to their lives in adopting a new payments app or the latest biometric security."
This is shown by the fact that after a brief explanation of voice recognition works, trust in biometrics rose from 45% to 51%.
Educating customers about the benefits of technology is at the forefront of HSBC's latest drive, developing its digital education base to ensure that everyone is confident in trusting AI to handle their savings and manage their accounts.
Start-ups receive $60 billion investment, smash 2020 record
Start-ups on the continent have raised a massive 43.8 billion euros ($60.9 billion) in just the first six months of 2021, according to figures from Dealroom, surpassing the record 38.5 billion euros invested last year..
This is despite the fact that the number of venture deals signed so far is around half the amount agreed in 2020. Only about 2,700 funding rounds have been raised so far this year, compared to 5,200 last year.
Prime examples in times of change
Examples are Swedish buy-now-pay-later firm Klarna which has raised more than $1.6 billion in two financing rounds, the German stock trading app Trade Republic received $900 million in May and British payments provider Checkout.com snapped up $450 million at the start of the year.
The figures suggest that European tech firms are pulling in far larger sums of money per investment than in previous years, which defies the economic uncertainty of the pandemic and boosted online services enormously.
The CEO of Checkout.com, Guillaume Pousaz, said start-ups have often been created in times of crisis, citing the emergence of several new financial technology companies in the wake of the 2008 global financial crisis.
He added that big transformational change was often the time when there is the emergence of a lot of new start-ups, sometimes when people are losing their jobs for associated reasons.
UK leading the charge
Scale-Up Europe, a group that includes the founders of UiPath and Wise, proposed 21 recommendations to help the region build “the next generation of tech giants.” Among the suggestions are tax credits to corporates for investing in start-ups and regulatory changes that adapt to new innovations.
Sebastian Siemiatkowski, CEO of Klarna, said the U.K. leads Europe when it comes to tech policy, and that there were a number of regulatory issues needing to be addressed before the European Union can produce tech giants of its own.
Siemiatkowski highlighted EU regulation of web cookies as an example of “poor regulation.” Yet, as the number of $1 billion start-ups in Europe continues to grow, the number of exits in the continent is also increasing.
This year has already seen some notable acquisitions, including Etsy’s $1.6 billion purchase of U.K. fashion resale app Depop and JPMorgan’s takeover of London robo-advisor Nutmeg.
As for stock market listings, a number of notable debuts have taken place in London in particular, including food delivery app Deliveroo, cybersecurity firm Darktrace and reviews site Trustpilot. Money transfer giant Wise, formerly known as TransferWise, plans to go public in the U.K. capital soon.