Ipsos Update - October 2017

Welcome to the October edition of Ipsos Update – our monthly selection of research and thinking from Ipsos teams around the world.

We start with Artificial Intelligence (AI) - a much discussed subject, partly because people are often unclear exactly what qualifies as “AI”. Perhaps as a result of this confusion, a survey of Australians reveals that, while 48% of people are optimistic about the influence of future technology, 46% are afraid of it taking over.

Still on the subject of technology, while the internet has undoubtedly made the world a ‘smaller’ place, there is still little awareness about some important topics. An Ipsos study with the Gates Foundation on international development goals reveals that people living in developed countries believe that conditions for those in the developed world are declining, when in fact the opposite is true.

Meanwhile, a new global study across 25 countries into the immigration and refugee crisis reveals public feelings of unease, with only one in five believing that immigration has had a positive effect on their country.

In China, the growing affluence of its people, along with less restrictive visa rules, has led to a rise in international travel, with more than 10 million citizens visiting Europe in 2016. Spending on travel is up in all age groups but “90s millennials” are the biggest spenders.

Millennials remain a hot topic in the UK, where an Ipsos report for the Resolution Foundation shows that a third of this generation say they would prefer to have grown up when their parents were children. Overall, Britons across all age groups no longer believe that young people today will have a better life than their parents.

In a positive step for gender equality, there have been some small but significant improvements in perceptions of women in South Africa over the past two years. The poll, which tracks the views of both men and women, revealed that 22% of adult South Africans think that men make better political leaders than women do – in comparison to over a third (36%) who felt that way in 2015.

For the USA, it’s been a turbulent year both domestically and internationally. So it’s an interesting time to find out what makes a “real American”. “Believing in free speech” is the most popular answer (91%), while it seems that political affiliation has an impact on attitudes, with 92% of Republicans considering themselves a “real American”, compared to only 82% of Democrats.

Finally, how we use technology is the focus of Passive Perceptions, a new study which explores how the passively captured and other data can lead to richer insights into participants’ daily lives. One of the key findings is that app usage on smartphones is nearly twice as high as on tablets, while 60% of users’ time is spent online is on social, games, email and media.