Scientists Highly Trusted to Demystify Technology Amid Distrust of AI

There is widespread concern about how innovation is being managed amid varying levels of trust about emerging technology, according to the Ireland edition of Edelman’s 2024 Trust Barometer. Just 26% of respondents trust AI and only one-fifth (20%) are trusting of genetically modified foods. In contrast, green energy is trusted by 65% of respondents. However, in this period of unprecedented change, the Ireland findings also show that scientists are highly trusted to provide truthful information about innovation and technology such as AI. 

With more than half (53%) of respondents expecting CEOs to manage changes in society, the Ireland edition of the Edelman Trust Barometer shows that government and business are the most trusted institutions to introduce innovation into society – a partnership that is fundamental to improve public sentiment around innovation and technology.


Explore the findings 

4 Ways to Restore Trust in the Promise of Innovation


1. Implementation is as important as invention

Mismanaged innovations are as likely to ignite backlash as advance society. With breakthroughs like AI, vaccines, and green energy on the line, explaining the science and managing impacts is essential.   


2. Business must partner for change

Business is most trusted to introduce innovation into society, with an emphasis on partnering with government. CEOs need to safeguard jobs and take a stand on emerging ethical concerns.   


3. Science must integrate with society

Scientists are still trusted—but increasingly subject to public scrutiny. To build trust in expert recommendations, explain the research, engage in dialogue, and harness peer voices as advocates.   


4. Give me control over my future

When people feel in control over how innovations affect their lives, they are more likely to embrace them, not resist them. Listen for concerns, be open to questions.   

Explore the findings 


The Trust 10


The virtuous circle of trust      


Trust is based first on economic prosperity, evidenced by the fact that developing countries have higher trust levels than developed countries. Innovation can drive growth for all levels of society, resulting in higher trust in institutions.


Society is changing too quickly      


A majority of respondents who believe that innovation is poorly managed think that society is changing too quickly and not in ways that benefit people like me.


Peers on par with scientists      


Seventy-four percent say they trust scientists and peers, equally, for the truth about innovations; however, peers are more trusted than scientists among those who think innovation is poorly managed.



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The 2024 Edelman Trust Barometer is the firm’s 24th annual survey. The research was produced by the Edelman Trust Institute and consisted of 30-minute online interviews conducted between November 3 and November 22, 2023. Learn more >



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