Canadian Perspectives on AI: Report Highlights Trust, Regulation, and Inclusion

Artificial intelligence (AI) is poised to bring about positive social changes, yet ensuring its responsible and ethical implementation remains a top priority. TELUS, a leading telecommunications company dedicated to responsible AI practices and member of IAB Canada, recently released its 2024 research report, `The Power of Perspectives in Canada,’ distilling the opinions of 5,000 Canadians on emerging AI technologies. Below are some of the report’s findings as well as key initiatives led by IAB Canada to promote community engagement and ethical AI development: 

Trust is crucial to the development of artificial intelligence. The report emphasizes that AI is only as good as its creators, with an overwhelming 90% of respondents strongly agreeing that ethical principles must guide AI development. Moreover, 78% of the participants agree on the need for Canadian-led regulatory frameworks to ensure responsible AI use. Half the respondents also advocate for inclusive community consultations to minimize inherent bias. 

In 2023, Canada’s Minister of Innovation Science and Industry proposed the Artificial Intelligence and Data Act (AIDA), laying the foundation for responsible AI practices in Canada, ensuring safety, non-discrimination, and accountability for developing AI systems. IAB Canada is actively involved in consultations on AIDA and developing Codes of Practice, collaborating with global partners to share knowledge and best practices. To learn more about AIDA and IAB Canada’s involvement in its development, read this policy brief here

Research respondents expressed fears about AI’s potential impact, particularly job displacement, especially in creative fields. However, Canadians acknowledge the inevitability of AI integration and see education as the key to harnessing its potential. 

These points align with IAB Canada’s industry paper on AI’s impact on search advertising. As AI transforms the industry, marketing training programs must evolve beyond traditional search advertising skills. A multifaceted approach combining technical expertise with domain knowledge is crucial to fully harnessing AI capabilities and ensuring success in this changing landscape. 

The report highlights concerning trends in AI-driven discrimination. 20% of respondents reported personal experiences, including misrepresentation, stereotyping, and restricted resource access. These concerns are particularly acute within the LGBTQ2S+ community, with 61% fearing AI’s potential for misuse against marginalized groups. 

IAB Canada’s unwavering commitment to diversity and inclusion drives our efforts beyond AI-specific concerns. Our Diversity, Equity, and Inclusion Charter demonstrates a proactive stance in fostering an inclusive digital advertising ecosystem that reflects the diverse communities we serve. 

The findings of this report underscore the importance of continued dialogue and collaboration to maximize the benefits of AI for all Canadians. IAB Canada is dedicated to facilitating and driving forward this conversation.