Most people think they know what the term “artificial intelligence” means, based on the results of a survey Pegasystems released Tuesday. However, their responses suggested that they probably don’t fully understand how it’s being used today, including in the customer service realm.

Researchers polled 6,000 adult consumers in the United States, the UK, the Netherlands, France and Germany. Seventy-two percent of the survey participants said they understood what was meant by “artificial intelligence.”

While 32 percent said they weren’t sure if they had interacted with AI, 34 percent said they had. Another 34 percent said they had never had an AI interaction.

However, 84 percent actually had come into contact with AI, based on the devices or services they actually used, such as virtual home assistants, intelligent chatbots, or systems that incorporate predictive suggestions, including Google search and spam filters.

Perception vs. Reality

Only 41 percent of respondents knew that AI powered the technology used in Google Home or Amazon Alexa, even though both products have been marketed as bringing intelligent assistants into the home. However, 57 percent recognized that Apple’s Siri was based on AI.

Researchers polled a roughly equal number of men and women. Eighty percent of the male respondents and 66 percent of the women thought they understood the meaning of “AI,” but 60 percent of the women correctly identified that Siri was AI-powered compared to 54 percent of the men. Forty-three percent of the women said Alexa used AI, compared to 38 percent of the men.

“We didn’t provide a definition of ‘AI’ on purpose,” noted Pegasystems CTO Don Schuerman.

“We wanted to know what consumers associate with AI without leading them on,” he told CRM Buyer.

Respondents were’t tested on their AI knowledge, but “given how…