Should Businesses Disclose Their AI Usage?

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With artificial intelligence (AI) rapidly reshaping the business world, a key question emerges: How comfortable are businesses and consumers with AI, and should its usage be disclosed? To find out, we surveyed 813 American consumers and 189 B2B managers about their perceptions and attitudes toward AI in business. 

From consumer apprehensions to the businesses’ strategic considerations, this report offers a unique perspective on the AI debate. Whether you’re a tech enthusiast, a business leader, or simply curious about the future of AI in business, our insights will enrich your understanding and spark further thought about the implications, ethical considerations, and future role of artificial intelligence.

Key Takeaways

  • 63% of Americans say their decision to purchase is not influenced by a business’s AI use.
  • 59% of consumers agree that companies should be legally mandated to disclose AI use. 
  • More Americans are uncomfortable with AI use in health care than any other industry, while the least of them are uncomfortable with its use in retail.
  • 64% of Americans say using AI to create content affects the information’s authenticity and trustworthiness.
  • 54% of B2B managers are neutral about partnering with companies that use AI heavily, but 35% say it makes them more inclined to do so.
  • Nearly half of Republican B2B managers (47%) say companies should voluntarily disclose all their AI use, but only 16% feel it should be legally mandated. Meanwhile, about 60% of Democratic managers say companies should both voluntarily and legally disclose their AI use.

Consumer Attitudes About AI

The first part of our study explores America’s thoughts on AI integration in business, uncovering its varied impact on consumer behavior, ethical expectations, and legal considerations.

Infographic that explores consumer perspectives on AI

Although 42% of consumers said they approve of AI integration in business, nearly as many (37%) were indifferent about it. Among the 21% who did not support it, their top reasons were:

  1. Impersonal customer experience (67%)
  2. Lack of trust in AI-assisted decision-making (64%)
  3. Job security concerns (63%)

So, how do these sentiments affect how they shop? While 63% of Americans said their decisions to patronize a business are not influenced by its AI usage, we saw some generational differences. Millennials showed the most support for AI integration in business: 27% said it positively influences their shopping choices. But Gen Z had the least support, with 21% saying AI is a negative influence on their purchasing decisions.

This highlights consumers’ expectations for businesses to use AI responsibly, which often includes transparency. Of those we surveyed, 68% advocated for businesses to disclose all of their AI use voluntarily, and 27% suggested they at least do so in certain contexts. Only a small fraction (4%) saw no need for any disclosure, indicating a strong public leaning toward ethical business conduct in the digital era.

Our AI debate extended to the legal realm, with 59% supporting legally mandated AI use disclosure across the board, 32% backing it for specific cases, and 9% opposing it altogether. But respondents on either side of the political spectrum each had their own leanings: Republicans were twice as likely as Democrats to say businesses should not be legally mandated to disclose any AI usage.

Where AI Is the Least Welcome

Turning our attention to specific industries, we learned of varying comfort levels of AI’s use across different sectors.

Infographic that explores AI applications and its use in various industries

If there’s one industry where Americans want companies to disclose how they use AI, it might be health care. We found that 69% of consumers thought businesses should be legally required to do so when they use AI in administering health care services. This underlines the sensitivity and personal nature of this sector, where there are concerns over AI’s diagnostic accuracy

Another 56% advocated for the disclosure of AI use in workplace health and safety monitoring, reflecting concerns over privacy and worker rights. Financial services was another common area of unease, with 52% favoring legally mandated disclosure of AI use in financial dealings.

But when we asked Americans how comfortable they were with AI being used in various industries, health care topped the list again — 45% noted it as one they’d be particularly uncomfortable with. Cybersecurity followed, causing unease for 36%, while banking and finance raised concerns for 34%. In contrast, AI’s use in the retail industry caused the least alarm among consumers. Only 14% expressed discomfort with this, suggesting a higher level of consumer acceptance of AI in everyday shopping experiences.

Shoppers told us how they felt about AI’s use in marketing as well.

Infographic that explores AI use in marketing applications

According to 52% of consumers, the most unsettling application was AI influencers: digital personalities that brands are increasingly using to market their products on social media. Authenticity is a driving force behind influencer marketing success, and it’s hard for humans to see AIs as authentic trendsetters.

Content creation was another AI marketing use that caused consumer discomfort, with 44% skeptical about AI-generated material. Specifically, 64% of Americans said using AI to create content affects the information’s authenticity and trustworthiness.

AI in the B2B Sector

Next, we’ll examine B2B managers’ perspectives on AI for business, touching on transparency issues and political attitudes.

Infographic that explores AI use in B2B companies

Over half of B2B managers surveyed (54%) felt neutral about partnering with a company that heavily uses AI, but over one-third said it makes them feel more likely to do so. While 48% of B2B managers have approached AI with caution thus far, 40% were optimistic about using AI in business and 71% had already integrated it into their operations. However, not many were entirely transparent about it: only 24% said they always fully disclose AI usage to partners and clients.

This openness also varied by business size. Larger companies tended to be more transparent about AI use, with one-third reporting they always fully disclose it. On the other hand, 3 in 5 small businesses said they rarely or never do so. This reveals a potential AI transparency gap in the U.S. based on company size.

When asked if companies should disclose AI usage, most B2B managers supported voluntary disclosure (53%) and slightly fewer said it should be legally required (47%). As for whether businesses should disclose it for specific applications only, nearly the same percentage of respondents said they should do so voluntarily (38%) as legally (33%). Comparatively, there was a bigger difference between those who felt companies shouldn’t be required by law to share AI usage (21%) and those who thought they shouldn’t do it voluntarily (10%). 

Political views might have had some bearing on those opinions. Among Republican managers, 47% favored voluntary full AI disclosure, with only 16% backing legal mandates. In contrast, around 60% of Democratic managers supported both voluntary and legal disclosure. 

Innovation Meets Responsibility

Consumers seem relatively at ease with AI’s use in retail, yet they remain cautious in more personal areas such as health care. In contrast, B2B managers display a range of attitudes about ethical and transparency concerns in AI use, often aligned with their political views. The challenge ahead for companies is to keep these differing perspectives in mind as they adopt AI, focusing on transparent and ethical AI strategies to build trust and sustain long-term customer relationships. As AI becomes more ingrained in business practices, it will be crucial to maintain a balance between innovation and integrity.


To capture diverse opinions on AI in business, we surveyed 813 American consumers and 189 American B2B managers. The consumer group consisted of 53% women, 46% men, and 1% non-binary individuals, and 26% baby boomers, 25% Gen X, 26% millennials, and 23% Gen Z. 

The B2B manager segment included 53% from large companies (those with 250 employees or more), 27% from medium-sized companies (50-249 employees), 17% from small companies (10-49 employees), and 2% from micro companies (1-9 employees). Gender distribution among B2B managers was 70% men, 29% women, and 1% non-binary, and 47% identified as Democrats, 23% as Republicans, and 30% with other affiliations. The generational mix included 4% baby boomers, 28% Gen X, 65% millennials, and 3% Gen Z. 

Some percentages don’t total 100 due to rounding. 

About Zetwerk

Zetwerk connects businesses across various industries with efficient, high-quality manufacturing and supply chain solutions through our technology-driven platform. As a trusted partner committed to innovation and customer satisfaction, Zetwerk offers scalable solutions in a competitive global market.

Fair Use Statement

If you value our insights and perspectives on AI disclosure in business, feel free to share them for any non-commercial purpose. We request that you attribute the work by linking back to this original page, thereby providing your audience with full access to our research and analysis.


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