By Yvonne Lau, Fast Company (TNS)
For years, American popular culture has churned out ultra-dramatic scenarios about the rise of artificial intelligence. In James Cameron’s 1984 sci-fi flick The Terminator, AI system Skynet becomes sentient and launches a nuclear war against humans, directing cyborgs to wipe out humankind.
But here in the real world, AI is coming for a decidedly more tedious part of modern life: tax filing. And America’s young adults are leading the charge in embracing this change.
Some 70% of Gen Z American adults, who range in age from 18 to 27, say they would consider using AI-based tax preparation software to file their taxes in the future, according to an exclusive new Fast Company-Harris Poll. And 44% of Gen Z respondents say they have already used AI tech to ease the drudgery of tax filing.
Those numbers shrink among older Americans. Only one-quarter of surveyed baby boomers (ages 59 to 77) say they would consider using AI tech to help with filing taxes. Only 4% of this group say they have used such software.
Conversations surrounding the use of AI are more “common in [Gen Z’s] lexicon” than among older generations, says Jamie Belsky, VP of product management at Intuit, parent company of TurboTax. Gen Z are “coming [of] age in the height of AI advancements, [meaning] they have a higher receptivity to its outcomes.”
At the same time, younger age groups are more anxious about filing taxes, with 67% of Gen Z agreeing that completing tax filings on their own is nerve-racking, compared to 57% of all respondents. Some 54% of Americans prefer to file their taxes with the help of another person.
AI is changing the way Americans file their taxes by removing most of the mental load they face when deciding which actions would provide them with the best tax outcome, Belsky says.
Yet the majority of consumers remain skeptical about AI’s accuracy. According to the same poll, 60% of Americans do not trust AI programs to complete their filings accurately. As Belsky notes: “The biggest concerns are around losing control, agency, and accuracy.”
AI-powered tax-prep technology remains limited by the fact that it still requires human assistance for what Belsky calls the essential elements of the tax-filing process—parsing out context and personalization.
While we may not see robots taking over the tax-prep sector anytime soon, AI is helping companies fast-track the personalization process and, Belsky says, helping consumers “overcome the complexities and nuances that plague [tax filers] today.”
Fast Company © 2024 Mansueto Ventures LLC. Distributed by Tribune Content Agency LLC.