AXA Future Risks Report 2023 Highlights Growing Concerns Over AI and Cybersecurity
AXA Future Risks Report 2023 Highlights Growing Concerns Over AI and Cybersecurity
In its 10th edition of the annual AXA Future Risks Report, global insurer AXA reveals a significant shift in perceived future risks, with artificial intelligence (AI) and data-related concerns entering the top 10 for the first time.

The report, based on a survey of over 3,200 risk experts and 15,000 members of the public, indicates a heightened awareness of the potential risks associated with technological advancements.

Key findings from the report include:

AI and Data Risks in the Top 10: Risks related to AI and big data have entered the top 10 concerns for both UK experts and the general public, ranking fifth and tenth, respectively.

Cybersecurity Climbs Rankings: Cybersecurity has moved up to the third position in concerns for both UK experts and the general population, aligning with global trends observed in America, Asia Pacific, and the Middle East.

Global Climate Change Concerns Persist: Climate change continues to be ranked as the top future risk by both UK experts and the public for the third consecutive year. Globally, respondents from various regions share this concern, recognising its potential impact on society in the next five to 10 years.

Government Initiatives in Response: The release of the report coincides with the UK government’s plans to address AI safety. Prime Minister Rishi Sunak has announced the creation of an AI taskforce, an AI safety institute, and a proposal for a global expert panel on AI at the AI Global Summit.

Energy Risks and Social Unrest: Energy risks, exacerbated by the conflict in Ukraine and the broader cost of living crisis, raise concerns about potential social unrest in the UK.

Public Confidence in Authorities: There is limited confidence in authorities’ preparedness to manage these future risks, with only 26% of the public feeling confident about AI-related risks and 20% for climate change.

Insurance Industry’s Role: While concerns abound, there is hope in the insurance industry’s role in risk management. A significant majority, 77% of the UK general public and 93% of UK experts, believe insurers will play a crucial role in limiting future risks.

The report underscores the need for collaborative efforts between policymakers and private sector organizations to address emerging risks effectively. AXA UK advocates for a dedicated taskforce and a Minister for Resilience to work in partnership with insurers and other risk experts, reflecting a broader call for proactive risk preparedness.

AXA UK Future Risk Report 2023 – Key Figures:

Expert Insights:

  • A total of 3,226 experts from 50 countries participated in AXA’s Future Risk Report 2023.
  • Among them, 240 experts were based in the UK.
  • Top 10 Future Risk Ranking for UK Experts (percentage of respondents):
    1. Climate change
    2. Geopolitical instability
    3. Cybersecurity risks
    4. Energy risks
    5. Risks related to Artificial Intelligence and big data
    6. Social tensions and movements
    7. Natural resources and biodiversity risks
    8. Financial stability risks
    9. Monetary and fiscal policies risks
    10. Macro-economic risks

General Population Findings:

  • The survey encompassed 15,000 respondents across 15 countries, with a representative sample of the population aged 18 and above.
  • In the UK, the survey included responses from 1,000 adults.
  • Top 10 Future Risk Ranking for the UK General Population (percentage of respondents):
    1. Climate change
    2. Energy risks
    3. Cybersecurity risks
    4. Pandemics and infectious diseases
    5. Social tensions and movements
    6. Natural resources and biodiversity risks
    7. Geopolitical instability
    8. New security threats and terrorism
    9. Financial stability risks
    10. Risks related to Artificial Intelligence and big data

Speaking about the findings, Tara Foley, CEO, AXA UK  and Ireland, said: “With the rapid evolution of disruptive technologies and the digitisation of our daily lives, it’s perhaps no surprise  that people are increasingly concerned about risks related to artificial intelligence and cyber security. It’s also worrying to see so many people feeling more vulnerable and a continuing lack of confidence in the authorities to  manage these types of future risks, and we renew our call on the Government to mirror Labour’s recent  announcement and create a taskforce to focus on these issues.  

She continued: “More positively, the report confirms that people do recognise the important safety net that insurance provides and demonstrates the essential role the sector plays in providing risk management advice and solutions.”

Foley added: “This gives the industry a great foundation to build on in coordination with other organisations to help mitigate these risks and provide reassurance to those who are concerned about an uncertain future.”

Author: Joanna England

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