A large majority of Canadian retail investors are concerned about artificial intelligence (AI) and want to see risk mitigation embedded in their portfolios, according to a survey from the Responsible Investment Association (RIA).

Based on a poll of 1001 individual retail investors in Canada, the survey found that 79% feel it is important for their portfolio companies to identify and mitigate possible risks associated with AI. 74% want companies to provide information on how they are using and investing in it.

But half of the surveyed investors also say it is important for them to invest in the development of AI and make use of it in their retail products or services.

Two-thirds of respondents want their financial services provider to inform them about responsible investments (RI) that are aligned with their values, while under a third report they have been asked if they were interested.

A strong majority – 69% – of respondents agree that RI can have a real impact on the economy and contribute to positive change for society.

RIA CEO Patricia Fletcher commented: “Retail investors are interested in responsible investment and want their portfolios to reflect their concerns about social and environmental issues.

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“However, they lack knowledge on the subject, presenting a significant opportunity for financial advisors to equip themselves to meet these demands and inform their clients on investment options that align with their preferences and personal values.”

The RIA’s membership includes asset managers, asset owners, advisors and service providers who support its mandate of promoting responsible investment in Canada’s retail and institutional markets. RIA institutional members collectively manage more than $40tn in assets.

The government of Canada recently announced funding for women entrepreneurs to combat the nation’s lack of women-owned SMEs (small and medium-sized enterprises).