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AI could make the web more "civilised"

(Image credit: Image source: Shutterstock/mtkang)

Artificial intelligence may be an exciting new technology, and if organisations are to fully take advantage of it, they need to ensure that they're not crossing that creepy line.

This is the general conclusion of a new global report on AI, released by WP Engine. It says that as organisations push towards more personalisation, they combine it with AI for maximum effect.

But personalisation in itself raises many issues, mostly around transparency, trust and data protection. Artificial intelligence is a technology which can greatly improve the business-customer relationship on that front, but according to WP Engine, businesses need to make sure they don't get 'creepy'.

For example, AI pushing an ice cream ad to a potential customer walking past an ice cream shop is seen as a cool move, as long as it doesn't feel like it's violating anyone's personal space or privacy.  

Almost nine in ten (86.8 per cent) of UK consumers feel it's important that personalisation doesn’t feel ‘creepy', something 77 per cent of enterprises agree with.  “Ultimately organisations need to walk the fine line where a person’s digital space must be respected in the same way as physical space,” the report concludes.

What would be considered creepy? It's hard to pinpoint exactly. The report wraps up with a few lessons. Organisations employing AI should open their algorithms, to show their customers exactly how they’re using the technology. The teams building AI need to be diverse, in order to interrogate bias, while the Organisations should use only the data they really need, all while keeping the customer front and centre.

“The degree of long-term benefits AI will bring to an enterprise’s digital initiatives is deeply linked with the importance of aligning brand values with a core set of ethical decision-making values. The brands who successfully integrate the revenue-driving power of AI with the trust, safety, and values customers expect will be successful in creating winning, powerful digital experiences,” commented Fabio Torlini Managing Director for EMEA at WP Engine.