AI has the potential to increase efficiency while reducing costs so it appeals to businesses and organisations. But how do they go about convincing their customers, users and community that it can be trusted?
The biggest issue that companies face is trust, not only in the AI, but in the data that companies are using to create algorithms. Crucially, the data required to make AI useful is often personal, and many people are concerned that their data will be used in the wrong way.
Many of our clients are at the forefront of the AI revolution and it is our job as a communications agency to enable clear understanding of Artificial Intelligence. Here are four pieces of advice that we would give companies that are innovating with AI, but are facing issues of trust along the way.
1. Prove that you are using tech for good
Businesses need to be seen as creating and developing technology that is being used for good in the world. Consumers understand that companies are trying to make money, but the development and sale of new tech should carry a clear message about how people will benefit from it. This could be anything from efficiency and saving time to more accurate diagnosis of health issues, but the human value angle should be the top priority for businesses when communicating their message.
2. Transparent usage of people’s data
In the aftermath of the Facebook and Cambridge Analytica scandal and with the introduction of GDPR earlier this year, personal data is high on people’s agenda. Consumers need to be confident in companies and their partners, and trust that they are not going to exploit their data, but are going to use it to enhance the AI products and research they are working on.
3. Be accountable for your actions
This relates to transparency about use of personal data, but is also linked to the criminal potential that the development of Artificial Intelligence can create. Companies and businesses need to be accountable for the technology and algorithms they are releasing onto the market and find some way of tracking them to ensure that they are not used for illegal activity.
4. Educate people on the potential of AI
Even with the volume of AI success stories in the news everyday, a prevalent perception of AI is that is it is going to take all our jobs and gradually replace human contact with robots. This is not the case. Oxford University conducted research five years ago, which is still relevant today, that shows the low risk that AI has on jobs. Consumers need to be educated about the potential of AI to enhance services in many cases.
For consumers and the wider general public to trust companies that are using AI, they need to understand Artificial Intelligence in the wider world – what it is and how we can benefit from it. Reports of data misuse are quick to hit the press, but if companies adopt transparency, and introduce robust standards and principles, technology will be able to flourish. People are beginning to accept AI into their homes, but trust is crucial for them to be prepared to accept it into other areas of their lives.