Consumers are increasingly aware of the use of AI by organisations and are warming to it, according to research from Capgemini. But the study also revealed some significant caveats – most people want AI interactions to include another human, be transparent, and things can’t get too creepy.

According to the report, 55 per cent of consumers prefer to have interactions enabled by a mix of AI and humans and just one in eight consumers said they would prefer AI-only interactions.

Transparency is also important. Nearly two thirds (66 per cent) said they want to be made aware when they are having an AI-enabled interaction. However, organisations appear to be underestimating the transparency imperative. Just a third of executives think consumers want to know about AI use, while 80 per cent of consumers “expect companies to ensure transparency in treatment and use of data collected” for AI use.

The report authors concluded, “Consumers are increasingly aware and satisfied by AI-enabled experiences, but they expect the human presence as critical to enabling these interactions across consumer touchpoints and products and services.”

Source: Capgemini – The Secret to Winning Customers’ Hearts With Artificial Intelligence.

The findings come from a Capgemini report titled, The Secret to Winning Customers’ Hearts With Artificial Intelligence, which surveyed 10,000 consumers and 500 executives from leading organisations. The authors argue consumers are increasingly aware of AI use, they “like” it, and the technology is providing an edge for leading organisations.

AI Awareness

According to the report, a clear majority of consumers are (73 per cent) are aware of having an interaction enabled by AI. Of those aware of AI use, 69 per cent said they were satisfied with the interactions.

“AI aware consumers see significant benefits in these interactions powered by AI,” the authors write.

“For instance, almost two-thirds (63 per cent) point to greater control over their interactions and the 24/7 availability of AI technologies.”

And while the report concedes we are not particularly close to artificial general intelligence – successfully performing any intellectual task that a human can – it also suggested consumers are “reassured” by human like attributes in AI.

Over 60 per cent of the consumers surveyed indicated they want AI to be more human like – for example exchanging pleasantries or displaying humour –  and are comfortable with human like voice and intellect.

However the authors note this is an area where a clear indication of the use of AI is needed.

And while consumers don’t appear averse to human like quality behind a screen, they are more hesitant face-to-face. The report found evidence of “the uncanny valley” – the unsettling feeling people experience when they encounter near human like androids.

Most consumers surveyed said they would not be comfortable with human like physical features in a machine.

Cost considerations driving AI decisions

Most companies are, to their detriment, focusing on implementation costs and RoI rather than customer experience in regard to AI programs, according to the report.

Source: Capgemini – The Secret to Winning Customers’ Hearts With Artificial Intelligence.

“Many appear to be treating AI-enabled implementations as yet another typical technology project,” the authors said.

“We found that as many as 62 per cent of organisations prioritise cost of implementation and 59 per cent of organisations prioritise expected RoI ahead of consumer comfort or solving customer pain points, which scored the lowest.”

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