AI is standing by to revolutionize comms, but one huge obstacle is in the way

by | Jul 24, 2019 | Public Relations

We hear about how artificial intelligence is on the brink of transforming customer relations and improving CX across industries—but so far, we haven’t seen major AI-fueled advances in comms on a large scale. What’s the holdup? The battle over data privacy.

According to new research from the User Experience Strategies (UXS) group at Strategy Analytics, the advancement of AI relies heavily on the need for higher levels of intelligence to better predict, suggest and adapt to changing user behaviors. But privacy and security will remain a major concern for users until better measures are put in place to secure their data.

“At present, ‘AI’ is mostly a buzzword that is used because it sounds cutting edge,” said Christopher Dodge, associate director of UXIP and report author, in a news release. “Overhyping AI in this way poses significant risk: raising consumer expectations and then failing to deliver compelling use cases risks confusing consumers or worse, turning them off to the benefits of AI altogether.”

AI is standing by to revolutionize comms, but one huge obstacle is in the way

The firm’s new report examines consumer perceptions and experiences of current AI devices, systems and services. For greater consumer engagement with AI—and for it to be more than just a buzzword—upfront transparency of data use is key.

Key report findings:

Consumers are most concerned with the uncertainty of who is listening, or who can gain access to their stored requests

To help overcome this, relatively recent launches of smart speakers with displays have included physical switches for microphone muting and camera lens covers to protect users’ privacy.

AI is standing by to revolutionize comms, but one huge obstacle is in the way

Big tech companies have recognized the need for enhanced security measures

These companies are seeking help from outside ethics committees to show their commitment to making users feel safer using AI products. Implementing solid ethics and making sure users are aware will help minimize these issues.

5G will be instrumental to AI

In addition to increased connectivity and synchronicity, enhanced data speeds will be the catalyst for AI to expand compelling use cases. This will also provide the opportunity for better security measures when devices and services communicate with each other.

“AI has the potential to make life easier,” added Dodge. “By continuously learning from a user’s behavior in the background, AI can provide recommendations that would be beneficial to the user and consequently enrich their lives. But without enhanced security measures, users will not buy into the concept.”

AI is standing by to revolutionize comms, but one huge obstacle is in the way

“Privacy continues to get a major boost from larger AI tech companies in the wake of many security breaches over the past couple of years,” said Chris Schreiner, director of syndicated research UXIP, in the release. “But this will only go so far if the upfront transparency does not exist for users to easily digest and understand how their data is to be collected and harvested in the first place.”

Strategy Analytics clients can download the full report here.

Richard Carufel
Richard Carufel is editor of Bulldog Reporter and the Daily ’Dog, one of the web’s leading sources of PR and marketing communications news and opinions. He has been reporting on the PR and communications industry for over 17 years, and has interviewed hundreds of journalists and PR industry leaders. Reach him at richard.carufel@bulldogreporter.com; @BulldogReporter