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Your AI's Ethical Lapses Could Be Causing CX Disasters

Sarah Steimer

Artificial intelligence has become a core part of the customer experience, but it can only be as well-rounded as the data it uses. Marketers can guide the ethics of AI on the back end to produce positive CX on the front end.

Artificial intelligence is presented as the opposite of natural intelligence, which is demonstrated by animals. By that definition, AI would appear to be free from the social neuroses and discriminations that can plague humans. But machine learning originates from human makers, meaning those shortcomings can be passed along via algorithms and data input.

AI is increasingly customer-facing: It includes asking Siri details about an upcoming trip or turning on Netflix and seeing recommendations based on viewing habits. AI touches numerous points along the customer journey, meaning its limitations can have organization-wide consequences.

Susan Etlinger, an industry analyst for Altimeter and author of the research report “The Customer Experience of AI,” has explored the ways different industries use AI and its effects felt by consumers. “It seems to me that ethical AI and ethical data use are part of customer experience,” she says.

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Sarah Steimer is a staff writer for the AMA's magazines and e-newsletters. She may be reached at ssteimer@ama.org or on Twitter at @sarah_steimer.