Interviews, insight & analysis on digital media & marketing

Consumers open to AI-powered personalization, but concerned about what that means for their privacy

US consumers are overwhelmingly in favor of artificial intelligence (AI) being used to personalize their experiences, despite the same consumers being wary of the role AI could play in compromising their online privacy, according to research from Treasure Data’s customer data platform (CDP) industry resource, CDP.com.

The survey of more than 2,500 Americans found that 81% of people are open to the use of AI in providing personalized communications. Those who work with AI on a regular basis are more likely to perceive AI’s role in personalization as being helpful (55%), while those less familiar are more likely to review the helpfulness of AI on a case-by-case basis (48%). All things said, 58% of those surveyed prefer companies to offer product recommendations based on their search history.

The majority of people are also open to AI’s influence when it comes to customer experience (CX). In particular, they are most positive about AI being used in entertainment (54%), shopping (51%), healthcare (48%), and advertising (44%).

However, brands need to be aware that AI cannot always replace a human touch. This is highlighted by the fact that just 34% of respondents find AI chatbots to be helpful, with 44% saying there is room for improvement. And over 20% of people actually find interactions with chatbots to be irritating or time-consuming, while 64% feel that having access to a real person would significantly improve their experience.

Moreover, despite the general openness to the use of AI – except within customer services – brands still must keep in mind the concerns that consumers have around the use of their data. People are open to AI being used to personalize their experiences, but 81% of them are also somewhat or very concerned about the use of AI for marketing, customer service, and technical support could compromise their online privacy.

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