Consumers ready to accept interactions with AI

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Consumers report they are ready to accept broader use of artificial intelligence in many industries, including healthcare, according to a new report from Capgemini.

The consulting firm contacted more than 10,000 consumers, 500 companies and representatives of multiple international industries, including healthcare, in conducting its research. Its results indicated that about 75 percent of the consumers it surveyed report they have interacted with AI in some form, and almost 70 percent said they were satisfied with the interactions.

Further, two-thirds want artificial intelligence to be more human-like, which could generate goodwill for companies or organizations and drive a greater propensity to spend. That’s because half of respondents view delegating tasks to an electronic personal assistant as exciting and believe doing so will enhance their quality of life.

That said, associating human-like functions with AI may become uncomfortable for users if technology goes too far. Half of consumers reported that they would feed uncomfortable if AI is developed to look like a person.

“By focusing AI implementations to reimagine, streamline and simplify customer interactions, organizations can boost customer spend and loyalty,” says Mark Taylor, chief experience officer at Capgemini. “To see the biggest bottom-line boost, firms need to make both artificial intelligence and customer experience a strategic priority.”

Also see: 8 issues CIOs need to solve about artificial intelligence

For now, however, too many organizations fail to consider consumer pain points and preferences when applying AI; the organizations are still in the mode of focusing use of AI on traditional metrics such as the cost and return on investment.

Two-thirds of surveyed respondents are comfortable with AI having human-like attributes, including human-like intellect, and half would have a stronger affiliation with an organization if their interactions with AI were more human-like. Consumers across all age groups prefer interactions enabled by a mix of human and AI attributes, and they want to know when a company is enabling interactions by using artificial intelligence.

At the present time, however, most organizations are not prioritizing the customer experience with AI, Capgemini reports, with only 7 percent of respondents solving known consumer complaints and only 10 percent ranking the impact of AI on the customer experience as an important factor.

“That is a clear oversight,” report authors contend, given that consumers are willing to spend more when the experience is positive. In the report, nearly 40 percent of consumers purchased more goods and services after a good experience with AI, with a quarter spending as much as 10 percent more.

Capgemini’s report is available here.

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