Many companies are considering whether or not to invest in AI, and most decisions are based on the efficiency and accuracy that these tools can provide. However, this approach does not take into account the social and individual challenges that can occur when AI is used by our customers.

Failure to consider the "challenge" elements and weaknesses from AI can turn our use of smart tools from a phenomenal strategy for growing satisfaction and revenue to a reputational nightmare and the beginning of sales collapse.Francesco galvani, ceo of deep marketing

A recent study set out to integrate sociological and psychological studies to examine some of the costs consumers experience in their interactions with AI. In doing so, the authors identified four types of consumer experiences (and difficulties) with AI: data acquisition, classification, delegation, and sociality. Let's take a closer look at each of them.

Puntoni, S., Reczek, R. W., Giesler, M., & Botti, S. (2021). Consumers and Artificial Intelligence: An Experiential Perspective. Journal of Marketing, 85(1), 131-151. 

Data acquisition

It occurs when companies collect data on consumers without their knowledge or consent. In many cases, consumers are unaware that their data is being collected or how it will be used. This can lead, in the event of sudden discovery, to feelings of breach and distrust

To solve this problem, companies should be transparent about their data collection practices and give consumers the choice of whether or not to collect their data. We are all aware that this means more complexity in systems and less ability to leverage a constant amount of data for our marketing.

But trust is a precious commodity. And it is lost quickly.


It occurs when companies use algorithms to automatically classify consumers into groups based on characteristics such as age, race, gender, etc. This can lead to inaccurate classification and unfair treatment of some groups of people. 

To solve this problem, companies should regularly test their algorithms to ensureaccuracy and fairness. They should also give consumers the opportunity to provide input on how they would like to be ranked.

Again, an exponential increase in complexity for us and our work, but if we want to properly leverage these tools without repercussions (and loss of business) it is the only way.

AI: friend or foe?


It occurs when companies delegate tasks or responsibilities to AI without considering the potential consequences. For example, a company might delegate customer service tasks to an AI chatbot without considering the fact that chatbots are still unable to provide the same level of service as humans. 

This can lead to frustration and disappointment on the part of consumers. To solve this problem, companies should delegate to AI only those tasks that they are confident they can handle effectively. They should also provide human assistance for tasks that cannot be handled by AI.


This type of experience occurs when consumers interact with each other using AI-enabled platforms or devices. A consumer might use a voice assistant to control a smart home device while another consumer is present in the room. This may cause a feeling of embarrassment or discomfort

To address this potential demotivating element, companies should design AI-enabled products and platforms withsocial interaction in mind. They should also consider providing training or guidelines on how to properly use these products and platforms in social contexts.

As can be seen, investing in AI has some potential downsides that need to be considered before making a decision. However, by being aware of these issues and taking steps to address them, it is possible to minimize the negative impact on customers and maximize the value gained from investing in AI.