This series looks at the advent of AI and its effect on CX. In Part 1, we discussed AI’s seemingly limitless capabilities for our businesses. In Part 2, we shared thoughts on ensuring long-term CX gains when choosing an AI solution for your business.
As we dove into the intersection of CX and AI, one question kept bubbling below the surface.
How can we use AI and CX to create the world we want to see?
This is the question we’ll answer here.
Business Is Our Current World
What we’re about to share with you isn’t a phrase stated frequently, but it is one of the central components of our values system as business owners. That phrase?
Business IS society.
Yes, we realize this is a lofty statement. Allow me to walk you through how we arrived at it.
We can all agree that we live in a capitalistic society, yes?
Some people love this fact, and some do not, but that isn’t the point of our discussion. The point is that the economy impacts many areas of our lives.
We start our lives in schools that prepare us for the working world. We then transition into the working world, where we spend most of our adult lives. Finally, we leave the working world to bask in retirement (hopefully), where we spend money on the experiences and items that fulfill us.
Throughout this life journey, there is a consistent aspect: commerce. Be it through rent, mortgage, food, or fun, we are constantly interacting with businesses. We may be buying from them or working for them, but businesses are the current cornerstone of society.
They are where life happens; we need them to make our lives what they are.
Further, businesses are all facing a new stage with the advent of AI. And this stage has the potential to have some impactful and society-altering effects.
The Potential Impacts of AI
In this Wall Street Journal article, Scott Galloway states that AI will not be as catastrophic as we think. We agree with him, but we also agree with his other quote:
“We have a series of replacements–fueled by technology–for relationships, mentorships, the workplace, friendships, romantic relationships. And in the short term, it sort of fills a void. But it’s empty calories, and I think you end up more depressed.”
In other words, technology replacements for real connections in our lives and businesses fill a void in the short term, but we feel even more disconnected in the long term.
We saw a fictional example of this in Joaquin Phoenix’s performance ten years ago in the movie “Her.” But we also see real-life research pointing to disconnect increasing along with technology and social media use.
Galloway claims AI has the potential to supercharge the effects we’re already seeing by increasing technological capabilities with minimal effort.
It’s fair to say we’re approaching a crisis moment.
Technology vs. Humanity
We will shortly need to decide what takes priority: technological advancements or human well-being. One place this decision will happen will be within our businesses.
As businesses are one of the main drivers of our society, their choices in how to institute Artificial Intelligence will be key in determining how we, as citizens of the world, are affected. Much of how and where we interact, what information we consume, and what features and capabilities are available to us are influenced by businesses.
The question is: Can businesses create a better world?
They absolutely can. Moreover, it is in their and our best interests for businesses to choose humanity before technology.
Creating the World We Want to Live In
You may disagree with our argument. In fact, it may seem too ephemeral or idealistic. We’ll take a cue from our friend and colleague Molly Brown and say, “If you read this and roll your eyes, it’s not for you.”
However, if you read this and are inspired to think more deeply, we’ll pose a second point. We believe it all comes down to who we, as business leaders, choose to be.
We can double down on profits to elicit short-term gains while dismantling the society around us. Or we can double down on profits to produce long-term gains while helping humanity prosper.
Think and Choose Differently
The first outcome would be using AI to aggravate the shortcomings business has already created. This might look like getting more people online, keeping them online, and coaxing them to buy, like, share, upload, view, or swipe more.
The second outcome helps both businesses and consumers.
Yes, you can do both.
By aligning your AI decisions and your resulting Customer Experience with business values and customer intentions, you build just enough to meet both needs. You also save your company money and time while supporting the people in your community. You decrease “empty calories” while increasing business value.
This formula increases customer loyalty and business profits, and long-term CX gains.
But it does something more important as well.
Keeping in mind our previous point that business is society, we can see that the choices we make in our businesses are reflected in the society we live in outside of work. This means your business can contribute to making great citizens.
It also means something else: by thinking about AI and CX differently, we can create a world we want to live in.
To us, this is what matters most.