Brands are increasingly tapping into the opportunities presented by artificial intelligence (AI), both in terms of improving ROI and enhancing the digital experience of their customers, but it is essential they pay attention to trust, safety and the values that customers expect.

Indeed, only by laying a solid foundation of ethics and values that guide the implementation of all facets of an AI solution will brands be able to harness fully the value of the new technology.

These are among the key learnings from a global study – covering the UK, the US and Australia – that was commissioned by WP Engine, the WordPress digital platform, and conducted by technology research firm Vanson Bourne and researchers from the University of London.

The study, entitled Value of values: Building better digital experiences with AI, surveyed consumers and enterprise companies with 1,000 employees or more.

It found that an increasing number of digital users are now aware of the “value exchange” that occurs with a brand when they engage in a digital experience.

Consequently, nearly 87% of UK consumers feel it is important that personalisation doesn’t feel “creepy” – and, in response, 77% of UK enterprises agree that it is crucial to avoid creepiness.

“Ultimately organisations need to walk the fine line where a person’s digital space must be respected in the same way as physical space,” the report said.

Similarly, 92.7% of UK consumers feel it is very important for organisations to be transparent about how their data is used for creating personalised online experiences.

Yet it emerged that just 41.5% of IT decision-makers in the UK say that it is very important to be transparent about how they use AI to personalise user experiences.

However, 81.5% of these same UK IT decision-makers agree that it is important for organisations to test bias in their organisations and the data sets they use, while 79.5% of IT decision-makers say it is important that the teams building and maintaining AI systems are diverse.

The report also revealed that 86% of consumers don’t want organisations tracking data that they don’t have any use for while 92.8% of UK consumers expect organisations to explain what they are doing with their data.

In summing up the research findings, Fabio Torlini, managing director EMEA at WP Engine, said: “The degree of long-term benefits AI will bring to an enterprise’s digital initiatives is deeply linked with the importance of aligning brand values with a core set of ethical decision-making values.

“The brands who successfully integrate the revenue-driving power of AI with the trust, safety, and values customers expect will be successful in creating winning, powerful digital experiences.”

Sourced from WP Engine; additional content by WARC staff