Given that AI is now the most advanced kind of technology, it is not strange that the term is frequently mentioned in everyday conversation today. A combination of human and machine intellect is what constitutes artificial intelligence, which is why the potential of this technology is beyond imagination. Even though AI is still within the early stages of development, its accomplishments are notable and everybody wants to experience more of it. As a result, many businesses are associating the term ‘AI’ with their products to inflate price tags and attract more customers; this phenomenon is referred to as ‘AI washing’.
How does AI Washing Work?
We are all aware of deceptive marketing, which is often used by corporations to exaggerate a product’s usefulness or capabilities to generate hype. Most of the time ‘the new and improved version’ of something is the same old stuff in brand new packaging adorned by glitzy labels. Let’s face it: few of us actually understand the workings of AI and the scope of its applications. Con artists that disguise themselves as respectable businesses know that our knowledge is limited and they take advantage of it.
The numerous startups and small businesses that boast about inclusion of artificial intelligence in their products don’t know what they are talking about. In reality, they neither have the expertise, nor the funds to initiate an AI-integrated project. All things considered, AI washing is a deliberate marketing strategy applied to sell outdated or ignored goods with an added profit. The company gains publicity, earns a substantial turnover, and sometimes manages to snag an oblivious investor.
Is AI Washing worthwhile for Business?
The businesses that implement AI washing and succeed clearly do not have a clever and resourceful audience, so why all the effort? Why not glamorize a product for what it is, rather than linking it to something irrelevant? Apparently, the public is easy to impress, so what is the point of telling a white lie that will be exposed sooner or later?
The technology that is often branded as ‘AI’ is actually simple automation or a prototype of machine learning. What automation and machine learning can accomplish is fairly useful to the general public, but these terms lack the ‘buzz’ element. People want to be a part of something bigger, and AI is one of those things right now. Sadly, the average consumer cannot distinguish fiction from reality, and perhaps they don’t care. They fall for illusions and by the time it breaks, they have already moved onto the next one. Technology is ever-growing, so when the public is introduced to something allegedly fresh and trending, they quickly forget about the ‘out-dated’ stuff.
Businesses that adopt AI washing aim for short-lived victory, which is exactly what they get. Their customers rarely discover the truth, and they hardly understand if someone tries to tell them that they have been deceived. A few complaints come around at some point, but they are readily forgotten or the company no more exists to take responsibility. On the other hand, people do not dare to question renowned and powerful corporations that continue to distract them with ‘latest versions’.
Now the businesses that actually work with AI could be slightly affected by the widespread AI washing. It creates fake competition in the market, but mostly filters out the audience that could never practically afford real AI technology. Individuals who have done their research and are able to recognize fake AI straightaway don’t get fooled.
About The Author
John Adams is a technology enthusiast, lifestyle blogger, and paralegal at a business law firm. He writes about widespread social and legal issues, aiming to help readers solve problems the smart way, rather than the hard way. He also loves sharing personal views on technological developments and trending life hacks.
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