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Ethical AI to drive digital strategies in 2023

Ethical AI

Ethical AI is one of Gartner’s top five predictions that companies must incorporate in their strategies in 2023 to drive results and regain confidence of business leaders.

Against a backdrop of unrelenting social and economic pressures, companies look toward a future with deeper, more valuable connections between customers and brands, said Andrew Frank, distinguished VP analyst in the Gartner Marketing practice. “From managing misinformation to ensuring effective first-party data collection, this year’s predictions prioritise the trends that marketers can no longer afford to ignore.”

The top five predictions for leaders are:

By 2027, 80 per cent of enterprise marketers will establish a dedicated content authenticity function to combat misinformation and fake material.

The proliferation of generative AI and user generated content will dramatically increase the volume and variety of content brands must monitor. Proactive reputation management is critical, but scanning for inaccurate or defamatory content at scale in real-time is increasingly difficult in a polarized and high-velocity landscape.

By 2025, 70 per cent of enterprise CMOs will identify accountability for ethical AI among their top concerns. Privacy-related restrictions on data collection, economic pressures, and AI breakthroughs are driving marketing teams to rely more heavily on AI and machine learning to optimise campaign performance and lower costs. 

Simultaneously, regulators and advocacy groups are vocalising concerns about manipulative and biased uses of AI through developments such as the AI Act in the EU or the AI Bill of Rights in the U.S. Several brands have come under fire over their use of advanced technology to influence in inequitable ways.

“Marketing is uniquely positioned to understand the superior CX AI affords as well as its trust and reputational risks,” said Frank. “This puts the onus on marketers to address the ethical issues that AI is raising in their practices, and the impetus to do so must come from the top.”

One-in-three businesses without a loyalty program today will establish one by 2027 to shore up first-party data collection and retain high-priority customers. At present, loyalty programs are most prevalent in the travel, hospitality and retail industries. However, there are opportunities in other verticals, such as banking and consumer packaged goods. Only 36 per cent of 1,068 brands Gartner analysed in 2022 had a loyalty program.

“The competition for customers’ attention and first-party data will increase as more companies launch and revamp loyalty programs,” said Brad Jashinsky, director analyst at Gartner. “CMOs running best in-class loyalty programs will elevate their approach beyond transactional benefits and recognize personalization as a critical differentiator.”

By 2025, organisations that use AI across the marketing function will shift 75 per cent of their staff’s operations from production to more strategic activities. The use of AI in marketing operations will reduce friction and eliminate redundancy, allowing marketers to shift their budgets and resources to activities that support a more dynamic marketing organisation.

For example, marketers can leverage AI in the creative process to automate the capturing, processing, and analysing of real-world images and videos, improving image quality and developing digital twins.

“AI will continue to refine marketing operations processes to drive more agile, data-based responses to the challenges ahead that have no signs of slowing down,” said Nicole Greene, Sr director analyst at Gartner.

See the Gartner report here: Predicts 2023: AI, Social Toxicity and Disappearing Customers Forge the Future of Marketing

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