Consumers Demand More Transparency in Generative AI Content

By Greg Tavarez June 07, 2023

Generative AI was essentially a sleeping giant when OpenAI first introduced it to the world in 2016. (A sleeping giant that people rarely paid attention to.) Fast-forward to the end of 2022 and bam. OpenAI launched ChatGPT to generate new and original content, and the whole world has been buzzing about it since.

Now, generative AI is a hot commodity across various industries and fields. In the field of marketing and advertising, generative AI involves using machine-learning (ML) algorithms to create personalized and engaging content at scale. It has applications in content creation, ad design, personalization, chatbots, A/B testing, campaign optimization, market research and trend analysis.

Generative AI helps marketers automate and optimize their campaigns, deliver personalized experiences, and gain valuable insights. However, ethical considerations and transparency are essential to maintain trust and adhere to guidelines. In fact, a majority of consumers (94%) want to see more transparency and regulation around the use of generative AI technology in marketing and advertising, according to new research from StoryStream.

That makes sense; consumers want more transparency because transparency plays a pivotal role in establishing trust between businesses and their customers. By openly disclosing the use of generative AI in content generation or recommendation systems, companies create an environment of digital authenticity, and customers are given a clearer understanding of the underlying processes.

And, by providing customers with visibility into the use of this technology, businesses prevent the dissemination of misleading or deceptive content. Such disclosure helps maintain consumer trust and ensures responsible usage of generative AI, aligning with ethical guidelines and practices.

Regulatory compliance also comes into play when considering transparency in generative AI. In various jurisdictions, laws and regulations may require businesses to disclose the use of AI-generated content. Transparently informing customers about the involvement of generative AI ensures compliance with these legal obligations, avoiding potential legal consequences and safeguarding the reputation of businesses.

Transparency in generative AI also serves as a mechanism to mitigate biases and discrimination. As generative AI models are trained on existing data, biases within the training data can be perpetuated in the generated content. By being transparent about the use of generative AI, businesses encourage proper scrutiny and accountability in identifying and addressing biases, and in promoting fairness and inclusivity in marketing and advertising practices.

“Excitement at the growing capabilities of Generative AI technology is understandably huge,” said Alex Vaidya, CEO of StoryStream. “In this research, we’ve asked consumers – specifically consumers already broadly familiar with the concept of Generative AI – what they want to see from brands in their marketing and advertising, and what we’re learning is that understanding consumer expectations and concerns will remain a crucial ingredient for building trust.”

This report isn’t to knock generative AI and put a negative cloud over it, though. More than half of the consumers in the report are excited about the technology, especially with the younger generations. Still, user-generated content remains the most trusted and authentic content format, favored by 45% of respondents, according to the report.

With those points in mind, it is safe to say that transparency is crucial in the utilization of generative AI in marketing and advertising. By prioritizing transparency, businesses foster positive and trustworthy relationships with their customers while effectively harnessing the power of generative AI in their marketing and advertising endeavors.

Edited by Alex Passett
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