The AI Optimist
The AI Optimist
Turning the Tables: How AI Bias Can Be Your Secret Weapon in Understanding Customers

Turning the Tables: How AI Bias Can Be Your Secret Weapon in Understanding Customers

Why are less than 20% of businesses using AI or, worse, doing what they’ve always done and hoping AI doesn’t take over? Because they don't know how to harness the power of Customer Bias! EP #7

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It’s easy to talk about the AI game while clinging to the comfort of an echo chamber, repeating their old, comfortable business stereotypes. Bias is a mirage, especially against AI!

Reimagining AI’s Role: Cultivating Customer Bias in an Ethical Way

Using Customer Bias to Your Advantage: A 7-Step Guide 

Making Customer Bias Ethical for Them and You

Seven Simple AI Truths: The Customer Voice is All that Matters.

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Of course, bias may undermine AI; the next pod will be about that. AI data includes preferences of all kinds based on the content we humans create. And we all have different stereotypes and ways of looking at the world that AI is showing us.

This bias is international, so AI in Asia is different from AI in the Arab World or the EU, US, CA, India, and China, impacting everyone and every country on this planet.

This pod is answering one of our debate questions about bias, examining how bias can benefit business, which means the power of customer bias.

Question 2: Bias in The AI Optimist Debate

How do you propose to address this issue to prevent the perpetuation of harmful biases and discrimination in AI-driven education and business applications?

ANSWER: Eliminating Bias implies you know the truth. Truth is often biased, especially in business.

Instead of fighting bias, we filter it, building a neural network focusing on a spectrum of bias.

Instead of force-feeding people biases, this filtering system will create an understanding of the multiple viewpoints. While people tend to choose their preferences, other diverse points of view challenge their thinking.

Finally, when/if AGI happens, this one will develop a multi-perspective understanding driven by bias and sentiment and taught in schools worldwide as a fact. Truth is seen differently by different people, and understanding these differences will help us all.

Reimagining AI’s Role: Cultivating Customer Bias in an Ethical Way

We’re diving into a new business game where the field is ever-changing, the players are algorithms, and the stakes are ethical and financial. 

We’re talking about the arena of artificial intelligence in business.

Remember the coach who took a flailing team and turned it into a powerhouse by playing to each player’s strengths? That’s the magic we’re gunning for.

In this arena, Artificial Intelligence (AI) is not just a new hire but a transformative force capable of reshaping how we approach marketing, sales, and customer engagement.

The dilemma we often face is akin to a strategic pivot in business: how to harness customer biases to benefit the company without crossing ethical lines.

Customer biases can be leveraged as assets if managed ethically and intelligently.

Imagine you’re developing a strategy that doesn’t just look at spreadsheets and metrics but considers the nuances of consumer behavior and preferences.

The challenge is ensuring that AI is an empowering organizer, harmonizing business ambitions with ethical considerations. It’s not about wielding AI like a sledgehammer but deploying it as a scalpel—precise, targeted, and ultimately effective.

Get this right, and you have a sustainable and ethical model that benefits customers and businesses. 

We’re piloting through a landscape where ethics and profitability aren’t at odds; they are two sides of the same coin.

Harnessing Customer Bias the New Way

In the desert, thirsty souls perceive mirages as accurate. In AI, businesses often need help, mistaking their bias for the truth of old practices being evergreen.

Imagine a business crushed by the weight of its old illusions, all in the name of staying relevant.

The AI mirage trickles down, infecting the algorithms that govern AI. Because what we ask for and what AI has scraped off the Internet is teeming with lousy business bias.

Bias is a chameleon, shifting colors depending on who’s looking and what they want to find. The most harmful biases for businesses are ones they create, separate from the customer.

Your Bias, My Bias: Switching Business Perspectives from Persuasion to Customers

Companies are detached from their customers, forming strategies based on outdated playbooks. The same ones must understand that they act on the stage driven by actual customer experience.

Imagine AI not as a parrot mimicking you but as a tool amplifying the hidden desires of your customers.

  • Emails, landing pages, internal memos—all narrating the authentic story of what your customers want, not just what you think they want.

Avoiding your own bias in AI is a delicate art. ChatGPT isn’t a wizard; it’s a mirror reflecting society’s norms and prejudices as evaluated by data scientists.

Relying on it as a be-all-end-all solution is like expecting a mirage to quench your thirst.

The more you ask AI for the mirage you want, the more it reflects your version of the “truth .”

While we debate what constitutes “harmful” bias, remember that AI is as fallible as the data it’s trained on.

Whether it’s a ChatGPT assisting in writing copy or an AI tool automating your sales funnel, the biases you ignore today will lead you away from your goal and leave you in the desert.

Balancing Points of View and Listening to Customers

Biases aren’t just local folklore—they’re universal anthems. The bias inherent in an AI system in Asia sings a different tune than in the US or the EU.

The solution? A neural network fine-tuned to understand the music of different biases, acting as a mediator between clashing perspectives.

Thinking you can eliminate bias is naive; the aim should be to assume bias, not escape it.

After all, in the theatre of life, the scripts are never fixed; they evolve as the actors grow. So, should our understanding of business.

We aren’t merely selling products or ideas; we’re nurturing critical thinking and adaptability built on the customer experience, not our separate opinions.

Using Customer Bias to Your Advantage: A 7-Step Guide 

The Fault Lies Not in our Customers but in Our Bias

We’ve explored how most unknowingly make AI all biased and goofy, right? Now, let’s harness the power of customer bias to make your brand voice sing.

Your customer’s bias is what matters, not yours. Here’s how to get into your customers’ heads in a non-creepy way.

Step 1: Go Where the People Are

What Not to Do: Assume You Know Best

  • Think you know what your customers want? Easy there, bias lover.

  • The Right Move: Jump into social media, forums, and online communities where your customers hang out. Listen and learn. 

  • Look at the books they read; review the 5-star reviews to know what they love, and the 1-star reviews to find out the critical part people missed.

Step 2: Follow the Feedback

What Not to Do: Neglect Opinions

  • Ignoring customer feedback is like neglecting the gas gauge in your car. Not smart.

  • The Right Move: Run polls, watch social discussions and videos, or even a quick DM to ask folks what they think about your brand or product.

  •  Listen and don’t interrupt; the truth may hurt, and it’s also the key to finding their voice for your brand.

Step 3: Collage the Voices

What Not to Do: Go With the Status Quo

  • Your old brand voice is comfy and often as outdated as a flip phone.

  • The Right Move: Collect all the tidbits, phrases, and slang you’ve heard from customers to craft your brand’s voice.

  • Stop inventing pain points and witness how customers explain your brand.

  • It’s less about their pain and more about their lack of interest and attention.

  • Stop solving problems you make up and follow the customers and customers to be.

  • Focus on public information and permission; it’s easy to do this in stealth and violate the trust and ethical principles behind good AI. Don’t take shortcuts; make sure what you do honors the customers’ privacy and builds goodwill.

Step 4: Prototype That Voice

What Not to Do: Go All In Without Testing

  • Jumping feet-first might work for swimming, but not here.

  • The Right Move: Create a prototype voice for your brand and test it in a small campaign or with a social group.

  • Start with 3-10 people; watch and listen to emerging patterns.

  • Scale that up and adapt on the way.

  • Finding their voice takes a little extra time; it’s good that you don’t want fries with some drive-by fake test. You are planting seeds.

Step 5: Get the Customer Party Started

What Not to Do: Assume You Nailed It

  • You’re good, but you’re not that good. No one is. And it doesn’t matter (maybe to your ego but not to the customer).

  • The Right Move: Use that new voice in a broader setting and actively ask for positive and negative feedback.

Step 6: Create a Customer Voice with AI with the best learnings.

What Not to Do: Be Stubborn

  • “My way or the highway” doesn’t work in relationships or business.

  • The Right Move: Use the feedback to refine your voice. Remember, repetition is vital.

  • Systematize with AI to turn this into your Customer Voice. Run your copy through these learnings, and once you find the right path, create a separate Customer Voice to keep challenging and training your original findings.

  • Business today is a dynamic game, not a short-term dance. Play the long game.

Step 7: Roll Out the Customer Voice and Make it Your Brand Voice

What Not to Do: Half-Heart It

  • A partial rollout is like partially cooking a meal. Ew.

  • The Right Move: Launch that new voice across all platforms once you’ve listened and tested enough.

  • Ensure your business, employees, and outsourced team run their ideas, copy, and memos through the Customer Voice so it becomes the guide.

  • Keep improving this voice and challenge it; encourage AI to praise your words, then provide a harsh troll-like critique from the customer.

  • See both sides, love, and hate, and ride the middle to success.

Your Action Plan:

  1. Social Media Recon: Dedicate weekly to listening and gathering phrases and opinions.

  2. Quick Feedback: Use tools like Google Forms to create short surveys for direct feedback. Use social media to gauge interest and sentiment analysis (there are AI tools to do this!)

  3. Voice Crafting: Spend a day creating your new brand voice based on your learning.

  4. Social Group: Organize a small group or small campaign to test the new voice.

  5. Broad Testing: Apply the voice to a more extensive campaign and ask for critiques.

  6. Refine: Give another day or two to tweak based on the feedback.

  7. Full Rollout: Update all your social media, website, and outreach to the new voice.

Your customer’s bias is the one that counts. It turns browsers into buyers and maybe even into die-hard brand advocates. Get out of your head and into their words and experience.

Wake Up and Smell the AI Bias – Because you help create it!

Making Customer Bias Ethical for Them and You

You might think, “Hey, it’s a machine. Machines don’t have prejudices.” Wrong. Machines learn from humans, and we’re far from perfect.

  • If you train ChatGPT on just a bunch of tech bro blogs, don’t be surprised when it starts sounding like one.

  • Be aware that some have tested out and biased AI against race, gender, and physical location. Think things through before taking action to ensure you do the right thing.

  • Quick Fix: Use data from all walks of life. Think of it like a potluck dinner; everyone brings something to the table.

1. Check AI’s Homework:

You ask AI to figure out what customers would love. Just like you’d check your homework, make sure the AI is doing its job well. This way, people get what they want!

2. Let AI Learn from Everyone

You wouldn’t color a picture with just one crayon? Same thing with AI. 

Make sure it learns from all kinds of people to give everyone what they like. Nobody feels left out, and sales grow!

3. Teach AI to Play Fair

AI can pick favorites without meaning to. Teach it to be fair so that everyone gets a chance to enjoy what you’re offering. Fair play keeps customers happy and coming back!

4. Ask for a Second Opinion

If you’re stuck on a complex game level, you’d ask a friend for help. If you’re unsure your AI is being fair, ask people for their thoughts. They might see something you didn’t, which will improve your business.

5. Keep an Eye on Your AI

Let’s say you are building a house. You’d check the foundation plans with an architect to make sure it doesn’t fall over. 

Same with AI—keep an eye on it to ensure it stays on track. People’s ideas of what’s good can change, so your AI should, too.

Make sure your AI is the best it can be for your business while ensuring everyone gets the proper treatment.

Quick Nuggets of Wisdom:

  • Bias Happens: Just ’cause it’s a machine doesn’t mean it’s off the hook for bias.

  • Variety is Spice: Different voices and perspectives make your AI better.

  • Be the Good Cop: Ethical checks and balances aren’t just for the government; your AI needs it, too.

  • Stay on Your Toes: Watch your AI like a toddler. You never know when it might scribble on the walls.

  • Honesty Rules: Keep it 100 with your customers. Trust is the new currency.

ChatGPT or any other AI isn’t developing biases independently but learning from us. We’re the teachers here.

It’s on us to set a good example and make the tweaks needed to ensure AI efforts are as unbiased as they are helpful.

Many businesses increasingly rely on AI tools for customer outreach, market analysis, and internal communications tasks.

While AI can offer benefits, it can also inherit and continue biases in the data.

Action Plan:

  1. Audit Existing AI Systems: Use third-party audits to identify current biases.

  2. Collect Diverse Data: Start sourcing more diverse data for your AI system.

  3. Focus on Ethics as a Practice, not a Philosophy: Draw on all types of people, especially those who don’t always agree with you. Listen to them and evolve.

  4. Keep on Watch: Use AI to help monitor itself, flagging potential areas of improvement.

  5. Educate Customers and Team members: Roll out an education program to help your customers and those you work with to understand why addressing bias is vital.

Bias in AI doesn’t originate from the machine but is a reflection of existing biases. And if there is one bias you should follow, watch, adapt to, and grow with, it’s your customer.

It’s not that they are always right; it’s understanding how they look at the world.

Let AI help you understand and operate in the universe of the customer.

Seven Simple AI Truths: The Customer Voice is All that Matters.

  1. Ears Open: Listen more than you talk. Your customers are already telling you what they want.

  2. Ask Don’t Assume: Directly seek opinions; they’re the business equivalent of truth.

  3. Be a Chameleon: Adapt your voice to reflect your customer base – you may find several customer voices, not just one, depending upon the diversity of your audience.

  4. Test the Waters: Small tests save you from big headaches later.

  5. Critiques are Gold: Both praise and criticism are opportunities to learn.

  6. Keep doing it: Forget being perfect. Use AI to keep pushing out greater understanding.

  7. Why settle for what you think they want? When you’re sure, roll it out.

Instead of pretending to create a brand voice, your brand voice can grow from your customer’s voice with AI IF you learn to avoid your own bias. And listen to the customer’s bias.

That data we enter gives weak responses when it learns the same old things about marketing and predicts these as truths to your answer. Or is so lost that it hallucinates answers that aren’t real.

Truth is like the sun, and bias is like sunglasses. The sunglasses can make the sun look brighter or dimmer, but they can’t change the fact that the sun is still there.

And the customer is the sun, the center of your business universe. If you allow it to do its job, AI is here to help you understand them in ways you never could.

In this way, bias can be good if you take the proper steps and ensure you’re doing right by the customer.

In the next pod, we’ll explore the threat of bias in AI and how it impacts us all.

The AI Optimist
The AI Optimist
Moving beyond AI hype, The AI Optimist explores how we can use AI to our advantage, how not to be left behind, and what's essential for business and education going forward.
Each week for one year I’m exploring the possibilities of AI, against the drawbacks. Diving into regulations and the top 10 questions posed by AI Pessimists, I’m not here to prove I’m right. The purpose here is to engage in discussions with both sides, hear out what we fear and what we hope for, and help design AI models that benefit us all.