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A Little Less AI Hype, A Little More Conversation


2023 was the rise of generative AI, but 2024 is about fixing its creep factor.

But are we going to make it worse? Companies are racing headlong to add AI to everything they make, whether their products need it or not. 70% of CEOs expect Generative AI to significantly change the way their company creates value in the next three years (PWC survey).

When AI controls so many interactions, one of the biggest obstacles for brands to overcome will be gaining and maintaining the trust of the people using their products. It is one of the defining challenges in an AI-driven world. Consumers are increasingly hesitant to share personal data with a machine, and the death of third-party cookies has CMOs scrambling. It's a recipe for an AI-focused UX arms race, not unlike the shift to "mobile-first" a decade ago.


This isn’t a bad thing. Conversations with your customers - truly two-way conversations where you work to understand their needs and respond with empathy and compassion - have the potential to transform a lot of bad marketing practices to more humane and powerful relationships. Ironically, it might be that teaching our machines to be more human and to listen well can be what makes brands behave more genuinely with their customers. By focusing us to really follow the principles of conversational UX, we might begin to have more real and useful interactions with the people we are trying to connect with.

Erika Hall’s 2018 book “Conversational UX” is a fantastic starting point for companies who want to make their products and services to work better for humans. A whole set of best practices about designing for generative AI conversations is entering the practice of designers everywhere. Crafting new human-to-computer design guidelines for multi-modal AI - for input and output - is new territory but it isn't a new way of communicating.

Conversation is not a new interface. It’s the oldest interface. Conversation is how humans interact with each other and have for millennia. We should be able to use the same principles to make our digital systems easy and intuitive to use by finally getting the machines to play by our rules. - Erika Hall.

The companies that become “AI-first” and learn how to build trust and transparency into their AI-enabled products and services will win. Gartner estimates that by 2026, companies who can operationalise AI models in a way that builds transparency, trust and security will achieve a 50% improvement in terms of adoption, business goals and consumer acceptance (report).

But only if you do it right. Come talk to us at Potato if you want to evaluate the best way to use AI in your business. The answer might be more about how you listen to your customers than the technology you use to do it.

If you want to get started right away, here are some of the principles we follow for building conversational user experiences that are powered by generative AI tools.

photo credit: Joshua Hoehne