The value of service robots in embarrassing service encounters

While we tend to think of an attentive member of staff as the epitome of customer service, there are circumstances when customers would much rather not have to interact with one. Maybe they are in a hurry. Maybe they want to avoid small talk. Maybe they prefer to socially distance. Or, maybe, they are a … Continue reading The value of service robots in embarrassing service encounters

Customers love our technology (Or… do they?)

The BBC reported, recently, that several major supermarket chains are trialling the use of automated technology to scan a customer’s face and verify their age, when they are buying alcohol. The reason for using this technology for age verification (as opposed to relying on cashiers to do so, in line with legal requirements) is, according … Continue reading Customers love our technology (Or… do they?)

Drivers of acceptance of AI vary with type of service setting

Not all consumption settings are the same. They can range from situations where we can easily evaluate what we are consuming (for instance, buying a new car), to situations where we can only evaluate what we are consuming afterwards (for instance, renting a car), as well as situations where we will struggle to evaluate what … Continue reading Drivers of acceptance of AI vary with type of service setting

Artificial Intelligence Committee report – Roadmap for the UK

The Artificial Intelligence (AI) Committee has just published its report, providing a roadmap for the UK government, when developing the country’s national AI strategy. The Committee delivered 16 recommendations, across four areas of intervention. They are: Image source The full report – which is very readable – is available here. I particularly like priorities 5, 6, … Continue reading Artificial Intelligence Committee report – Roadmap for the UK

March 2020 round-up

At the beginning of the month, I wrote in my journal that March would be a month in two halves. And it was. But not at all as I had imagined it would be. To be fair, my months rarely pan out as planned. But, boy, has this month been unexpected?!   The first half … Continue reading March 2020 round-up

Role of robot appearance vs behaviour on users’ perception

Robots are increasingly playing a role in customer service – be it taking orders in restaurants, providing information in banks, or delivering items in hotels. For the investment in customer service robots to be worthwhile, though, customers need to enjoy interacting with them, and they need to trust them. A robot’s appearance has a key … Continue reading Role of robot appearance vs behaviour on users’ perception

New paper: How AI can destroy business value

As we enter the fourth industrial revolution, Artificial Intelligence (AI) and Machine Learning (ML) technologies are being used to automate business processes in more and more areas, from calculating optimal transport loads to shortlisting loan applicants without human input. These technologies promise to create business value, for instance, by improving productivity and reducing mistakes. However, … Continue reading New paper: How AI can destroy business value

[Miscellany] Automated news, Deepfake Christmas video, and Innocent newsletter

Automated news It has emerged that, last week, the BBC used computers to compose nearly 700 news articles relating to the election’s results. The news corporation is describing it as "machine-generated journalism", and justifying it as thus: "Using machine assistance, we generated a story for every single constituency that declared last night with the exception … Continue reading [Miscellany] Automated news, Deepfake Christmas video, and Innocent newsletter

What it feels like when the computer knows more than you

I have been thinking and talking about artificial intelligence a lot, this past week. For instance, on Wednesday, I went to the Parliament with two other colleagues from Brunel, to talk about the impact of AI on workers, work and the workplace; and, on Thursday, with those same colleagues, we hosted a workshop to examine … Continue reading What it feels like when the computer knows more than you

The impact of the type of task on AI acceptance and use

Earlier this week, the FT Advisor reported on a study by Openwork, which showed that “despite a surge in robo-solutions in the market consumers still prefer face-to-face advice when it comes to planning their finances”. According to the study, “71 per cent (of respondents) had concerns robo-advice would not be appropriate for their financial needs … Continue reading The impact of the type of task on AI acceptance and use