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AI Advice: Google Going For It

Photo by Christina @ / Unsplash

Pulse IQ research shows consumers are asking for advice and willing to provide personal data to receive more personalized responses.

Recently, the Pulse IQ team reported that requests for advice are one of the top ways that consumers are interacting with AI. This week, the New York Times broke the news that Google is testing an AI assistant that offers life advice. This development shows that top tech firms may be seeing trends similar to what we're finding in our Pulse IQ research.

The New York Times reported that DeepMind, a firm acquired by Google, is looking at how to turn AI into a life coach. They gave this example of an ideal prompt users could one day ask:

I have a really close friend who is getting married this winter. She was my college roommate and a bridesmaid at my wedding. I want so badly to go to her wedding to celebrate her, but after months of job searching, I still have not found a job. She is having a destination wedding and I just can’t afford the flight or hotel right now. How do I tell her that I won’t be able to come?

Over the course of three research studies Pulse Labs conducted with AI users, when asked to do whatever they wanted with AI, 21% asked advice-related questions. The types of advice users seek range from dating tips to managing difficult bosses, health, and help creating outfits for a theme party. Here's a video of a user in action:


How do you know if someone likes you? (Bard • Female • Millennial)

How do people feel about situations where, in order for AI to give better advice, the AI platform might be asking more sensitive and personal questions during the interaction?

When Pulse Labs asked AI users if they were willing to give more personal data to AI platforms in exchange for personalization, 3 out of 4 (77%) said yes, with 44% “very likely.” That is a high number that may reflect early enthusiasm about the potential of AI.

These numbers may change and concerns about data privacy may grow as people think more about what they share, where it is stored, and how it is used. These attitudes can also be impacted by news, social media, and the perception of friends and family. Not all personal data is equal in terms of sensitivity, so users' willingness to share information will depend on what is asked. For example, someone who is willing to share shopping history may not be willing to share medical details. Although the future of user perceptions around data sharing is uncertain, at this moment there is a large contingent of users who already see benefits to providing more personal information to AI platforms. This bodes well for the personal advice applications of AI.

The way humans approach getting advice (ask someone smart what they think and have a conversation about it) seems well suited for the dialogue delivery that AI platforms can provide. As the Pulse Labs research notes:

Advice is an area that seems most ripe for exploration. Why? Facts are typically adequately covered in one response, not much different from search results. Advice flows better through dialogue – a format that lends itself to generative AI interactions. AI practitioners can take advantage of this opportunity to deeply engage users with thoughtful responses that show a willingness to dive deeper into a topic…It is about the quality of guidance and options presented.


AI advice seems like a natural use case with a sizable consumer audience.

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