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Personalization for Enhanced User Experiences: People Willing To Give Data to AI Platforms for Personalization

Photo by Alexander Sinn / Unsplash

In the ever-evolving space of Generative AI, an interesting pattern emerges—users willingly divulging personal information when they think they will receive a more tailored user experience. This behavior underscores how important it is for app owners and product development professionals to streamline the customer journey, offering users seamless interaction. Despite the high prevalence of most users to share more information, others hesitate due to the perception of bias in AI.

This isn't unique to AI users. Personalization is quickly becoming an expectation across many different types of technology. To learn more, read our in-depth story about how NFL fans crave a personalized user experience. Generative AI may provide its own fuel to help businesses achieve higher levels of personalization.

User Trade-Off: More Data for Better Responses

Earlier this year, we asked 227 users of Generative AI Platforms, "How likely would you be to provide more details about yourself to an AI platform if it promised better-tailored results?" The response was clear—77% expressed readiness to share personal information, lured by the prospect of personalized responses and improved results. Users underscored how this would allow them to get the maximum benefit from LLMs like ChatGPT, Bard, and Bing.

"A more personalized response would feel like I have my own personal assistant instead of over-generalized information."

—Tyree, Millennial

Users Look to AI to Reduce Their Cognitive Load

A closer look into the motivations driving people to share their personal data shows that users see AI-driven personalization as a remedy for the overwhelming choices that they face while browsing an app or website. It transcends mere convenience, enhancing mobile app and web experiences by providing precisely tailored recommendations, alleviating choice fatigue, and elevating overall user satisfaction.

Let's consider a few scenarios. For the food enthusiast, the sweet spot lies in AI suggesting restaurants aligned with their dietary constraints with what they enjoy. When it comes to beauty and skincare, users can find age-specific product recommendations for maximum efficacy. From health plans to travel preferences, data sharing becomes a way for users to have a more customized, enriched experience. Here is what a few users had to say about what they would expect from more personalized results:

"If the platform can recommend restaurants and cuisines that align with my dietary preferences and restrictions, I'd consider sharing relevant information."

—Wilson, Gen Z

"I'd be more open to sharing additional details, such as age, location, education, family size, income, to help AI find results tailored to our life. Planning a trip to Hawaii for under $10k would look much different than for someone with no spouse, no children, and no health issues."

—Kelly, Millennial

Trust in Big Tech and FOMO Spur Users to Share Data

Users are willing to trust Google, Microsoft, Amazon, and Apple, who are perceived as guardians, offering robust data privacy measures that reassure users. Users believe that there are adequate checks and balances in place at these companies that will ensure that their data is not misused. 

Many users also expressed FOMO (fear of missing out). They believe that AI will continue to improve. This makes them open to sharing more information in exchange for a better user experience, and so they don't miss out on being the first to benefit from AI technology advances. Here is what a few users had to say:

"If it's something like Bard from Google or Microsoft's Bing/Copilot, I'd probably be more willing to give that information since they probably have all of that information on me already anyway. Plus, the security with these larger companies is probably leagues beyond what smaller companies have access to, even if my information is sold by them at times."

—Shawn, Gen X

“I don't want to be left behind in this race, ultimately the AI and I both will work for each other. I want to make the most of it by giving the AI enough qualifiers and better prompts.”

—Rekius, Gen Z

Users Feel Confident in Their Own Abilities to Find the Balance Between Trust and Safety

Participants in our study exhibited trust in their instincts and ability to filter information, having been seasoned users of various technology products and solutions. Additionally, some users note that a significant portion of their personal data is already available online, diminishing concerns about data privacy issues. 

"I feel like the internet, Google, and social media already have all the info about me. I'm not sure if having that info causes me harm on a daily basis, so yeah, if I can get better responses, I will."

—Gabriella, Millennial

However, some users harbor concerns about potential bias in AI, especially regarding demographics such as age, gender, and race. Real apprehensions exist about AI presenting potentially harmful or inaccurate information. Users express a desire for mitigating these ethical considerations around bias in AI, as voiced by one user:

"I don't mind having an algorithm learn data about me to improve my experience. It would be very cool, but I do worry about the AI becoming biased, or only telling me what it thinks I want to hear based on the fact I'm 28, Chinese American, and female."

—Jenny, Millennial

Four Key Ways to Unleash the Potential of AI Personalization

The ramifications of users' willingness to share data are profound. We see this ushering in a new era of enhanced user experiences. By deftly simplifying user journeys, product owners can not only improve task efficiency but also give users content and UX personalization finely attuned to their interests and needs. Key considerations for personalizing AI user experiences include:

  • Reduced Cognitive Load: Personalized recommendations from AI and tailored content alleviate decision fatigue, creating greater value, satisfaction, and engagement for your users.
  • Improved Efficiency and Productivity: AI-powered assistants allow you to anticipate user needs, providing proactive solutions that save time and effort, contributing to heightened satisfaction and sustained engagement.
  • Improved Product Discovery: Personalized recommendations that leverage AI elevate conversion rates by showcasing relevant products and services.
  • Human-Centered, Ethical Design: Prioritizing user agency and control when incorporating AI into your systems is essential to ensure ethical and user-centric personalization.

Is your business navigating a shift towards AI and more of your user experiences being shaped by advanced personalization? Pulse Labs has tools to help you understand your users' needs and continually evolve to meet their dynamic expectations.

Want to learn more about our tools and how they can help you power your product design and user experience?

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