Making Artificial Intelligence Work With Us Instead Of Against Us

Topic(s): artificial intelligence, job satisfaction
Publication: Harvard Business Review
Article: How AI Affects Our Sense of Self and why it matters to businesses
Authors: G. Yalcin, S. Puntoni
Reviewed by: Daisy Rowser-Grier

As companies transition into the usage of automated technology, it is crucial to consider the emotions that customers experience while using artificial intelligence (AI). Because people often consider what they do to be a strong part of their identity, using AI may make people reconsider how they view themselves. A recent article in Harvard Business Review (Yalcin & Puntoni, 2023) discusses how people perceive themselves when they use AI.


After years of researching how people respond to AI, the authors give advice in three areas that they say are important decision points for organizations.

Services and Business-Process Design

Automated technology is being utilized in a diverse range of ways for services and business processes; because of this, it is best to consider how it affects the emotions of those using it. The authors found that people tend to feel better when associating themselves with other people, as opposed to when they interact with AI. The authors recommend that businesses do the following: (1) Ensure there is some human involvement when AI is used. (2) Be selective as to when they use AI. (3) Consider why people are buying their products in the first place, which could shed light on whether transitioning to automated processes will make sense.

Product Design

Automated technology has become a key part of life. For example, self-driving cars give people the ability to sit back and relax, and Chat GPT can help improve work productivity. All of this assistance and dependency could lead to people feeling less human. In fact, based on their own research, the authors say that when people feel a personal connection to a product, they are less likely to use AI in conjunction with it. The authors recommend that businesses should abstain from promoting completely automated products to customers who would like to feel more connected to their products. The authors invite businesses to perform market research to learn about the situations where this phenomenon may apply.


The authors remind us that communication is vital, especially when AI is concerned. They identify two crucial ways that organizations can ensure success in this regard. First, humanizing AI interfaces could lead to more positive reactions from customers and employees. This may involve giving AI a name and avatar or programing it to be more conversational. Second organizations who invite AI into their operations should clearly communicate that AI is not there to replace employees, but rather to elevate and support what employees already do. This way, employees may view AI as something that bolsters their professional identity, instead of something nefarious that seeks to undermine it.


It is best for organizations to consider how people feel about using AI before fully adopting it. Understanding that people have distinctly “human” values and identities could do well in bolstering the experience and satisfaction of both employees and customers.


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