AI: What is Real vs. Fake in Product Innovation

What is Real vs. Fake in Product Innovation © Brandly Digital

Nelio de Barros, the author of this article, is a senior UX manager with a strong focus on the interplay between design, artificial intelligence (AI), and User Experience (UX). Based in Zürich, he is one of the UX gurus and managing partners of Brandly Digital.

Technology and humans are in a never-ending chess game. AI’s got the strategy down, calculating moves with precision based on heaps of data. Humans though? We’re the wildcard players, driven by gut feelings and whims that no algorithm can predict. This mix of calculated moves and surprise plays is exactly why human feedback is gold in making tech that truly connects with us.

AI vs. Human: Fear or Collaboration?

Diving into the world where AI meets human ingenuity, we find ourselves at a fascinating juncture. It’s like we’re in a continuous dance-off with technology, where AI nails the routine based on past performances, and humans freestyle, surprising the audience with unexpected moves. This blend of predictability and spontaneity shines a spotlight on why it’s so crucial to loop humans into the tech development process. After all, what works in theory doesn’t always fly in the real world.

The deeper we dive into the digital era, the fuzzier the line gets between what’s done by humans and what’s generated by AI. Clearly, this isn’t a new game: Artists have always borrowed from each other, remixing and reinventing. Remember the old Picasso quote that “good artists copy and great artists steal”? 

Now, AI has joined the band, cranking out content faster than ever, and impossible to spot it as machine-made. What is real and what is not is almost impossible to tell apart. Throw in VR and immersive tech, and we are in a whole new ballgame where distinguishing the real from the virtual becomes a head-scratcher.

Why UX is broken – and how AI can fix it

Trust: Striking Gold in the Digital Age

With AI, distributing untruthful information that looks legit has become child’s play. It’s not just about misleading headlines anymore; we’re talking about deep fakes that can put words in people’s mouths – literally. This tech trickery doesn’t just fool us; it erodes trust and muddies the waters of our shared reality. It’s a wake-up call to sharpen our digital smarts and question what we see and hear. 

Navigating between real and fake is getting harder and harder. Therefore, earning trust is like striking gold. Businesses are on the front lines, fighting to prove they’re the real deal in a world where AI can fake almost anything. Transparency is their best weapon – being clear about where AI steps in and ensuring customers can spot the difference.  

For businesses, winning trust is all about showing your hand — letting people know when and how AI is involved. Here’s how to keep it real and earn trust:

  • Be clear about the role of AI: Tell your audience straight up when you’re using AI to create content. It’s about setting the scene so they know what they are looking at.
  • Inform your audience: Run some sessions or share content that helps your audience get the ins and outs of AI. Knowledge is power, and informed customers are more likely to trust you.
  • Fact-Check: Either team up with fact-checkers or have your own crew to make sure what you’re putting out there is legit. Being known for accuracy is a big win.
  • Open up for feedback: Make it easy for people to flag content that seems off. Showing you’re open to criticism and acting on it goes a long way in building trust.
  • Stick to the ethics of AI: Make a public pledge to use AI responsibly. Talk about how you’re avoiding bias and respecting privacy. It’s about proving you’re in this for the right reasons.

The “Other” Side of Tech Integration

Merging AI with our daily digital dose opens up a world of possibilities and pitfalls. On one hand, it’s a creative goldmine, offering new ways to connect and explore. On the flip side, it’s a minefield of misinformation, privacy concerns, and the challenge of keeping things real and honest.

Wading through the AI-human mashup, the aim is to keep the tech tide human-friendly. For businesses, it’s about weaving AI into the fabric of our lives in ways that respect, not replace, the human touch. This means endorsing transparency, ethics, and personalization, turning the challenges of today into the opportunities of tomorrow.

There’s a pressing need to reevaluate our approach to technology’s role in our lives. The push towards more immersive tech, like the Apple Vision Pro, raises an important question: Are we getting closer to reality, or are we drifting further into isolation? There’s a growing call for technology that’s less intrusive, one that enhances our connection to the real world rather than pulling us away into digital seclusion. Technology ought to be a bridge that connects us, not a barrier that divides or isolates us

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Expert Advice: Design for Reality

  • Challenge Assumptions: Understand that design isn’t just about what you think works; it’s about how users actually interact with the product. Regularly question and test your design assumptions with real user feedback to uncover the truth behind user experience.
  • Value Design Consistency: True user-friendly design maintains its integrity across all platforms and devices. A consistent user interface and experience signal reliability and trustworthiness, making it a cornerstone of effective design. Consistency will help users know what is your product, and your tone of voice, and the boundaries between your products and your competitors. 
  • Base Decisions on Data: Differentiate between design choices made on intuition versus those grounded in user data and research. Empirical evidence from user behavior and analytics should guide design decisions, ensuring they reflect real user needs and preferences.
  • Distinguish Human-made from AI-generated content: Highlight the source of content, clearly marking human or AI origins. This transparency builds user trust, enabling informed decisions about content credibility. It emphasizes honesty and accountability, improving user experience by ensuring clarity in content sourcing.

A Balanced Approach is the Key

Navigating the complexities of technological innovation requires a balanced approach, where artificial intelligence and human creativity mix harmoniously. The essence of this journey underscores the importance of transparency, the validation of human insight, and the ethical deployment of AI.

By prioritizing clear communication and the authenticity of content, we pave the way for technology that not only advances our capabilities but also preserves the integrity of human connection. It is through this thoughtful integration of human and artificial intelligence that we can foster a more connected and trustworthy digital environment.

Note: Brandly Digital, part of Brandly Collective, is an award-winning branding and UX/UI design studio helping people and organizations resonate with their customers and stand out as industry leaders. As brand musketeers, the Brandly team helps businesses express their ideas and find a voice. Brandly Digital is one of the few studios that actively enforces AI into the workflow to help leaders, startups, and businesses adopt a more positive and effective approach toward AI.


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