UCD Michael Smurfit Graduate Business School (UCD Smurfit School), HEC Montréal, and Nottingham University Business School China (NUBS China), reveal consumer inclinations towards AI animal representations in the realm of services tailored to animals.

Research findings suggest that consumers exhibit a greater acceptance of AI represented as animals when the task appears to align with the species’ characteristics. For instance, consumers are more likely to engage with AI animal representations if the task, such as running advice, corresponds to the abilities associated with that particular animal, such as a cheetah providing guidance on running techniques.

Animal AI and Consumer Engagement

The study delved into zoonotic design, a concept where AI-powered services adopt animal representations like Otter.ai (otter) and GoCharlie.ai (dog) to perform typicall human tasks such as transcribing meeting notes and providing customer service. These representations garnered increased consumer engagement when the activity or experience is designed to be entertaining.

Dr. Anshu Suri, UCD Garfield Weston Assistant Professor of Marketing at UCD Smurfit School, emphasized the caution required in the representation of AI-based services using zoonotic AI. The research suggests that aligning the species with the nature of the service offered plays a pivotal role in consumer acceptance. For instance, matching a cheetah with running advice aligns more seamlessly than associating a bear with copywriting assistance.

Insights for the Dog Business Sector

Managers are advised to consider the suitability of animal representations concerning the tasks undertaken by AI-powered services. The study recommends leveraging the entertaining aspects of the AI’s task process to encourage adoption of zoonotic AI among consumers.

The research sheds light on consumer behaviour regarding AI animal representations in service industries catering to animals. Understanding consumer preferences in AI adoption, particularly in fun and task-specific contexts, offers strategic insights for brand managers within the dog business industry seeking to incorporate AI-powered services effectively. This study, published in the journal Psychology & Marketing, advances knowledge in consumer-AI interactions and informs managerial decisions concerning the use of animal representations in AI-powered services.