Customers Wary of Businesses Using Faulty AI


AI offers plenty of powerful uses for small businesses. But there are still some kinks to work out. And some businesses have been caught trying to sneak their usage of this technology past customers, which can ultimately harm their reputation.

For example, Ankur Borwankar, a marketing consultant and founder of New Delhi-based Dictum Media, recently shared an update he received from Indian grocery delivery service Zepto that he deemed could have come from ChatGPT or a similar GenAI service. The copy read, “Someone wants to enter your heart. It’s Harpic Toilet Rim Cleaner Blocks- Jasmine.”

While sharing the post on LinkedIn, Borwankar suggested that Zepto hire some real copywriters instead of relying solely on technology.

This isn’t the first instance of businesses getting caught using AI for written copy. Sports Illustrated stirred up significant controversy last year when it was caught publishing AI-generated articles and creating fake author profiles to cover it up. In fact, multiple executives were fired following this revelation.

In addition, an NYC chatbot program designed to help small businesses navigate city regulations and programs was recently caught providing incorrect information, in some cases even directing businesses to break city rules.

This technology clearly has some amazing potential and can help small businesses in a variety of ways. But it still has limitations as well. In fact, most AI tools include disclaimers that the information or copy they produce may include factual errors and should be double-checked. That doesn’t mean that businesses can’t or shouldn’t use AI, but it’s still worth having an actual person check the quality of your copy or responses.

Additionally, customers generally prefer transparency from businesses. You don’t necessarily need to disclose every piece of copy that’s written by AI. But actively trying to cover it up may ultimately lead to customers distrusting your brand. If you use AI to streamline certain operations, while still providing quality offerings and information, there should be no reason to be dishonest.

Image: Depositphotos

Annie Pilon Annie Pilon is a Senior Staff Writer for Small Business Trends and has been a member of the team for 12 years. Annie covers feature stories, community news and in-depth, expert-based guides. She has a bachelor’s degree from Columbia College Chicago in Journalism and Marketing Communications.