This past month my family got an Amazon Echo speaker, and it got me thinking about how artificial intelligence (AI) may shape our culture.

If I use the phrases “Please,” or “Thank you,” with the Echo’s Alexa or Apple’s Siri, they just become confused. The instruction “Please play some music,” becomes a request for The Black Eyed Peas. These voice-service systems are encouraging customers to use simple and brusque questions in order to get the best response.

However, this doesn’t have to be the case. A coffee shop in Roanoke, Va., offers customers discounts if they ask politely for their cup of coffee. It is doing its small part to encourage the return of manners in our society.

As we develop the AI and natural language algorithms we could certainly program them to understand polite requests and craft their responses to be more polite, as well. They can be built to model the conversations we want, not just to provide the right answers.

Who knows, from an underwriting perspective it may even be predictive. I would far prefer to be insuring the polite driver who, on a highway coming into the merge, is going to alternate-merge than the one trying to get one more space ahead. Do we then possibly reward a customer who shops more politely for their policy?

As artificial intelligence uses expand into helping brokers and customers understand and select coverage, let’s take time to think about that interaction. Can we build more acceptance, more trust, and more use of these technologies if we take the time to teach them good manners, too? Wouldn’t the AI that went to finishing school be the best face for our company?

So, are you going to teach your AI to say, “Please,” and “Thank you?”

Submit a Comment

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *