Building Trust in the Age of Ai

Trends / Technology
Andriy Onufriyenko
Carolina Sampaio Lechner
Apr 30, 2024
AI is a powerful tool but it is just one option. The possibilities that AI creates are practically endless. But is it always the right tool when 98% of consumers say authentic visuals are pivotal for building brand trust? So…should you be using generative AI content? And if yes, when—and how—should you be using it? 
What consumers care about
As tools become more accessible, AI generated content floods social and other media. Following suit with the excitement, brands are embracing the new aesthetics and possibilities provided by generative AI tools in their marketing and advertising campaigns.1 Yet, this not only sparks excitement but also skepticism amongst consumers. Although there is excitement about Generative AI, especially amongst younger generations, Europeans are more skeptical when compared to the global average. A possible explanation is that Europeans—especially in France, Germany and Nordics—are less likely to say they can easily tell the difference between a real image and one that has been manipulated or altered. This pinpoints the importance of taking a nuanced approach to transparent communication around AI‑generated content, identifying when AI generated content has been used and signals the need to show a delicate balancing act between enthusiasm and apprehension.
Authenticity is Everything… Especially with AI
What does it mean to be real in a world full of generated images? What’s going to connect with consumers who are already skeptical of what they see online? And how will creativity help you break through when we live in a world informed by algorithmic filters and plenty of consumers distrusting the things they are seeing?

Authenticity is everything and what is means differs for consumers around the world. Our research shows that earnestness is a theme for European consumers who have a preference for something that is sincere and honest while in the United States and Asia‑Pacific realness reigns with a preference for something that is not 'fake or counterfeit'. Creativity and originality are critical for consumers in Latin America with a preference for something that is 'original'.

So does a preference for authenticity that aligns with these consumer definitions mean that brands should not be using AI‑generated imagery? No, not necessarily. It just means that consideration and thoughtful intention on how AI‑generated imagery is deployed is alongside visuals of all origins is key.
Creating a future in which authenticity and creativity exist on the same spectrum.
Using AI Generated Images ‑ It's a Matter of Trust
Here are four things to carefully consider when using AI‑generated images:
  1. Know your audience and your intent. 
    We suggest taking an intentional approach to why, when, and how you use generative AI visuals within a brand campaign. Question what your campaign message is and whether AI‑generated images are the right content to use in this case. If the campaign is addressing authenticity or if your audience cares about representation—real people and real connections—AI‑generated content is not the right fit. It’s about remaining authentic in the relationship between the brand and the customer, establishing or reinforcing trust.

  2. Keep authenticity in focus.
    A key component of trust in this new era of AI is authenticity. According to our VisualGPS research people define ‘authentic’ as ‘real/the real thing’, followed by ‘true/truthful’ and ‘original’ and 98% of consumers agree that ‘authentic’ images and videos are pivotal in establishing trust. Essentially, no one wants to feel hoodwinked. This is consistent with the huge response we’ve seen to our collections #ShowUs, The Disability Collection, and The Disrupt Aging Collection—all of which have authenticity baked into them, either informed by or created by the people they represent. Knowing this, it’s fair to say that in the incoming tide of generative AI tools and content, thoughtfully crafted ideas by expert creatives will cut through and engage audiences more than ever.

  3. Think of generative AI as a tool, not a replacement. 
    As we all know, it’s those off the cuff conversations in which we share thoughts and observations person to person where the magic often happens. Beyond their training sets, generative AI tools have no knowledge of—nor experience of—what’s going on in the world. It can only access what has been, not react to the present or future— or consider how people currently feel about a brand or product. The human touch continues to be an important element in forging that connection.

  4. Understand the nature of the AI tools and the data they were trained on. 
    Generative AI by Getty Images is trained only on fully licensed Creative content from the Getty Images Creative library, protecting against generating visuals that would violate intellectual property rights. Additionally, generated images come with standard legal indemnity, alleviating business owners' concerns regarding potential copyright issues. 
Video credits: 1418414646, Vizerskaya

[1] e.g., HP
UAE Focus: Trust & Finance Brands