AI Washing

“AI washing” refers to the practice of companies exaggerating or misrepresenting the extent to which artificial intelligence (“AI”) is used in their products or services, often for marketing purposes. This can involve labeling products as “AI-powered” or “AI-driven” when the technology’s role is actually minimal or non-existent. AI washing can mislead consumers and create unrealistic expectations about the capabilities of a product or service.

AI washing can take several forms. One common example is when a company uses basic or traditional algorithms but markets them as AI. For instance, a simple rules-based system might be touted as an AI-driven solution, even though it lacks the advanced learning capabilities associated with true AI. Another form of AI washing involves using AI in a minor or inconsequential way but emphasizing its role to create the perception of innovation. For example, a product might use AI for a small component of its functionality, such as personalized recommendations, while the rest of its features are not AI-driven.

AI washing can also occur when a company claims to use AI without providing transparent explanations of how the AI works or what specific benefits it provides. This lack of clarity can make it difficult for consumers and investors, alike, to understand the technology’s actual impact and can contribute to misinformation about AI.