Towards AI Transparency in Brand-Based Communication – Evidence for Better Policymaking

Project description

This project addresses transparency concerns that arise from AI-driven communication in the field of trademarks and brands. Brand messages are often generated with minimal or no human interference and distributed on the basis of consumer behavioural data via online platforms. With regard to this practice, proposed new EU legislation seeks to empower consumers by ensuring access to information on the selection criteria (parameter transparency: “Why me?”) and the source of the communication (source transparency: “Who sent this?”). Before adopting and potentially extending these legal rules to a broader spectrum of digital, virtual and augmented reality media environments, it is pivotal to understand whether these transparency disclosures would indeed be effective. Communication science research shows that transparency disclosures may have limited or even conflicting effects. Examining consumer responses to transparency disclosures in multiple media environments, the project clarifies whether transparency information reaches consumers, leads to desirable effects of trust, and encourages consumers to seek additional information on alternative offers. Answering these questions, the project will impact the policy debate surrounding the proposed new transparency legislation at EU level. It will also provide a compass for the establishment of appropriate responsible AI legal standards in the field of brand-based communication.