The Evolution of Consumer Behavior and the Concerns Surrounding AI: Exploring Common Ground


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Sep 02, 2023

4 min read


The Evolution of Consumer Behavior and the Concerns Surrounding AI: Exploring Common Ground


In recent years, two significant trends have emerged in the realms of consumer behavior and artificial intelligence (AI). The rise of "コト消費" (Koto Shohi) in Japan signifies a shift in the way individuals seek and value experiences, while the concerns surrounding AI continue to captivate experts from various fields. Although these two topics may seem unrelated at first glance, a closer examination reveals common points of interest and potential implications for the future. In this article, we will delve into the concept of コト消費, explore the changing landscape of consumer behavior, and uncover the shared concerns surrounding AI.

コト消費: The Evolution of Consumer Behavior:

The emergence of コト消費 can be attributed to the widespread adoption of smartphones and social media platforms. These technological advancements have enabled individuals to share their experiences with a broader audience. However, this newfound accessibility has also led to a diminished sense of novelty and excitement, as experiences can be replicated through virtual means. The ability to capture and document personal experiences through photos and social media posts has allowed individuals to relive the joy and excitement associated with those moments. This pseudo-experience has given rise to a new form of consumer behavior, characterized by the pursuit of unique, one-time experiences that hold intrinsic value.

Imi Shohi: The Pursuit of Value-driven Consumption:

Parallel to the rise of コト消費 is the concept of "イミ消費" (Imi Shohi), which revolves around the consumption of products or services that align with one's cultural or social values. For example, individuals may choose to dine at a restaurant that exclusively uses organic, locally-sourced ingredients, driven by their desire to support environmental sustainability and contribute to their community. This value-driven consumption is rooted in the recognition and appreciation of the broader impact that certain products or services have on society. By actively seeking out these offerings, consumers can align their purchasing decisions with their personal values, thus deepening their sense of satisfaction and fulfillment.

Connecting コト消費 and Imi Shohi: The Quest for Authenticity:

Although コト消費 and Imi Shohi may appear distinct, they share a common thread: the quest for authenticity. Both consumer behaviors stem from a desire to transcend the mundane and engage in experiences or products that resonate on a deeper level. While コト消費 emphasizes the pursuit of unique, once-in-a-lifetime experiences, Imi Shohi focuses on the ethical, cultural, and social aspects of consumption. By intertwining these two concepts, individuals can create a more profound connection with the world around them, fostering a sense of purpose and personal growth.

The Concerns Surrounding AI: Unanswered Questions and Ethical Dilemmas:

As the world looks towards the future, the rapid advancement of AI technology raises important questions and ethical dilemmas. Noam Chomsky's concerns about the current approach to AI highlight the need to understand what truly defines the human mind. Similarly, Gary Marcus emphasizes the importance of AI systems possessing reasoning, abstraction, compositionality, and factuality—the core aspects of intelligent thought. Dileep George warns against relying solely on scaling to achieve general intelligence, drawing parallels to the limitations faced by dirigibles in comparison to airplanes. Yejin Choi's focus on commonsense reasoning and ethical reasoning in AI sheds light on the need for further exploration and understanding. Francesca Rossi stresses the necessity of ethical behavior in AI systems and advocates for human involvement in the decision-making process.

Conclusion: Actionable Advice for the Future:

  • 1. Embrace the value of genuine experiences: In a world dominated by virtual engagement, actively seek out and cherish authentic, one-of-a-kind experiences. These experiences have the potential to create lasting memories and personal growth.
  • 2. Make conscious purchasing decisions: Consider the ethical, cultural, and societal implications of your consumption choices. Support businesses and initiatives that align with your values, contributing to a more sustainable and inclusive future.
  • 3. Advocate for responsible AI development: Stay informed about the progress and ethical considerations surrounding AI. Engage in discussions, raise questions, and support research that promotes responsible AI development and deployment.

In conclusion, the evolution of consumer behavior and the concerns surrounding AI may seem disparate, but upon closer examination, they share common ground. The pursuit of unique experiences and value-driven consumption are both fueled by a desire for authenticity and personal connection. As AI continues to advance, it is crucial to address the unanswered questions and ethical dilemmas that arise. By embracing genuine experiences, making conscious purchasing decisions, and advocating for responsible AI development, individuals can contribute to a future that balances technological progress with human values and aspirations.

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