Consumers International AI
Consumers International

World Consumer Rights Day 2024 to equip consumers for an AI future

Every year on March 15 the consumer movement celebrates World Consumer Rights Day, raising global awareness of consumer rights, consumer protection and empowerment. Consumers International is proud and privileged to coordinate this day of global collaboration, with 200 consumer advocacy members in over 100 countries.  Last year, we brought together energy leaders to protect consumers in the transition to clean energy, and in 2022, our call for fair digital finance was heard by millions of consumers worldwide.

This year, Consumers International has selected ‘Fair and responsible AI for consumers’ as the theme for World Consumer Rights Day 2024.

Breakthroughs in generative AI have taken the digital world by storm. The technology is set to have an enormous impact on people’s lives, in the way we work, communicate, gather information and much more. It will also have serious implications for consumer safety and digital fairness. Misinformation, privacy violations, and discriminatory practices are concerns, as well as how AI-driven platforms can spread false information and perpetuate biases. We must move quickly to address these issues for a fair and responsible AI.

Our Campaign: Unveiling the consumer search future

Our campaign will champion fairness, demand accountability, and pave the way for an AI future which enables smart and empowered consumers.It will focus on generative AI chatbots, which have long been used in customer service and support. These chatbots increasingly integrate AI systems to mimic human conversation in sophisticated and specific ways, such as in online search, where leading technology companies have already started to implement generative AI in search experiences.

Search is a technology that consumers interact with daily, and often use without realising. It utilises complex algorithms to generate search results which can be tailored to individual users. Adding generative AI to this already opaque technology risks introducing new and greater harms for consumers. Our campaign aims to explore the extent to which consumers can trust generative AI chatbots.

Our campaign will:

  1. Build public awareness and drive discussion on generative AI chatbots through a social media campaign to understand consumer experiences.
  2. Release insights which investigate generative AI platform risk and build a foundation for consumer trust. We will identify where policy interventions are needed to reduce harmful practices.
  3. Unite digital leaders and consumer advocates in an impact-driven dialogue and debate series, addressing themes – consumer empowerment, bias, transparency and the future of consumer AI.

How to join

For World Consumer Rights Day 2024, consumer groups, international organisations, civil society, business and government will be united in a loud and clear call for fair and responsible AI for consumers.

  • Express interest to join our debate series. Contact Oarabile Mudongo at [email protected].
  • We will invite Consumers International Members to take part in an ‘AI Experiment’ to explore trust in Generative AI chatbots. Members should look out for more information via email.
  • Join our social media campaign, ‘AI Guardian: Unveiling the consumer search future‘ which we will launch in January 2024 using the hashtag #GenerativeAIGuardian. Follow us on Twitter, Facebook, and LinkedIn for all the latest news and announcements as we get closer to March 15.

The impact of ChatGPT: Discussion with Rebecca Slaughter

Can’t wait until March? We’ll be setting the scene for the campaign at our Global Congress in Nairobi, Kenya 06 -08 December. Our session on the impact of ChatGPT for consumers will bring key players to the table, such as Rebecca Kelly Slaughter, Commissioner for the United States Federal Trade Commission and Mellissa Omino from Centre for Intellectual Property and Information Technology Law. This will look at the regulatory and policy trade-offs that must be considered as generative AI develops, and how we can use the undiscovered potential of AI to allow for greater consumer-business engagement. To register, email [email protected].

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