“Artificial Intelligence – This Is How It Can Destroy Negotiations” – Negotiation Insight

“If you think artificial intelligence is the savior to your negotiation challenges, remember the artificial part. It can be a blessing or a curse.” -Greg Williams, The Master Negotiator & Body Language Expert (click to Tweet)

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“Artificial Intelligence – This Is How It Can Destroy Negotiations”

People don’t realize they’re always negotiating.

Some people are touting artificial intelligence (AI) as a new tool to streamline the negotiation process. Through that implication, the suggestion is, the negotiation process will become enhanced. And that’s true in some situations. In other circumstances, based on its usage, artificial intelligence will destroy some negotiators’ negotiation abilities.

So, what are the potential pitfalls that negotiators may find themselves in should they become confronted by artificial intelligence in their negotiations? Continue, and you’ll discover that answer. You’ll also uncover a few tactics you might employ to thwart AI’s attempts to undermind your negotiation abilities.

How Big Entities Are Using Artificial Intelligence

Large corporations are currently using artificial intelligence, in the form of bots (short for robots), to negotiate with their vendors. And those negotiations are being touted as a benefit by the corporations. But are they beneficial to their suppliers?

Representatives from corporations state that a more significant number of negotiations can occur in a shorter time by using bots, decreasing the need to have their human negotiators involved. That is a benefit for the corporations, but not necessarily for its vendors. For the smaller vendor that provides goods and services to the corporations, negotiating against a bot may eliminate some factors that might have given vendors an advantage in some situations.  

Artificial Intelligence Negotiation Bots (The Good, The Bad, The Ugly)

Depending on your perspective, using artificial intelligence can add value to your negotiation efforts. It can also be the downfall of your efforts if you happen to be at the wrong end of the spectrum. Thus, AI negotiation bots can be perceived to be good or indifferent.

The assessment’s value hinges on how an entity uses bots, how others perceive their usage, and the degree that someone didn’t like its use against them. Thus, a negotiator could perceive harm from such AI bot interaction, which may cause him to become irrational during the negotiation. In so doing, such actions could lead to unforeseen adverse interactions. 

Artificial Intelligence Negotiation Enhanced By Facial Recognition

Okay, let’s add another factor that can leave a negotiator at a disadvantage in the negotiation. That disadvantage would be in the form of facial recognition employed during your talks to discern a negotiator’s inner emotions. In that case, a negotiator’s facial reactions would disclose his thoughts.  

People could employ facial recognition in resource-rich organizations to discern a negotiator’s feelings about an offer. They could then gain added insights into his thoughts. A bot could then alter an offer it had planned to deliver for one that was more favorable to the bot.

If one wanted to be cynical, a bot could be programmed to include facial recognition factors and use that data to lead a negotiator down a false path. It would become a means to wear him down such that he makes more concessions. Accordingly, one could easily see how a negotiator with fewer resources would be at an immediate disadvantage when negotiating with an entity that employs such tools.

Potential Harm Of Artificial Intelligence In Negotiations

Depending on how an AI bot is programmed, it can unleash dreaded results on a human negotiator. That’s true for multiple reasons – one being, a bot can be programmed to assess several possible negotiation scenarios. Simultaneously, a human negotiator may be stuck attempting to implement his ‘what if’ strategy. Meanwhile, the bot has already accounted for that scenario and prepared a counter to it.

Competing against a bot in such situations would be akin to humans playing chess against a computer. In reality, when it comes to a human negotiator negotiating against a bot, he’s precisely doing that – bargaining against a computer – that’s to say, a computer program.  

AI’s Effect On Subjective Value

Subjective value is the perception that negotiators have of a negotiation’s outcome per how well they did – the value of their efforts compared to what they received from those efforts in the talks. When a human negotiator is negotiating against an AI bot, it may not be as amenable to offering or making concessions depending on the bot’s programming. And that could leave the bot’s human counterpart feeling like the bot took advantage of him. That being the case, that negotiator may seek remedies by not abiding by the agreed-upon outcome. Worse, he may recall the last time he engaged with a negotiation bot and become more stubborn throughout the negotiation process.   


Are there benefits to having artificial intelligence bots engage in negotiations? The answer is, it depends. It depends on how the bots are programmed and the abilities of those negotiating with or against them. Negotiators must keep in mind that their tactics and strategies may become void because the AI bots are programmed to adopt a particular negotiation path. Meaning, bots can become used in situations to disallow an opponent from maximizing his outcome.

Therefore, as negotiations become more automated through artificial intelligence and bots’ usage, there are pros and cons to consider before doing so. Accordingly, negotiators must prepare themselves for the new normal that awaits them in future negotiations. Artificial intelligence and bots are not going away. And since future negotiations will only become more prevalent with AI bots, negotiators might as well embrace them and determine how they’ll negotiate with them in their hagglings. Engaging in this article and doing research is a good start for that process. And everything will be right with the world.    

Remember, you’re always negotiating!

Listen to Greg’s podcast at https://c-suitenetwork.com/radio/shows/greg-williams-the-master-negotiator-and-body-language-expert-podcast/

After reading this article, what are you thinking? I’d like to know. Reach me at Greg@TheMasterNegotiator.com

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