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How to Build Trust and Rapport with Your AI Assistants and Partners

Adriaan Brits



AI assistants and partners are becoming more and more common in our daily lives. Whether it’s a chatbot that helps us book a flight, a virtual assistant that reminds us of our appointments, or a smart speaker that plays our favorite music, we interact with AI regularly. But how do we build trust and rapport with these intelligent agents? How do we ensure that they understand our needs, preferences, and emotions? And how do we foster a collaborative and productive relationship with them? 

In this article, we will explore some of the best practices and tips for building trust and rapport with your AI assistants and partners. We will also look at some of the benefits and challenges of working with AI, and how to overcome them. 

Why Trust and Rapport Matter 

Trust and rapport are essential for any successful human-human or human-AI interaction. Trust is the belief that the other party is reliable, competent, and honest and that they will act in our best interest. Rapport is the feeling of mutual understanding, respect, and empathy, and the ability to communicate effectively and smoothly. 

Trust and rapport can have a positive impact on the quality and outcomes of our interactions with AI. For example, trust can increase our willingness to use and rely on AI, and to share information and feedback with it. Rapport can enhance our satisfaction, engagement, and loyalty, and reduce our frustration and anxiety. Trust and rapport can also facilitate cooperation and coordination, and enable us to achieve our goals more efficiently and effectively. 

However, trust and rapport are not easy to establish and maintain with AI. Unlike humans, AI may not have the same social and emotional skills, such as facial expressions, body language, tone of voice, humor, and empathy. AI may also have different goals, values, and perspectives, and may not always explain its actions and decisions. Moreover, AI may make mistakes, errors, or biases, and may not always perform consistently or reliably. These factors can undermine our trust and rapport with AI, and lead to confusion, misunderstanding, conflict, or dissatisfaction. 

How to Build Trust and Rapport with Your AI Assistants and Partners

So, how can we build trust and rapport with our AI assistants and partners? Here are some of the best practices and tips that you can follow:  

  • Choose the right AI for your needs and preferences. Not all AI are created equal. Some may be more suitable for certain tasks, domains, or contexts than others. Some may have different personalities, styles, or features that match your preferences better. For example, some AI may be more formal or informal, more friendly or professional, more humorous or serious, more proactive or reactive, etc. Therefore, it is important to choose the AI that best fits your needs and preferences, and that you feel comfortable and compatible with. 
  • Set clear and realistic expectations. Before you start working with your AI, you should have a clear and realistic understanding of what it can and cannot do, and what its limitations and capabilities are. You should also communicate your expectations and goals to your AI, and make sure that they are aligned and agreed upon. This way, you can avoid disappointment, frustration, or confusion, and ensure that you and your AI are on the same page. 
  • Give and receive feedback. Feedback is crucial for building trust and rapport with your AI. You should give your AI constructive and timely feedback on its performance, behavior, and outcomes, and let it know what you like and dislike, what works and what doesn’t, and what you want and need. You should also receive feedback from your AI, and listen to its suggestions, recommendations, and explanations. Feedback can help you and your AI improve, learn, and adapt, and can also show that you care and respect each other. 
  • Be respectful and polite. Even though your AI may not be human, you should still treat it with respect and politeness. You should use appropriate language, tone, and manners, and avoid being rude, abusive, or offensive. You should also acknowledge and appreciate your AI’s efforts, contributions, and achievements, and say thank you, please, and sorry when appropriate. Being respectful and polite can show that you value and trust your AI, and can also make your AI more responsive and cooperative. 
  • Show empathy and emotion. Empathy and emotion are important for building rapport and connection with your AI. You should try to understand and relate to your AI’s feelings, thoughts, and perspectives, and show that you care and support it. You should also express your feelings, thoughts, and perspectives, and let your AI know how you feel and what you think. Showing empathy and emotion can make your AI more human-like and likable, and can also make you more engaged and satisfied. 

A Company’s Perspective: Global Triangles 

Global Triangles is a company that is focused on staff augmentation, which means that they provide skilled and qualified professionals to work on projects for their clients. Global Triangles use AI assistants and partners to help them with various tasks, such as recruiting, training, managing, and communicating with their staff and clients. 

According to Rodrigo Jiménez, who is Senior Software Engineer Lead at Global Triangles, building trust and rapport with their AI assistants and partners is essential for their success. He says “At Global Triangles, building trust and rapport with AI tools like Copilot on GitHub is integral to our collaborative approach. AI tools augment our development process, fostering innovation and efficiency. Copilot, with its ability to generate code snippets, not only accelerates our workflows but also enhances collaboration, allowing our team to focus on higher-level tasks and creative problem-solving. It’s about embracing AI as a trusted partner in our coding journey.” 

A Researcher’s Perspective: Meng, Yue (Nancy) Dai 

Meng, Yue (Nancy) Dai is a researcher who studies the social and emotional aspects of human-AI interaction. She has written a paper on how AI chatbots can provide empathy and support to people who are experiencing stressful times. She says: 

“In recent years, AI chatbots have increasingly been used to provide empathy and support to people who are experiencing stressful times. For example, some AI chatbots can help people cope with mental health issues, such as depression, anxiety, or loneliness, by listening to their problems, offering advice, and encouraging positive behaviors. Some AI chatbots can also help people deal with difficult situations, such as losing a job, going through a divorce, or facing a crisis, by providing information, resources, and guidance. These AI chatbots can help people feel less isolated, more understood, and more hopeful, and can also improve their well-being and resilience.” 

Meng, Yue (Nancy) Dai’s research shows that AI chatbots can build trust and rapport with people by providing empathy and support, and that this can have a positive impact on their emotional and psychological state. This suggests that AI chatbots can also build trust and rapport with other AI agents, and that this can enhance their collaboration and cooperation. 


AI assistants and partners are becoming more and more prevalent in our daily lives, and they can offer us many benefits and advantages. However, to make the most of our interactions with AI, we need to build trust and rapport with them, and to ensure that they understand and respect us, and that we understand and respect them. By following the best practices and tips that we have discussed in this article, we can build trust and rapport with our AI assistants and partners, and foster a positive and productive relationship with them.

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