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How AI Affects Our Sense of Self

If you ever took a marketing course, you may remember the famous case from the 1950s about General Mills’ launch of Betty Crocker cake mixes, which called for simply adding water, mixing, and baking. Despite the product’s excellent performance, sales were initially disappointing. That was puzzling until managers figured out the problem: The mix made baking too easy, and buyers felt they were somehow cheating when they used it. On the basis of that insight, the company removed egg powder from the ingredients and asked customers to crack an egg and beat it into the mix. That small change made those bakers feel better about themselves and so boosted sales. Today, 70 years later, most cake mixes still require users to add an egg.

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