: The use of artificial intelligence (AI) in companies’ activities is becoming more and more prevalent, and while AI technology progresses, current media coverage provides a good overview for incidents where AI fails. One of the most reputationally hurtful AI failures is related to AI being discriminating (i.e., Google’s AI only showing prestigious jobs to men). Often, when such discriminating AI failure occurs, companies opt to acknowledge the failure, but clarify that the AI still performed better than the system of human decisions previously in place. In one pilot study, and six experimental studies, we examine the efficacy of such a “better-than-human” response against other common response strategies (i.e., justification, or apology), and provide evidence that the “better-than-human response” is less successful in restoring brand reputation. This is the case as the majority of consumers are fearful of AI being too powerful/autonomous, and reminders of the superiority of AI decision making enforce such fears. The “better-than-human response” is therefore especially ineffective for consumers high in AI autonomy anxiety. We develop a theory-driven communication message to accompany “better-than-human responses” that alleviates the negative effects of high AI autonomy anxiety (for companies who use the “better-than-human” response for strategic reasons).