Tuesday, October 20, 2020
Home Lead Story Adding Human-Like Features to Apple Siri, Amazon Alexa may Actually Disappoint Users

Adding Human-Like Features to Apple Siri, Amazon Alexa may Actually Disappoint Users

During the study, Sundar found that chat bots that had human features -- such as a human avatar -- but lacked interactivity, disappointed people who used it

An Indian American researcher-led team has found that giving human touch to chat bots like Apple Siri or Amazon Alexa may actually disappoint users.

Just giving a chat bot human name or adding human-like features to its avatar might not be enough to win over a user if the device fails to maintain a conversational back-and-forth with that person, according to S. Shyam Sundar, Co-director of Media Effects Research Laboratory at Pennsylvania State University.

“People are pleasantly surprised when a chat bot with fewer human cues has higher interactivity,” said Sundar.

“But when there are high human cues, it may set up your expectations for high interactivity – and when the chat bot doesn’t deliver that – it may leave you disappointed,” he added. In fact, human-like features might create a backlash against less responsive human-like chat bots.

siri, amazon echo, alexa
Because there is an expectation that people may be leery of interacting with a machine, developers typically add human names to their chat bots — for example, Apple’s Siri — or programme a human-like avatar to appear when the chat bot responds to a user. Flickr

During the study, Sundar found that chat bots that had human features — such as a human avatar — but lacked interactivity, disappointed people who used it. However, people responded better to a less-interactive chat bot that did not have human-like cues.

High interactivity is marked by swift responses that match a user’s queries and feature a threaded exchange that can be followed easily.

According to Sundar, even small changes in the dialogue, like acknowledging what the user said before providing a response, can make the chat bot seem more interactive.

Because there is an expectation that people may be leery of interacting with a machine, developers typically add human names to their chat bots — for example, Apple’s Siri — or programme a human-like avatar to appear when the chat bot responds to a user.

amazon echo, alexa, siri
In fact, human-like features might create a backlash against less responsive human-like chat bots. Wikimedia

The researchers, who published their findings in the journal Computers in Human Behavior, also found that just mentioning whether a human or a machine is involved — or, providing an identity cue — guides how people perceive the interaction.

ALSO READ: Huawei Signs an Agreement with Infosys on New Cloud Solutions

For the study, the researchers recruited 141 participants through Amazon Mechanical Turk, a crowd-sourced site that allows people to get paid to participate in studies. Sundar said the findings could help developers improve acceptance of chat technology among users. “There’s a big push in the industry for chat bots,” said Sundar.

“They’re low-cost and easy-to-use, which makes the technology attractive to companies for use in customer service, online tutoring and even cognitive therapy — but we also know that chat bots have limitations,” he added. (IANS)

STAY CONNECTED

19,120FansLike
362FollowersFollow
1,782FollowersFollow

Most Popular

1 in 3 Indian Call Centres to Permanently Switch to Work From Home

Signalling the future of work in the pandemic times, nearly one in three call centres (27 per cent) in India will switch permanently to...

Here’s How You Can Improve Both Physical and Cognitive Health

Daily exercise, along with nutrient-enriched beverages, can do wonder with improving both physical and cognitive health, researchers have discovered. While exercise alone improved strength and...

Microsoft Set to Release New AI-Based Noise Suppression Tool in Teams

As more and more people work from home and at times have no control over jarring sounds in the background, Microsoft is set to...

Why President Trump and PM Modi are so Fiercely Opposed by the Left and Islamists

By Maria Wirth “Í prefer Trump to Hillary”, I told a German friend in the run up to the US elections in 2016. There was...

Hackers Imitated Microsoft the Most in Q3 2020: Report

Hackers imitated Microsoft the most to lure people into giving up their personal data or payment credentials in the third quarter of this year,...

Clearing a Forest to Grow a Forest in Order to Overcome Delhi’s Pollution

By Rahul Kumar It is that time of the year again-when the weather is pleasant but the city is polluted. Air quality has shown a...

Marijuana May Help Reduce Lung Inflammation Linked to Covid-19 Death

After reporting earlier this summer that marijuana ingredient cannabidiol, or CBD, may help reduce cytokine storm and excessive lung inflammation linked to Covid-19 deaths,...

Uber Introduces Masks Verification Selfie Policy

Ride-hailing major Uber on Monday introduced a new safety policy which will request riders, who have been tagged for not wearing masks on a...

Recent Comments