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EMAC 2020 Annual Conference

Communication Modality in AI vs. Human Interactions

Published: May 27, 2020


Claudia Iglesias, Lazaridis School of Business and Economics, Wilfrid Laurier University


Chatbots; Credibility perceptions; Information disclosure


This research proposes that communication modality (text vs. voice) is a central factor in how consumers process and perceive Artificial Intelligence (AI) and human firm agents and the brands or companies they represent. We hypothesize and will empirically test whether consumers have more positive attitudes and intentions towards a human agent than an AI agent when interacting via voice, but not when it comes to text (where AI may often be preferred). This relationship will be shaped by how modality impacts the perceptual dimensions on which the agent is assessed. We will show that modality-driven variation in human versus AI agent preferences have important substantive consequences, namely, for willingness to disclose personal information to the firm.