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EMAC 2022 Annual

What Are You? Investigating the Importance of Human-likeness of Digital Voice Assistants through a Qualitative Approach

Published: May 24, 2022


Katja Wagner, University of Siegen; Hanna Schramm-Klein, University of Siegen


Conversational agents or digital assistants such as Siri, the Google Assistant or Alexa are moving to the private sector of consumers. They are located e.g., in smartphones, living rooms or general somewhere in the household. This study aims to investigate with a qualitative approach if and what kind of humanlike triggers can weaken or strengthen the perception of a digital voice assistant. 20 participants were interviewed and the results were categorized in four upper categories with different subcategories. Findings show that although the functionality in general is an important factor the integration of humanlike characteristics can influence the perception positively. Especially social behavior and adaptability are strong triggers for anthropomorphizing. So, companies should not only emphasize technical parameters but also the social and humanlike possibilities of digital voice assistants.