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Communicative and social consequences of interactions with voice assistants


Aeschlimann, Sara; Bleiker, Marco; Wechner, Michael; Gampe, Anja (2020). Communicative and social consequences of interactions with voice assistants. Computers in Human Behavior, 112:106466.

Abstract

The growing prevalence of artificial intelligence and digital media in children’s lives provides them with the opportunity to interact with novel non-human agents such as robots and voice assistants. Previous studies show that children eagerly adopt and interact with these technologies, but we have only limited evidence of children’s distinction between artificial intelligence and humans. In this study, the communication patterns and prosocial outcomes of interactions with voice assistants were investigated. Children between 5 and 6 years (N = 72) of age solved a treasure hunt in either a human or voice assistant condition. During the treasure hunt, the interaction partner supplied information either about their knowledge of or experience with the objects. Afterwards, children were administered a sharing task and a helping task. Results revealed that children provided voice assistants with less information than humans and that only the type of information given by a human interaction partner was related to children’s information selection. Sharing was influenced by an interaction between type of information and interaction partner, showing that the type of information shared influenced children’s decisions more when interacting with a human, but less when interacting with a voice assistant. Children in all conditions enjoyed the treasure hunt with the interaction partner. Overall, these results suggest that children do not impose the same expectations on voice assistants as they do on humans. Consequently, cooperation between humans and cooperation between humans and computers differ.

Abstract

The growing prevalence of artificial intelligence and digital media in children’s lives provides them with the opportunity to interact with novel non-human agents such as robots and voice assistants. Previous studies show that children eagerly adopt and interact with these technologies, but we have only limited evidence of children’s distinction between artificial intelligence and humans. In this study, the communication patterns and prosocial outcomes of interactions with voice assistants were investigated. Children between 5 and 6 years (N = 72) of age solved a treasure hunt in either a human or voice assistant condition. During the treasure hunt, the interaction partner supplied information either about their knowledge of or experience with the objects. Afterwards, children were administered a sharing task and a helping task. Results revealed that children provided voice assistants with less information than humans and that only the type of information given by a human interaction partner was related to children’s information selection. Sharing was influenced by an interaction between type of information and interaction partner, showing that the type of information shared influenced children’s decisions more when interacting with a human, but less when interacting with a voice assistant. Children in all conditions enjoyed the treasure hunt with the interaction partner. Overall, these results suggest that children do not impose the same expectations on voice assistants as they do on humans. Consequently, cooperation between humans and cooperation between humans and computers differ.

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Additional indexing

Item Type:Journal Article, refereed, original work
Communities & Collections:06 Faculty of Arts > Institute of Psychology
Dewey Decimal Classification:150 Psychology
Scopus Subject Areas:Social Sciences & Humanities > Arts and Humanities (miscellaneous)
Physical Sciences > Human-Computer Interaction
Social Sciences & Humanities > General Psychology
Uncontrolled Keywords:Human-Computer Interaction, Arts and Humanities (miscellaneous), General Psychology
Language:English
Date:1 November 2020
Deposited On:17 Sep 2020 12:22
Last Modified:02 Oct 2020 12:40
Publisher:Elsevier
ISSN:0747-5632
OA Status:Hybrid
Publisher DOI:https://doi.org/10.1016/j.chb.2020.106466

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