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Does Social Presence Increase Perceived Competence? Evaluating Conversational Agents in Advice Giving Through a Video-Based Survey


Schmid, Damaris; Staehelin, Dario; Bucher, Andreas; Dolata, Mateusz; Schwabe, Gerhard (2022). Does Social Presence Increase Perceived Competence? Evaluating Conversational Agents in Advice Giving Through a Video-Based Survey. Proceedings of the ACM on Human-Computer Interaction, 6(GROUP):Article 26.

Abstract

Conversational agents (CA) have drawn increasing interest from HCI research. They have become popular in different aspects of our lives, for example, in the form of chatbots as the primary point of contact when interacting with an insurance company online. Additionally, CA find their way into collaborative settings in education, at work, or financial advisory. Researchers and practitioners are searching for ways to enhance the customer's experience in service encounters by deploying CA. Since competence is an important treat of a financial advisor, they only accept CA in their interaction with clients if it does not harm their impression on the client. However, we do not know how the social presence of the CA affects this perceived competence. We explore this by evaluating three prototypes with different social presences. For this, we conducted a video-based online survey. In contrast to prior studies focusing on single human-computer interaction, our study explores CA in a dyadic setting of two humans and one CA. First, our results support the Computers-Are-Social-Actors paradigm as the CA with a strong social presence was perceived as more competent than the other two designs. Second, our data show a positive correlation between CA's and advisor's competence. This implies a positive impact of the CA on the service encounter as the CA and advisor can be seen as a competent team.

Abstract

Conversational agents (CA) have drawn increasing interest from HCI research. They have become popular in different aspects of our lives, for example, in the form of chatbots as the primary point of contact when interacting with an insurance company online. Additionally, CA find their way into collaborative settings in education, at work, or financial advisory. Researchers and practitioners are searching for ways to enhance the customer's experience in service encounters by deploying CA. Since competence is an important treat of a financial advisor, they only accept CA in their interaction with clients if it does not harm their impression on the client. However, we do not know how the social presence of the CA affects this perceived competence. We explore this by evaluating three prototypes with different social presences. For this, we conducted a video-based online survey. In contrast to prior studies focusing on single human-computer interaction, our study explores CA in a dyadic setting of two humans and one CA. First, our results support the Computers-Are-Social-Actors paradigm as the CA with a strong social presence was perceived as more competent than the other two designs. Second, our data show a positive correlation between CA's and advisor's competence. This implies a positive impact of the CA on the service encounter as the CA and advisor can be seen as a competent team.

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Additional indexing

Item Type:Journal Article, refereed, original work
Communities & Collections:03 Faculty of Economics > Department of Informatics
Dewey Decimal Classification:000 Computer science, knowledge & systems
Scope:Discipline-based scholarship (basic research)
Language:English
Date:January 2022
Deposited On:19 Jan 2022 05:27
Last Modified:17 Jun 2024 03:44
Publisher:ACM Digital library
ISSN:2573-0142
Additional Information:© Schmid et al | ACM 2022. This is the author's version of the work. It is posted here for your personal use. Not for redistribution. The definitive Version of Record was published in Proceedings of the ACM on Human-Computer Interaction, http://dx.doi.org/10.1145/3492845
OA Status:Green
Free access at:Publisher DOI. An embargo period may apply.
Publisher DOI:https://doi.org/10.1145/3492845
Other Identification Number:merlin-id:21826
  • Content: Accepted Version