Is It Human? The Role of Anthropomorphism as a Driver for the Successful Acceptance of Digital Voice Assistants

AbstractThe market of digital voice has grown significantly over the recent years. Big players like Amazon, Google, Apple, Microsoft and Samsung are focusing on the development and expansion of their assistants. Especially smart speakers are on the rise but also in smartphone integrated voice applications are getting more popular. The main characteristics of this new technology are both elements of human-computer-interaction and especially the attribution of human characteristics. Although there is an increase of the number of current users as well as of consumers intending to use digital voice assistants in the future, drivers and barriers of digital voice assistants have not yet been sufficiently empirically investigated, especially concerning the phenomenon of anthropomorphism. This study points to additional key factors that are important to foster broader acceptance. Our empirical study is based on the UTAUT2 and highlights the importance of anthropomorphism in relation to other determinants known from the literature.

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