Does your Bot have character?
13th August 2019
By now, most of us are familiar with and have even grown accustomed to the voices of Alexa, Google Home, Siri, etc. I wondered, however, how many of us have a preference for human-like characteristics in these intelligent pieces of technology? It is, after all, a human voice we hear and comparing it to the behaviours of an actual human seems only natural.
When a human engages with a question the response tends to be enriched with a certain display of verbal and physical emotion ranging from calm and collected, to passionate or frustrated. So far we haven’t seen that degree of human form exhibited by our clever digital minders. It wasn’t until a recent conversation with a friend of mine that I discovered people do actually believe their AI-driven voice friends have a certain individual character.
In a recent article published in the Journal of Neuroscience, the development of human emotional circuits using big-data analytics is shown to be an enormously complex subject and one not yet fully understood.
With that in mind, however, I was fascinated by my friend’s explanation of the character he has given to his Google Home device. He explained that he liked his Google assistant as it was less serious than Siri, for example, who in his eyes took a more serious approach to its responses. In this pseudo-psychological deduction and my own experience with Siri and Alexa, I would agree that some products do make me feel more understood and appreciated. Why? Is it just a feeling we have?
As these devices become more and more embedded into every aspect of our life we are instinctively becoming more reliant on their cognitive capabilities, including our desire for them to interpret and express emotions.
According to a recent study by IDC, there will be 23 million smart speakers sold in Europe by the end of 2019 with the market currently dominated by Alexa (41.8%) and Google Home (45.1%). With more than 100 million Alexa devices sold and another 100 million devices with Amazon’s Alexa assistant pre-installed, the adoption trend seems to be unstoppable.
So how personal is your relationship with big data and the bots that personify it?
Join us on Sept 7th to meet Eddie Jones, Head Coach of England Rugby, to hear how his relationship with data is delivering a decision-making model for the upcoming Rugby World Cup in Japan.
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