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article imageThe ‘voice’ of AI: Why Americans are picky

By Tim Sandle     Nov 6, 2017 in Technology
New research, conducted in the U.S., provides insight into Americans’ attitudes regarding artificial intelligence and customer service. It seems like much of the population hold strong views on the ‘voice’ of AI.
Artificial intelligence is extending further into everyday lives with more spoken voice services, whether these be customer service platforms provided by businesses or everyday consumer products provided by Amazon, Google and Apple.
While considerable efforts are put into making artificial intelligence ‘intuitive’ (things remain a long way from true machine intelligence), the cultural aspects cannot be ignored either.
Should the ‘voice’ of artificial intelligence be male or female for example? Should it come across as slightly impersonal and efficient or softer? There’s some clues in a new survey. The survey asked about most preferred and least preferred artificial intelligence platform voices. For this reason the same systems appear in both lists.
Focusing on established platforms and voices, the survey revealed that the most liked voice is provided by Siri (which gained 17.4 percent support). This was followed by Google Assistant (13.1 percent) and then by Alexa (polling 11.4 percent).
Conversely, the least liked sound came from Google Assistant (gaining just 5.3 percent); this was followed by Alexa (5.9 percent); Siri (7.7 percent) and Terminator (8.2 percent).
The survey was conducted online within the U.S. by Propeller Insights on behalf of the startup Helpshift, with the views being taken during October 2017. In total 2,310 adults were questioned. Participants are targeted based on the demographics needed for a nationally representative audience.
As to whether people prefer artificial intelligence with a ‘personality’ the view was ‘may be’, with more than a third of people (38 percent) stating that they prefer artificial intelligence to have a personality and here the preferred personality type is “friendly” (48 percent expressing this view).
Commenting on the survey outcome, Helpshift’s CEO Linda Crawford said in communication to Digital Journal: “We know that consumers today expect help instantly, and that waiting around is painful.”
She added about her survey: “The numbers show that the two most dreaded aspects of contacting customer support are communication challenges and long wait times, which is why leveraging AI to provide fast, seamless service is so valuable. Helpshift is able to provide that maximized efficiency as both an independent platform, and also as an added channel for existing Service Cloud users.”
Helpshift develops chat bot and artificial intelligence powered digital support, and its services extend into mobile app gaming and in-app messaging.
More about Artificial intelligence, siri, Alexa, Amazon, Apple
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