Designing Social Cues for Chatbots and Conversational Agents

Summary:
Despite being hyped as the future of customer service, adoption and use of chatbots is growing much slower than expected. Organizations have realized that chatbots are not only about implementing state-of-the-art natural language processing capabilities, but also about the social elements that are always involved when users interact with human-like technologies. To address the lack of knowledge on how to design these social cues for chatbots in customer service, this dissertation project aims to:

  1. Provide a comprehensive overview of the sheer number and different categories of social cues (e.g., visual or verbal cues) for chatbots and voice assistants
  2. Conduct lab, online, and field experiments to systematically analyze and evaluate how different design options of social cues shape users’ perceptions, adoption decisions, and use of chatbots
  3. Integrate findings from the experiments to provide prescriptive knowledge for designing effective social cues for chatbots following the design science research approach
    Related publications:

  • Feine, J., Gnewuch U., Morana S., and Maedche A. (2019). “A Taxonomy of Social Cues for Conversational Agents”. International Journal of Human-Computer Studies (In Press). [ResearchGate Link] [Publisher Link]
  • Gnewuch, U., Morana, S., Adam, M. T. P., and Maedche, A. 2018. “‘The Chatbot is typing …’ – The Role of Typing Indicators in Human-Chatbot Interaction,” in Proceedings of the 17th Annual Pre-ICIS Workshop on HCI Research in MIS, San Francisco, CA, December 13, 2018. [ResearchGate Link]
  • Gnewuch, U., Morana, S., Adam, M. T. P., and Maedche, A. 2018. “Faster Is Not Always Better: Understanding the Effect of Dynamic Response Delays in Human-Chatbot Interaction,” in Proceedings of the 26th European Conference on Information Systems (ECIS 2018), Portsmouth, United Kingdom. [ResearchGate Link] [Publisher Link]
  • Gnewuch, U., Morana, S., and Maedche, A. 2017. “Towards Designing Cooperative and Social Conversational Agents for Customer Service,” in Proceedings of the 38th International Conference on Information Systems (ICIS 2017), Seoul, South Korea. [ResearchGate Link] [Publisher Link]

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