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Comparing Human-to-Human and Human-to-AEA Communication in Service Encounters

Artikel i vetenskaplig tidskrift
Författare N. Salomonson
Jens Allwood
M. Lind
H. Alm
Publicerad i Journal of Business Communication
Volym 50
Nummer/häfte 1
Sidor 87-116
ISSN 0021-9436
Publiceringsår 2013
Publicerad vid Institutionen för tillämpad informationsteknologi (GU)
Sidor 87-116
Språk en
Länkar dx.doi.org/10.1177/0021943612465180
Ämnesord activity-based communication analysis, artificial embodied agents, computer-mediated communication, interpersonal communication, service encounters
Ämneskategorier Människa-datorinteraktion (interaktionsdesign)

Sammanfattning

An increasing number of companies are introducing artificial agents as self-service tools on their websites, often motivated by the need to provide cost-efficient interaction solutions. These agents are designed to help customers and clients to conduct their business on the website. Their role on commercial websites is often to act as online sales/shopping assistants with the hope of replacing some of the interactions between customers and sales staff, thus supplementing or replacing human-to-human communication. However, research on artificial agents and comparisons with human-to-human communication, in particular, is still scarce. The purpose of this article is to explore the similarities and differences in communication between an artificial agent and customers compared with face-to-face communication between human service providers and customers. The method employed is a qualitative comparison of face-to-face human service provision in a travel agency setting and logs of interactions between customers and an artificial agent on an airline company website. The analysis is based on the theory of "activity-based communication analysis" and makes use of a framework of specific communication features provided by this theory. The article demonstrates a number of deficiencies in communication between artificial embodied agents and humans, suggesting that artificial embodied agents still lack many of the desirable communicative aspects of human-to-human service encounters. © 2013 by the Association for Business Communication.

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