Exploring Voice Assistant Risks and Potential with Technology-based Users

Andreas Klein, Andreas Hinderks, Maria Rauschenberger, Jörg Thomaschewski


Voice user interfaces (VUIs) or voice assistants (VAs) such as Google Home or Google Assistant (Google), Cortana (Mircosoft), Siri (Apple) or Alexa (Amazon) are highly available in the consumer sector and present a smart home trend. Still, the acceptance seems to be culture-dependent, while the syntax of communication poses a challenge. So, there are some basic questions: ‘Why do people buy VAs?’ ‘What do they use them for?’ ‘What could be improved in the future?’. We explore the opinion of a German technology-based user group to identify the challenges and opportunities of VAs. We focus on the interaction behaviour, frequency of use, concerns, and opinions of this target group as they show a higher variety of interaction as well as privacy concerns in representative population studies. Our preliminary findings confirm previous results (missing accuracy of commands and serious concerns about privacy issues) and show that technology-based users from Germany are intensive users, although with particular concerns about data collection. Probably, there is a correlation between privacy concerns and speech intelligibility as queries relating to VAs are problematic due to repetitions and refinement.


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