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Automated interaction with consumers 

WorkgroupEveryday Media
FundingSondertatbestand Data Science
Project description

Innovative technologies based on artificial intelligence enable organizations to increasingly communicate with their consumers in an automated way. This project investigates how users perceive interactions with automated agents, including dialog systems ("chatbots"), but also bots that disseminate information on social media platforms. The overall question to be answered is to what extent factors such as human-like characteristics and communicative behaviour of the agent influence the acceptance of the interaction and the performance of the users. 

The project focuses on two types of automated agents: On the one hand, text-based dialog systems that interact with users using natural language, so-called chatbots, are investigated. They are used on organisations' websites or in messenger systems, for example in the areas of customer service and product advice. On the other hand, users' reactions to social bots that automatically disseminate information on social media platforms and thereby attempt to influence user behaviour, are analysed. The following questions will be answered in the course of the project: To what extent do human-like characteristics of chatbots influence acceptance and human performance? To what extent are social bots on Twitter used in a marketing context? How do users react to automated contributions of social bots?

Experimental studies will investigate which characteristics of a chatbot’s shape and behaviour influence the acceptance of the interaction and the human performance during the interaction. In addition, Twitter data will be analysed in order to investigate the extent to which social bots are used in marketing contexts and the reactions of users to them.

The use of chatbots and social bots brings many advantages for consumers and organisations: Tasks can be automated; productivity and customer loyalty can be improved. Consumers can get in touch with organisations at any time. However, bots must be carefully designed and deployed to add value to consumers and to be accepted and used by them. The results of the project contribute to improving the development, design and strategic use of chatbots and social bots in organisations.



Stefanie Klein Stefanie Klein
Tel.: +49 7071 979-345

Project team

Prof. Dr. Sonja Utz