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Project

digilog@bw – Digitisation in dialogue: AI-based voice assistants as a source of information

WorkgroupJunior Research Group Social Media
Duration07/2019-04/2022
FundingMinisterium für Wissenschaft, Forschung und Kunst Baden-Württemberg
Project description

AI-based voice assistants have spread rapidly and are playing an increasingly important role in the everyday lives of users. Owners can access a wide range of applications via voice. The assistants are also used for information search and thus provide an alternative to conventional screen-based search engines. The project is dedicated to the question of how voice assistants affect the search for and the evaluation of information.


It is important to know which information services are offered by voice assistants, which ones are most frequently used and how the information presented is selected. Compared to the text-based search, where users receive a list of multiple search results that can be compared and evaluated, voice assistants that are integrated into speakers without a screen usually provide only a single spoken answer selected by the device. By means of questionnaire studies, logfile analyses or experiments, the project will investigate how people use these technologies in their everyday lives and how the regular use of voice technologies affects the extent to which information is searched, the evaluation or trust in sources and the importance of voice assistants in information and news communication. For example, how is the trustworthiness of the information source assessed when the information is presented in spoken rather than written form? Also of interest might be whether spoken answers are remembered better or worse compared to a conventional search where a source has to be actively selected and read. Media literacy can also be an important variable. Previous research has particularly focused on the development of media literacy among children and adolescents. However, the rapid development of digitisation makes it necessary to measure the media literacy of adults and to investigate its effects on the knowledge-based use of digital media such as voice assistants in everyday situations.

contact

Franziska Gaiser Franziska Gaiser
Tel.: +49 7071 979-347

Project team

Prof. Dr. Sonja Utz