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User-friendly Explanatory Dialogues

  • When dialogues with voice assistants (VAs) fall apart, users often become confused or even frustrated. To address these issues and related privacy concerns, Amazon recently introduced a feature allowing Alexa users to inquire about why it behaved in a certain way. But how do users perceive this new feature? In this paper, we present preliminary results from research conducted as part of a three-year project involving 33 German households. This project utilized interviews, fieldwork, and co-design workshops to identify common unexpected behaviors of VAs, as well as users’ needs and expectations for explanations. Our findings show that, contrary to its intended purpose, the new feature actually exacerbates user confusion and frustration instead of clarifying Alexa's behavior. We argue that such voice interactions should be characterized as explanatory dialogs that account for VA’s unexpected behavior by providing interpretable information and prompting users to take action to improve their current and future interactions.

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Document Type:Conference Object
Author:Fatemeh Alizadeh, Dominik Pins, Gunnar Stevens
Parent Title (English):Fröhlich, Cobus (Hg.): Mensch und Computer 2023 – Workshopband, 03.-06. September 2023, Rapperswil (SG)
Publisher:Gesellschaft für Informatik e.V.
Place of publication:Bonn
Date of first publication:2023/08/24
Keyword:Alexa; Communication breakdown; Conversational user interfaces; Explanatory dialogues; Users’ repair strategies; Voice assistant
Departments, institutes and facilities:Fachbereich Wirtschaftswissenschaften
Institut für Verbraucherinformatik (IVI)
Dewey Decimal Classification (DDC):0 Informatik, Informationswissenschaft, allgemeine Werke / 00 Informatik, Wissen, Systeme / 004 Datenverarbeitung; Informatik
Entry in this database:2023/09/13