I had always thought from earlier general reading that technology can ‘creep us out’ when too human-like (we need some separation) but this study appears to demonstrate that making technology more human-like improves its acceptibility. I guess there may be a tipping point between being more human-like and too human-like. Quote:
The study found that the more courteous (noninterruptive and patient) the technology was, the more trustworthy it was to users. If the automation seemed impatient or interruptive, trust in the technology was lower. Parasuraman and Miller concluded that building reliable technology would not be enough to get people to use it.
“Some may find this result disturbing,” they wrote, “since it suggests that developing robust, sensitive and accurate algorithms for automation — a challenging task under the best of conditions — may not be necessary as long as the automation ‘puts on a nice face’ for the user.”
Pak said an example of a technology displaying a favorable personality is Siri, the artificial intelligence personal aid on Apple’s iPhone 4S devices. Siri is seen by users to be trustworthy because of its ability to show personality by displaying humor and attitude, Pak said.
Older adults tend to place a lot of trust in automated aids, Pak’s study found, and that could be an issue if there are accuracy problems with the advice a digital aid provides. Pak and his fellow researchers are studying how humanlike characteristics could be implemented to increase or decrease a user’s trust, depending on the accuracy of the aid. For example, if the app isn’t 100% confident with the advice it is giving, it would display a face with an expression associated with doubt.