"Like having a really bad PA": The gulf between user expectation and experience of conversational agents

Ewa Luger, Abigail Sellen

Research output: Chapter in Book/Report/Conference proceedingConference contribution

Abstract

The past four years have seen the rise of conversational agents (CAs) in everyday life. Apple, Microsoft, Amazon, Google and Facebook have all embedded proprietary CAs within their software and, increasingly, conversation is becoming a key mode of human-computer interaction. Whilst we have long been familiar with the notion of computers that speak, the investigative concern within HCI has been upon multimodality rather than dialogue alone, and there is no sense of how such interfaces are used in everyday life. This paper reports the findings of interviews with 14 users of CAs in an effort to understand the current interactional factors affecting everyday use. We find user expectations dramatically out of step with the operation of the systems, particularly in terms of known machine intelligence, system capability and goals. Using Norman's ‘gulfs of execution and evaluation’ [30] we consider the implications of these findings for the design of future systems.
Original languageEnglish
Title of host publicationCHI 2016
Subtitle of host publicationProceedings, the 34th Annual CHI Conference on Human Factors in Computing Systems, San Jose Convention Center : San Jose, CA, USA, May 7-12.
Place of PublicationNew York
PublisherACM
Pages5286-5297
Number of pages12
ISBN (Electronic)9781450333627
DOIs
Publication statusPublished - 7 May 2016

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