Alexa's laughing bouts highlight a fatal flaw in bot development

In reality, chatbots and virtual assistants are just another type of computer interface. Just like other interfaces, they are tools expected to process information and complete the tasks users assign to them. As with every other interface, the user experience is paramount. A number of studies have shown that assigning certain human traits (like voice tones or the ability to tell jokes) helps users relate to and trust computers. It makes sense why companies would make chatbots and virtual assistants humanlike. But trying to make something accessible and trying to make something human are two very different things.


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