Study by nextMedia.Hamburg and Statista © nextMedia.Hamburg

Germans open to voice assistants

Wariness of data protection prevails - study by nextMedia.Hamburg and Statista finds

Nine of ten German citizens have heard of smart voice assistants like Alexa, Cortana and Siri. Yet, only 14 per cent of Germans own a smart speaker. Three-thirds of interviewees doubt whether their personal data is safe with Alexa and other voice assistants, according to a representative study conducted by Statista on behalf of nextMedia.Hamburg. The study was released in early May.

Infographic "Data Protection"

Over half of Germans open to artificial intelligence

Reservations about data protection prevail with 43 per cent saying they were “more uncertain“ and 34 per cent saying “very uncertain”. However, most Germans can imagine communicating via artificial intelligence. Some 58 per cent expressed openness about voice assistant technology. Around 24 per cent of Germans who own a smart assistant find the communication normal and similar to communicating with a human being. While 70 per cent said they are still unused to voice assistant technology, they expect the technology to become common in future. Present owners of a voice assistant use them for updates about traffic and weather (70 per cent) and other news.

Potential in e-commerce sector low

Smart home applications and advanced training offers hold great potential. Around 44 per cent of those surveyed can imagine using language assistants for smart home applications in future. Almost half of German citizens (49 per cent) would like to use such assistants to learn foreign languages. However, scepticism prevails in e-commerce – only 15 per cent wanted to use Alexa and other voice assistants for shopping. While Germans are interested in communicating through artificial intelligence, a mere 1 per cent realistically believe that smart systems will spread within the next year, according to the study.

Voice Assistant Day

Expanded services and technical possibilities of the technology may raise user numbers. More emphasis should be placed on data protection to improve transparency and increase trust. The next.Media Hamburg, is hosting a Voice Assistant Day on June 14, 2018 in co-operation with the Hamburg Media School to introduce marketers, designers, project managers and developers to the basics of voice assistant.

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From the diary of an Alexa owner

Amazon’s voice assistant celebrates its first anniversary on July 11, 2018 – in the author’s living room. There, Alexa is used for the daily news and weather forecast. If boredom sets in, the language assistant can be used to play fun games like “Who am I?” and artificial intelligence proves smart. However, Alexa sometimes turns out to be a little hard of hearing when it comes to music and even thinks she’s a movie star, if the name “Alexander” (or similar) is mentioned in films. As users do not know whether the voice assistant is actually listening or not, the plug is pulled out during confidential conversations. Albeit exciting, the technology is still in its infancy.

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