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Majority of users have had no chatbot contacts so far

nextMedia.Hamburg survey on chat robots reveals unease

Chatbots or computer programmes designed to simulate conversation with human users are trending and have been spreading in 2016 thanks to new technology offers. Chats via messengers allow news to be sent automatically and shopping orders accepted. A recent survey conducted by Statista on behalf of nextMedia.Hamburg found that 71 per cent of interviewees have not had any contact with a chatbot and only 16 per cent have used the technology so far. Some 13 per cent did not know. However, people who have used chatbots praised the swift interaction, according to the survey.

Chatbots swift and expedient

Around 35 per cent of users with experience of chatbots noted the swift interaction and 27 per cent found the targeted conversation an advantage (multiple answers allowed). Only 12 per cent of interviewees found chatbot communication more extensive. Around 6 per cent said unpleasant issues became more impersonal and could be clarified anonymously. This aspect was useful. Over every third person (34 per cent) found communicating with a chatbot had no advantages. This came to 22 per cent of users in the 18-29 age group and 48 per cent of 50-60 year olds.

Inexperienced users do not seek contact to chatbots

People without any contact to chatbots were asked if they could imagine using them. Nearly half of those without experience of chatbots (46 per cent) could imagine giving tasks to the digital chatbot assistant. Some 27 each would give chatbots a chance or did not know.

May-Lena Bork, Manager of nextMedia.StartHub, noted: “We see many users frequenting closed platforms like messengers. The media and digital industry is thus finding it increasingly difficult to reach these users. Chatbots can allow offers to be placed there as well. Media can use chatbots to send individualised messages and give users more opportunities to ask more detailed questions and obtain information. E-commerce providers can accept automated orders. Chatbots can be used to offer customized user services. There are diverse fields of application.”

1,000 internet users surveyed

Overall, a majority of interviewees expect more frequent use of machines in media and the digital industry – some 57 per cent were convinced compared to 22 per cent who were unconvinced. Some 21 per cent did not know. Statista conducted the representative online survey of 1,000 interviewees aged between 18 and 60 years in Germany from August 8 to September 5, 2016.

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