As technology becomes more communicative, particularly through the global adoption of virtual assistants, more emphasis is being placed on the human elements of communication. With this in mind, empathy will become an increasingly important part of that technology. Assessing the tangible user benefits of empathy in consumer tech, a new report from the User Experience Strategies group at Strategy Analytics has found that combined with artificial intelligence to allow a learnt, predictive and independent response, empathetic technology has the potential to make human-machine interaction far more engaging and personal.
Key report findings include:
- Providing smart devices with the ability to understand how a user is feeling or acting would allow for a more compelling, more useful and overall, more personal user experience. This is particularly important as technology becomes more communicative, especially through the global adoption of virtual assistants and voice as a HMI.
- Optimizing HMI through data provided by empathetic technologies is the next step to make AI more human. For some technologies such as autonomous vehicles, it is potentially a springboard to mass adoption.
- But empathetic technology brings an extra layer of sensitivity. Privacy of data and transparency of use will be more important than ever. Detailed ethical guidelines are required, in addition to stringent policing of empathetic data.
Diane O’Neill, Director, UXIP and report author commented, “Given the current status of consumer trust in technology like autonomous driving systems, it is apparent that a cultural shift will be necessary for consumers to comfortably interact with empathetic solutions, even if value is perceived. But optimizing HMI further – through the combination of AI with emotional data – could provide the frictionless and delightful experience valued by consumers.”
Added Paul Brown, Director, UXIP, “Artificial Intelligence is starting to deliver tangible user benefits in consumer tech and more meaningful use cases will be introduced based on Natural Language Processing (NLP), machine learning and empathetic technologies. But caution should be taken, especially as consumers will be asked to share more personal data than ever before. The question still remains: just how much very personal, emotion-driven data will consumers actually be prepared to share?”