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URPP Social Networks

Publication Alert: Research on AI Empathy in Journal of Business Research

Prof. Dr. René Algesheimer, URPP Social Networks Director, and Alex Mari, Research Associate, were featured in the Journal of Business Research.

AI empathy research journal of business research

A research team composed of Alex Mari, PhD candidate and research associate of the URPP Social Networks, Prof. Dr. Andreina Mandelli, SDA Bocconi School of Management, and Prof. Dr. René Algesheimer, Chair for Marketing and Market Research and Director of URPP Social Networks, published a new article, titled "Empathic Voice Assistants: Enhancing Consumer Responses in Voice Commerce" in the Journal of Business Research.

Artificial intelligence (AI)-enabled voice assistants (VAs) are transforming firm-customer interactions but often come across as lacking empathy. This challenge may cause business managers to question the overall effectiveness of VAs in shopping contexts. Recognizing empathy as a core design element in the next generation of VAs and the limits of scenario-based studies in voice commerce, this article investigates how empathy exhibited by an existing AI agent (Alexa) may alter consumer shopping responses. AI empathy moderates the original structural model bridging functional, relational, and social-emotional dimensions. Findings of an individual-session online experiment show higher intentions to delegate tasks, seek decision assistance, and trust recommendations from AI agents perceived as empathic. In contrast to individual shoppers, families respond better to functional VA attributes such as ease of use when AI empathy is present. The results contribute to the literature on AI empathy and conversational commerce while informing managerial AI design decisions.



Open Access Article on the Journal of Business Research

Citation: Mari, A., Mandelli, A., & Algesheimer, R. (2024). Empathic voice assistants: Enhancing consumer responses in voice commerce. Journal of Business Research175, 114566.