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Why People Use Chatbots

  • Petter Bae Brandtzaeg
  • Asbjørn Følstad
Conference paper
Part of the Lecture Notes in Computer Science book series (LNCS, volume 10673)

Abstract

There is a growing interest in chatbots, which are machine agents serving as natural language user interfaces for data and service providers. However, no studies have empirically investigated people’s motivations for using chatbots. In this study, an online questionnaire asked chatbot users (N = 146, aged 16–55 years) from the US to report their reasons for using chatbots. The study identifies key motivational factors driving chatbot use. The most frequently reported motivational factor is “productivity”; chatbots help users to obtain timely and efficient assistance or information. Chatbot users also reported motivations pertaining to entertainment, social and relational factors, and curiosity about what they view as a novel phenomenon. The findings are discussed in terms of the uses and gratifications theory, and they provide insight into why people choose to interact with automated agents online. The findings can help developers facilitate better human–chatbot interaction experiences in the future. Possible design guidelines are suggested, reflecting different chatbot user motivations.

Keywords

Chatbots Motivations Uses and gratifications 

Notes

Acknowledgment

This study is funded by the research project Human-Chatbot Interaction Design, supported by the Research Council of Norway, IKTPLUSS (p.nr 270940).

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Copyright information

© Springer International Publishing AG 2017

Authors and Affiliations

  1. 1.SINTEFOsloNorway

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