Automated Promotion of Technology Acceptance by Clinicians Using Relational Agents
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Professionals are often resistant to the introduction of technology and can feel threatened if they perceive the technology as replacing some aspect of their jobs. We anticipated some of these problems in the process of introducing a bedside patient education system to a hospital, especially given that the system presents itself as a “virtual discharge nurse” in which an animated nurse agent interacts with patients using simulated face-to-face conversation. To increase acceptance by nursing staff we created a version of the character designed to build trust and rapport through a personalized conversation with them. In a randomized trial, we compared responses after 15 minute in-service briefings on the technology versus responses to the same briefings plus a personalized conversation with the agent. We found that the nurses who participated in briefings that included the personalized conversation had significantly greater acceptance of and lower feelings of being threatened by the agent.
KeywordsRelational agent embodied conversational agent technology acceptance medical informatics
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