The (non-) use of politeness in interaction with voice assistants

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Date
2024-01-29
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University of Manchester
Abstract
This study explores the absence of being polite when interacting with voice assistants among Arabic and English speakers. Specifically, the cultural variations in the treatment of voice assistants among Saudi and British participants. In addition, the study seeks to understand the extent to which individuals anthropomorphize voice assistants and treat them as social entities. The experiment involved five Saudi participants and five participants from the UK, aiming to examine the differences in their interactions with the voice assistant Siri. The major finding of the study indicates a distinctive cultural variation in the treatment of voice assistants between the two participant groups. Another finding reveals a notable tendency among participants to treat voice assistants as human beings, despite their awareness of the assistants' artificial nature.
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Keywords
Linguistics, Pragmatics, Politeness, Cultural Variations, Voice Assistants, Siri
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