AI Chatbots Could Ease Demand on COVID-19 Hotlines

A solution to overtaxed COVID-19 hotlines could be only a chatbot away.

Researchers from the Indiana University Kelley School of Business found that when callers felt comfortable in the chatbot’s ability they considered the bot at least as good as a human.

“The primary factor driving user response to screening hotlines — human or chatbot — is perceptions of the agent’s ability,” said Alan Dennis, chair of internet systems at Kelley and corresponding author of the paper to be published in the Journal of the American Medical Informatics Association.

“When ability is the same, “he said, “Users view chatbots no differently or more positively than human agents.”

Noting that, as they write in their report, “The sudden unprecedented demand for [COVID-19] information is overwhelming resources,” Dennis and three other researchers set out to learn if people would use a chatbot and follow its advice. They presented text chats between callers and agents. Each study participant saw the same exact chat. Some were told the agent was a bot; others were told it was a human.

The researchers found the participants biased, believing the chatbots less able than a human agent. Those who trusted the provider of the chatbot service were more comfortable in the bot’s ability.

“The results show that the primary factor driving patient response to COVID-19 screening hotlines (human or chatbot) is users’ perceptions of the agent’s ability,” the researchers wrote. Driving that perception is the user’s trust in the provider of the screening hotline.

“A secondary factor for persuasiveness, satisfaction, likelihood of following the agent’s advice, and likelihood of use was the type of agent, with participants reporting they viewed chatbots more positively than human agents.”

“This positive response may be because users feel more comfortable disclosing information to a chatbot, especially socially undesirable information, because a chatbot makes no judgment,” they theorized.

To make hotline callers more comfortable and confident speaking with a chatbot, the researchers suggest the sponsoring organization develop “a strong messaging campaign that emphasizes the chatbot’s ability. Because trust in the provider strongly influences perceptions of ability, building on the organization’s reputation may also prove useful.”

How to Answer Salary Expectations
General Interest Green Key News Worklife

How to Answer Salary Expectations

#WeAreGreenKey: Spotlight on Sean Coyne
Architecture + Engineering General Interest Green Key News Worklife

#WeAreGreenKey: Spotlight on Sean Coyne

Questions to Ask During a Job Interview
General Interest Green Key News Human Resources Worklife

Questions to Ask During a Job Interview

#WeAreGreenKey: Spotlight on Angela Singh
General Interest Green Key News Human Resources Worklife

#WeAreGreenKey: Spotlight on Angela Singh

The Power of Work Friends
General Interest Green Key News Worklife

The Power of Work Friends

#WeAreGreenKey: Spotlight on Rachel Azzolini
Accounting + Finance General Interest Green Key News Worklife

#WeAreGreenKey: Spotlight on Rachel Azzolini

The Effects of Quiet Quitting
General Interest Green Key News Worklife

The Effects of Quiet Quitting

#WeAreGreenKey: Spotlight on Karen Martinez
General Interest Green Key News Healthcare Worklife

#WeAreGreenKey: Spotlight on Karen Martinez

How to Address Strengths and Weaknesses in an Interview
General Interest Green Key News Human Resources Worklife

How to Address Strengths and Weaknesses in an Interview

Green Key Unlocked: Success as a Biometric Professional
General Interest Green Key News Pharma Worklife

Green Key Unlocked: Success as a Biometric Professional

Perks of Working Temp & Contract Roles
General Interest Green Key News Human Resources Worklife

Perks of Working Temp & Contract Roles

#WeAreGreenKey: Spotlight on Lindsay Smith
Accounting + Finance General Interest Green Key News Worklife

#WeAreGreenKey: Spotlight on Lindsay Smith

Tips for Starting a New Job as a Remote Employee
General Interest Green Key News Worklife

Tips for Starting a New Job as a Remote Employee

#WeAreGreenKey: Spotlight on Kayla Jones
General Interest Green Key News Pharma Worklife

#WeAreGreenKey: Spotlight on Kayla Jones

Green Key Unlocked: Marketing Technology Consultants
General Interest

Green Key Unlocked: Marketing Technology Consultants

How to Write a Thank You Email
General Interest Green Key News Worklife

How to Write a Thank You Email

#WeAreGreenKey: Spotlight on Ben Johnson
General Interest Green Key News Professional Support Worklife

#WeAreGreenKey: Spotlight on Ben Johnson

How Social Media Can Grow Your Business
Creative General Interest Green Key News Worklife

How Social Media Can Grow Your Business

How to Take Pride Beyond June
General Interest Green Key News Human Resources Worklife

How to Take Pride Beyond June

#WeAreGreenKey: Spotlight on Mary Baynard
General Interest Green Key News Professional Support Worklife

#WeAreGreenKey: Spotlight on Mary Baynard

Latest Blog Posts
View All Posts
How to Answer Salary Expectations

How to Answer Salary Expectations

Whether when filling out the application, or during the offer process, you will likely be asked about your salary expectations...
Read More
#WeAreGreenKey: Spotlight on Sean Coyne

#WeAreGreenKey: Spotlight on Sean Coyne

Sean specializes in construction recruitment and has several years of experience within the industry.
Read More
Questions to Ask During a Job Interview

Questions to Ask During a Job Interview

If you’re a working professional, you’ve likely experienced the end of interview session, when the interviewer asks if you have...
Read More