Trustworthiness of voice-based assistants: integrating interlocutor and intermediary predictors

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When intelligent voice-based assistants (VBAs) present news, they simultaneously act as interlocutors and intermediaries, enabling direct and mediated communication. Hence, this study discusses and investigates empirically how interlocutor and intermediary predictors affect an assessment that is relevant for both: trustworthiness. We conducted a secondary analysis using data from two online surveys in which participants (N = 1288) had seven quasi-interactions with either Alexa or Google Assistant and calculated hierarchical regression analyses. Results show that (1) interlocutor and intermediary predictors influence people’s trustworthiness assessments when VBAs act as news presenters, and (2) that different trustworthiness dimensions are affected differently: The intermediary predictors (information credibility; company reputation) were more important for the cognition-based trustworthiness dimensions integrity and competence. In contrast, intermediary and interlocutor predictors (ontological classification; source attribution) were almost equally important for the affect-based trustworthiness dimension benevolence.


Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)625–651
Journal Publizistik : Vierteljahreshefte für Kommunikationsforschung
Issue number67(4)
Publication statusPublished - 23 Nov 2022

External IDs

ORCID /0000-0001-6515-9985/work/142245106