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Flirting with Chatbots? Americans are Increasingly Comfortable Interacting with AI

By Tracey E. Schelmetic February 26, 2024

In 2024, Americans and other consumers around the globe have grown accustomed to talking to computers. Think about it; we started back in the 1990s with the first iterations of speech technology, though we spent a lot of time shouting (often somewhat uselessly) at the earliest generations of these technologies.

Today (with AI and advances in speech technology), consumers are becoming even more familiar and reasonably comfortable with AI-driven personal assistants, or chatbots. These modern chatbots are often smarter, faster, more personalized and are actually helpful (as opposed to their ancestors, which seemed to exist just to get customers off the phone). The positive experiences customers are having with chatbots is effectively increasing their use and value in customers service/experience scenarios, according to new research.

In this vein, we have Infobip, an omnichannel cloud communications solutions provider. Infobip recently commissioned a survey that shed light on Americans' interactions with chatbots, uncovering some intriguing insights into the evolving relationship between humans and AI.

In short, we’re doing everything with chatbots... including flirting with them.

The surprising survey found that nearly 20% of Americans have engaged in flirtatious conversations with chatbots. This trend is particularly prevalent among those aged 35 to 44, with over 50% of respondents in this age group admitting to having flirted with a chatbot. (There was no word on what the chatbots think about this.)

Essentially, chatbots have become not just tools for information retrieval or task completion; they're increasingly being seen as “companions” by Americans. These findings indicate a growing acceptance and comfort level with AI-powered conversational tools, as well as a willingness to explore novel forms of communication and interaction.

So… why are we flirting with chatbots? Well, for various reasons. The survey ranked Americans’ top four reasons for flirting with chatbots: 47.2% of participants flirted with chatbots out of curiosity, wanting to explore and experience the responses; 23.9% confirmed feelings of loneliness, finding joy in interactions with chatbots; 16.7% admitted to being "AI-phished," not realizing they were interacting with a chatbot; and 12.2% turned to chatbots for sexual chat within a private space.

"Chatbot relationships may be on the rise, but we cannot overlook their role in customer service. Over half of Americans (52.4%) believe that chatbots will positively impact this crucial aspect of business,” said Infobip Chief Business Officer, Ivan Ostojic. “In an era where customer loyalty is paramount, good customer service is key — 88% of Americans confirm that it makes them more loyal to a company. It's important to note that preferred communication channels for brands to engage with consumers are email (49.6%) and text (34.1%)."

Edited by Alex Passett
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