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Hey Alexa: examining the effect of perceived socialness in usage intentions of AI assistant-enabled smart speaker

Sara H. Hsieh (Department of Business Administration, Tunghai University, Taichung, Taiwan)
Crystal T. Lee (Department of Business School, Shantou University, Shantou, China)

Journal of Research in Interactive Marketing

ISSN: 2040-7122

Article publication date: 6 May 2021

Issue publication date: 21 June 2021




Artificially intelligent (AI) assistant-enabled smart speaker not only can provide assistance by navigating the massive amount of product and brand information on the internet but also can facilitate two-way conversations with individuals, thus resembling a human interaction. Although smart speakers have substantial implications for practitioners, the knowledge of the underlying psychological factors that drive continuance usage remains limited. Drawing on social response theory and the technology acceptance model, this study aims to elucidate the adoption process of smart speakers.


A field survey of 391 smart speaker users were obtained. Partial least squares structural equation modeling was used to analyze the data.


Media richness (social cues) and parasocial interactions (social role) are key determinants affecting the establishment of trust, perceived usefulness and perceived ease of use, which, in turn, affect attitude, continuance usage intentions and online purchase intentions through AI assistants.


AI assistant-enabled smart speakers are revolutionizing how people interact with smart products. Studies of smart speakers have mainly focused on functional or technical perspectives. This study is the first to propose a comprehensive model from both functional and social perspectives of continuance usage intention of the smart speaker and online purchase intentions through AI assistants.



The research was supported by grant MOST 108–2410-H-029–054, from the Ministry of Science and Technology of Taiwan, R.O.C.

The authors would like to thank two anonymous referees of this journal for their constructive comments, and the Editor for his support and encouragement.


Hsieh, S.H. and Lee, C.T. (2021), "Hey Alexa: examining the effect of perceived socialness in usage intentions of AI assistant-enabled smart speaker", Journal of Research in Interactive Marketing, Vol. 15 No. 2, pp. 267-294.



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