“Analyzing the Relationships Between Privacy Issues and Institutional Trust with Smarthome Devices.” Conference Papers — International Communication Association, Jan. 2018, pp. 1–24. EBSCOhost, search.ebscohost.com/login.aspx?direct=true&db=ufh&AN=135748497&site=ehost-live&scope=site.

  • This document looks into a person’s willingness to share private information, and whether or not they will share information with a digital assistant. It sees how users measure risks and benefits of the smart home devices when deciding whether or not to use them. It also demonstrates how each user’s level of trust in a company, as well as in others affects the information the user shares with the digital assistant. From conducting research, the Internal Communication Association concluded that people with higher levels of privacy concerns and lower levels of trust, become more worried about a virtual assistant listening in on them. The piece demonstrates an issue that arises with privacy and owning a smart home that can be controversial. This piece can be used in further understanding the reasons in measuring the pros and cons of owning a virtual assistant. It can provide insight to  the reasons in which people feel as though the machines invade their privacy. 

Burden, David, and Maggi Savin-Baden. Virtual Humans: Today and Tomorrow. CRC Press, Taylor & Francis Group, 2019.

  • This book takes a look at the technical aspect of creating and using virtual assistants. It looks at the possibility of using well-known digital assistants, such as Alexa, Siri and Cortana, to conduct jobs such as teaching, coaching and managing knowledge. The book demonstrates the ability to create assistants like these and other virtual humans by using research conducted by experts. In addition, the book writes about the use of sample  virtual humans. The text takes a deep dive into each aspect of developing these assistants, from constructing the body, to creating the mind and brain. In addition the book looks at the ethical consequences that come from using the assistants. For my paper, this text could be useful for looking into how the virtual assistants are created, and in understanding the way they internalize and process information.

“Children’s Questions and Voice Agents.” Conference Papers — International Communication Association, Jan. 2018, pp. 1–31. EBSCOhost, search.ebscohost.com/login.aspx?direct=true&db=ufh&AN=135747959&site=ehost-live&scope=site.

  • This document looks at the ways in which children interact with virtual assistants. It analyzes a child’s to ask questions and his/her answer seek answers to the things he/she asks. In addition, it discusses the ways in which the era of computers and virtual machines has begun making children believe that using these machines is the best way to learn new things. The document also looks into the ways in which young children understand the functions of the virtual assistants, and the ways in which they confide in them as being friendly and trustworthy. This ties into the issue of privacy. Since children are young and often naïve, they see these assistants as a place of getting answers to all of their questions. As a result, the machines could be given more information than they would be given in a household with older children or adults. The researchers who created the document conducted in-depth interviews  with families that have children from ages five to eight about the children’s use of connected devices to find information about the world, as their method of researching. 

Hutson, Matthew. “Our Bots, Ourselves.” Atlantic, vol. 319, no. 2, Mar. 2017, pp. 28–29. EBSCOhost, search.ebscohost.com/login.aspx?direct=true&db=a9h&AN=120967142&site=ehost-live&scope=site.

  • This article looks into the ways in which the Artificial Intelligence, especially digital assistants are going to shape the future. It discusses the fact that all tech giants are trying to make virtual assistants because of the impact they are predicted to have on the human population in the near future. It specifically talks about the way Apple Inc. developed its digital assistant. In addition, the article references Nova Spivack, a futurist, and examines her views on the future of digital assistants. She discusses in her analysis, the possibility of users forming lifelong attachments to their digital assistants. This article will be helpful to the development of my research as it takes a look at the ways in which digital assistants will eventually evolve, and become something more in the future. Having the perspective of a “futurist,” and the way she believes machines will evolve, gives my research another angle of what the machines could potentially become in the future. 

Sadun, Erica, and Steve Sande. Talking to Siri: Learning the Language of Apple’s Intelligent Assistant. Que, 2014.

  • This book discusses various ways to speak to Siri. It provides instructions on how to talk to Siri and the things that are possible to ask her. This book specifically examines how to ask Siri for information, how to use Siri to contact other people, how to use Siri to plan your day (including timers, and calendar), how Siri can shop for you, Siri’s limits, dictation with Siri and simple questions for just having fun with the iPhone virtual assistant. This book is helpful for my research because it gives an insight as to how people speak to their virtual assistants and the different things people use these assistants for. In addition, since Siri was the first popular virtual assistant to come out, it is an interesting way to see the evolution of the assistants and compare the ways people spoke to this machine when it first came out, to the way people speak to their digital assistants now. This change will also allow me to somewhat predict how these assistants will further develop into the future. 

Stucke, Maurice E, and Ariel Ezrachi. How Digital Assistants Can Harm Our Economy, Privacy and Democracy.  2017. Berkeley Technology Law Journal. PDF File. 

  • This article discusses several complexities that are present within virtual assistants. It examines the ways in which digital assistants tend to benefit the corporation that owns the machine, rather than the consumer using it. It looks into the ways in which digital assistants can invade a users privacy by taking personal information shared with it from the questions asked, and use it for internal corporate operations.  In addition, the document explains the ways in which these assistants can create an environment that is prone to heavy economic competition between large tech companies. Furthermore, the article looks at the ways in which the digital systems are continuously developing. Companies are building these voice assistants, with more human-like voices and responses. This article is important to my research as it provides another perspective on how digital assistants invade a user’s privacy, and  because it looks at the reasons and consequences of rapid developments of the machines. In addition, it looks at the ways in which the product will become something more in the future. 

Vlahos, James. Talk to Me: How Voice Computing Will Transform the Way We Live, Work, and Think. Houghton Mifflin Harcourt, 2019.

  • This book looks into the ways in which voice computing will become the next revolution in technology. In the text, the author discusses the fact that the Amazon Echo and Siri are early forms of this technology. He feels as though in the near future, we will be speaking to our phones and computers in the same ways we would speak to any human. The text examines the economic, cultural and psychological effects voice computing currently has on users, and looks at the ways in which it will impact those factors in the future, as the machines develop to become something even more human-like. The book specifically discusses the ways in which large tech companies such as Facebook, Microsoft and Amazon have entire buildings and departments dedicated to further developing their voice computing products. Furthermore, he looks into how people will react to these more human-like characteristics of voice computing. He questions things like whether or not people will form emotional connections with their voice assistant, how they will affect our privacy and whether or not they will increase our addiction to digital things. This book will probably be the source that helps me most throughout my research paper. This is because the topics it encompasses about digital assistants are very broad, and it touches points such as privacy and the ways the machines will develop in the future. Both of these points are essential for the research I am conducting. 

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