According to a recent survey conducted by LivePerson, chatbots are gaining prominence globally. The purpose of the survey was to ask people who have experience in “speaking” with chatbots to get a sense for people’s perception of the technology. The survey yielded some interesting results.

The Numbers

The survey included responses from 5,000 consumers spread across six different countries. Approximately 38% of respondents said that they had an overall positive perception of chatbots. While that might seem low, only 11% had an overall negative perception of them. The remaining 51% had a neutral stance toward chat bots. These numbers suggest that chat bot technology still needs to be developed further in order to win over the majority who don’t necessarily view them favorably. However, it is a good sign that nearly four times as many people had a favorable view of them as opposed to a negative one.

The most popular type of chatbot that people are engaging with is customer service chatbots with more than two thirds (67%) of respondents saying they used a chatbot for customer support within the last year. The least-used type of chatbot were productivity-based such as scheduling chat-bots which only 14% saying they used one in the last year.

Europeans in general are the most receptive to chat bots. France led the six countries with 50% reporting that they viewed chat bots favorably. Respondents from the US and Japan had the lowest percentage with a favorable view of them (32% and 33% respectively).

Overall, consumers still showed a slight preference (56%) for human assistance over assistance from a chat bot. Of the six countries, the US had the highest preference for human assistance (59%).

Chat bots and personality

The survey also revealed the complicated issue of chat bots with human personality traits. As many developers are working on chat bots that are more conversational and human-like, many consumers worry that there’s not enough emphasis on chat bots that actually help them resolve their problems. Nearly half of respondents (48%) reported that a chat bot that could accurately solve their issue was more important than a chat bot that had a personality and 60% said that they felt a human would better be able to understand their needs and provide assistance than a chat bot would.

On the other hand, making chat bots more human-like may go a long way in making people feel more comfortable using them. Chat bot developers will need to continue developing the artificial intelligence to make them more accurate at assisting customers while at the same time making them more pleasant to talk to. But as the technology currently stands, they’re playing a larger role in our day-to-day life and most people are happy about that.