Barriers and Drivers to the Adoption of Intelligent Personal Assistants

Burak Yigen & Clemens Stift

Student thesis: Master thesis


Intelligent Personal Assistants such as Apple’s Siri and Google’s Now are a relatively new form of Human-Computer Interaction systems made possible by progress done in the field of Artificial Intelligence. This study investigates why, despite being a technologically advanced tool, the Intelligent Personal Assistant, has not found widespread adoption yet. Focusing our investigation on Early Adopters, the population currently needing to be convinced to adopt the technology, we constructed a survey based on the Unified Theory of Acceptance and Use of Technology (Venkatesh et al. 2003), administered it to Millennials in Germany and Austria and subsequently analyzed the data gathered via PLS-SEM modeling. Our main findings include that, not the conscious intention, but the ability to build a habitual interaction with Intelligent Personal Assistants is the driving force of adoption in our sample. We find that the barriers to Intelligent Personal Assistant’s adoption lie within their limited utility, the fact that they are prone to misunderstanding the user and that there is a lack of positive feedback from the user’s environment when using them. We also find that the ease of understanding how to use them constitutes a driver. Our findings offer insights into which changes to Intelligent Personal Assistants can help drive their widespread adoption and point towards the possibility that the UTAUT2 model could benefit from adjustments making it better suited for the investigation of the continued use of technologies.

EducationsMSc in Management of Innovation and Business Development, (Graduate Programme) Final Thesis
Publication date2017
Number of pages89
SupervisorsDaniel Hardt