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Power refers to a capacity of influencing another’s behavior, making demands and having those demands met (Dwyer, 2000).When interacting with bots, people expect to have more power than the other side, to feel they can control the interaction and lead the conversation to whatever places they feel like.Computers have always been a favorite target for such anthropomorphic attributions.Since their advent, they have never been perceived as mere machines or simply the result of interaction between hardware and software.
This may seem alien, but this attribution of human characteristics to animals, events or even objects is a natural tendency known as anthropomorphism.
This goes hand in hand with our brain’s tendency toward cognitive laziness.
Repeated interactions with chatbots trigger the constructions of a new mental model that will inform these interactions.
Welcome to the bot-centric future, which is set to make smartphone users — i.e.
almost everyone in the Western hemisphere — navigate the internet in a chit-chat fashion with a virtual assistant. Alexa, Siri and others will cross the line from impersonal robots to entities that know our habits, routines, hobbies and interests just as well as, if not better than, our closest friends and relatives.