Voice assistants, while intelligent, helpful and fast, demonstrate socially awkward behavior: they have to be told when they can enter a conversation, they cannot perceive non-verbal cues and they are emotionless. Just like in the real world where people avoid potentially awkward situations at all costs, so too will they avoid AI assistants if they make us feel weird when we engage with them. The true value of AI assistants will be unlocked only when they can better understand human emotions and possess situational context to not only respond to, but proactively satisfy our needs.

Now that this next generation of AI assistants are becoming embodied by humanoid avatars that are better at understanding people, such as our AI-driven virtual character Millie, it’s more important than ever to eliminate awkwardness in social AI. When you perceive an AI with eyes looking at you, it’s a whole new ball game in terms of potential risk and reward. Given these promising, exciting technological advancements, we’ve compiled a list of 5 ways you can ensure you’re creating socially savvy, non-awkward AI assistants.

David Greenberg

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