VR in applied research [part 1]: An empirical investigation of using virtual reality for researching the acceptance of smart stores

Imagine you are at the grocery store, but instead of waiting at the cashier to pay, an artificial intelligence (AI) registered the products you took and automatically bills them to your account right after you leave the store. For many years, the shopping process in a supermarket was very similar: customers would take products from shelves, then go to checkout, put the goods on a belt which were scanned by a cashier, and pay. Usually, this process is often associated with waiting times, depending on how busy the store is. With the introduction of self-checkouts, this process has already been optimized through technology. In 2016, Amazon opened the first smart store in Seattle. A smart store completely eliminates the payment process at a cash register (Amazon, 2022). Cameras, sensors and an AI automatically detect which products the customer took from the shelf. The products are paid for using the stored payment data when the customer leaves the store. This smart store concept rather describes the “Grab & Go” technology which includes a walk-in option for customers. While there are a multitude of different concepts used in smart stores, this research focused on said concept as well as an ”Automated Box” concept which refers to a smart store with a fully automated high-bay warehouse. Customers do not select the products inside this particular smart store, but choose their desired products via an app either before or upon their arrival.

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Life in a hobby lab: A qualitative user study on smart home acceptance in shared households

While many of our acceptance research studies focus on the quantitative evaluation of (potential) technology acceptance factors, this blog entry describes a qualitative approach to smart home acceptance research. In addition, it integrates the views of two target groups by trying to understand the mutual acceptance of members in a household.

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How do humans perceive art created by Artificial Intelligence?

“Artificial intelligence” (AI) is ubiquitous in our everyday lives these days. While the technology is incorporated not only into smartphones, translators, voice assistants and self-driving cars, it has now also pathed its way into the art world. For instance, AI is able to recreate paintings of well-established artists (Iansiti & Lakhani, 2020), but can generate original art styles (Schwab, 2017), songs (Vincent, 2016), or poems as well (Gibbs, 2016). It is usually impossible for people to distinguish between human-made and AI-created art, hence, they often place high artistic (Elgammal et al., 2017) as well as monetary value on AI artwork (BBC, 2018). A recent study titled “Defending humankind: Anthropocentric bias in the appreciation of AI art” published in Computers in Human Behavior investigated how people react to art created by AI systems and labeled as such, compared to artwork labeled as human-made.

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Home, Smart Home – What do customers expect from smart home systems?

 

The corona virus made a lot of us stay at home more than ever before. A natural reaction to this is trying to make staying at home as nice as possible. An opportunity to make life at home more convenient and efficient are so called smart home systems. Smart home describes a set of technological innovations that aim at improving the living environment of a user by adapting it to his or her individual needs (Abicht et al., 2010). Smart home systems offer various options such as dimming the lights using your phone or automatically shutting the blinds, depending on the time of the day to ensure energy efficiency.

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