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Conference Papers Year : 2020

Humanoid Social Robots and the Reconfiguration of Customer Service

Abstract

This paper reports on several studies in the context of implementing the humanoid social robot Pepper in a financial institution. The results show that the robot can affect the boundary relations between the roles of customer and service worker differently from common-sense expectations. While employees initially feared to be automated away by the robot, the results suggest that the relationship is more likely to change through an emotional bonding to the robot being projected to the company deploying it. Therefore, the robot might, at least partially, assume the role of the service worker as an ambassador of the company, which could recede more into the background in this regard. We discuss the implications of our findings in the context of current literature on the changing boundary relations through robot innovations.
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hal-03450726 , version 1 (26-11-2021)

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Gabriella Volpe, Matthias Schulte-Althoff, David Dillmann, Emmanuelle Maurer, Yannic Niedenzu, et al.. Humanoid Social Robots and the Reconfiguration of Customer Service. IFIP Joint Working Conference on the Future of Digital Work: The Challenge of Inequality (IFIPJWC), Dec 2020, Hyderabad, India. pp.310-325, ⟨10.1007/978-3-030-64697-4_23⟩. ⟨hal-03450726⟩
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