Indians like their bots feminine, polite, and funny

Only funny bots, please.
Only funny bots, please.
Image: AP Photo/Anick Jesdanun
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How do Indians like their chatbots?

Female, polite, and funny, for the most part, according to a survey of over 1,000 general users (both men and women) in India by American software company Amdocs.

Around the world, bots are increasingly being incorporated into messaging apps and emails, and India is no different. For instance, insurance companies in the country are now turning to virtual assistants to answer customer queries. More recently, shopping, ticket booking, and news apps have had bots in place for similar tasks. India also has a host of startups that are developing bots for large brands.

In fact, over half (53%) of those surveyed preferred to communicate with a bot that has a human face, as opposed to the 19% who wanted an avatar and 16% who sought icons. Up to 43% chose bots that are female over male ones (21%). For the rest, neither matters.

When it comes to bot traits, users ranked politeness as the most important, followed by being caring and intelligent. Moreover, bots that sound young and have a sense of humour are favoured, while those that are too serious or sound too posh are least desirable.

But overall, Indians still overwhelmingly prefer talking to a real person: Around 79% of the respondents said they would pick human interaction over automated conversation because they believe bots can’t deal with complex requests, understand human emotions, or deliver personalised results.