“Computer Personalities”, on this Moment of Science.
You may have heard of a recently developed computer called the text-to-speech. It’s main attribute is that it talks! If you plan to purchase this newly developed computer, be aware of its possible side effects.
Many of its owners have come to develop a close relationship with the text-to-speech. They start to see the text-to-speech as a person, rather than a computer. This isn’t hard to do since the computer-generated voice talks much like it’s owner.
The computer’s voice sounds like the owner’s voice only because someone has set the voice’s frequency and other parameters. Studies have been conducted that show that people attribute personalities to computers based on how fast and how loud they talk. And those studies show that people prefer computer-generated voices that sound like their own voices.
The study also shows that if a person likes the computer-generated voice, he’s more likely to be influenced by that voice. In other words, he might be more likely to make frivolous purchases over the Internet.