Study Reveals That Voice Assistants Can Also Serve As Life Coaches

Universitat Pompeu Fabra in Barcelona recently conducted a survey that revealed that accepting life coaching from a voice assistant can improve a person’s well-being. The study authors defined a life coach as a person who assists another to find their passions and life goals. 

A good life coach helps his trainees to know where they are heading in life and assists with the necessary tools to attain it. In a press statement, Dr. Laura Aymerich-Franch, a Ramon y Cajal researcher at the UPF Department of communication, stated that the study aimed to find more accessible means to assist people in achieving their goals. 

The team developed a program that guides people to achieve goals similar to a human coach and therapist. Using the application, the researchers discovered that the psychological well-being of the Respondents improved. 

How the researchers conducted the survey

The study authors focused on 30 people, and the survey continued in the Respondent’s residents due to the COVID-19 pandemic. Every Respondent had a session with the application, NORKIA, to discover which area of their lives required improvement. 

During the session, the Respondent identified the core values of a specific topic and then organized an achievable plan following the SMART concept. The SMART idea means specific, measurable, attainable, relevant, and timely.  

The application used both female and male voices for Respondents who understood English but the researchers only used a female voice for Respondents who spoke Spanish. The findings revealed several impact scales such as satisfaction, a significant increase in personal growth, and a negative affect scale. 

 Voice assistants are available to U.S consumers 

Previous studies have reported that less than half of American homes contain one intelligent assistant. The smart assistants include software such as Alexa or Siri. However, there has been a rise in the development of several applications that assist mental health management.

In her statement, Dr. Aymerich added that the conversational agent could not provide the same abilities as a human coach and therapist. However, it can be essential to eliminate attitudinal barriers by talking to a human coach or therapist to improve their well-being. 

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