There’s something about Siri. Or at least, one in four people think so.
A new report by marketing company Mindshare examined how people respond to voice-activated technology like Apple’s Siri, Amazon’s Alexa, Cortana, and Google’s Home. What they found was... well, you know the movie Her? That’s what they found.
One in four users of voice technology (or 26 percent) say they’ve had a sexual fantasy about their virtual assistant, the report reveals. An even greater number of users at 37 percent – a demographic that the report claims is largely young, male and wealthy – said they "love their voice assistant so much that they wish it were a real person."
Researchers used Steady-State topography imaging techniques to analyze the emotional responses and brain activity of 100 voice technology users during their digital interactions, then compared those responses to those garnered by touchscreen or typing communication methods. The voice technology triggered lower levels of brain activity than typing commands, which the researchers believe shows how simple and soothing vocal technology can be.
“For most of our cultural evolution as a species, humans have transmitted knowledge and ideas from one generation to another through oral tradition - the voice is therefore perhaps the most innate and intuitive way for us to communicate,” said audio specialist Nick Ryan, who contributed to the report.
The researchers added that technological advancements that see digital assistants sounding less and less robotic over time will likely lead to humans experiencing even deeper emotional connections with them.
All of this, of course, begs the question: could the world’s first human-GPS wedding be right around the corner - or, in language that your new-age sweetheart might understand, on your right in 500 feet?