Customers’ Attitudes toward the Acceptance of AI Service Devices Cross Different Service Contexts

Primary Author: Hengxuan Chi

Faculty Sponsor: Dogan Gursoy


Primary College/Unit: Carson College of Business

Category: Business, Communication, and Politial Sciences

Campus: Pullman




Principal topic

Nowadays, service providers introduced Artificially intelligent (AI) service devices (e.g., robots) into their regular service operations. These devices are used to directly interact with customers and provide services that were originally delivered by human employees. As a result, the use of these AI devices challenges not only customers’ perceptions of service but also employees’ job security. Therefore, it is critical to understand when (service contexts) customers want to use AI and when they prefer to be served by humans.



This study hypothesized that consumers’ attitudes towards the use of AI devices differ across hedonic (enjoyment-focused) and utilitarian (task-focused) service contexts. A conceptual model was proposed using the theory of Artificially Intelligent Device Use Acceptance. The data was collected from the customers of hospitality and airline industries, which are dominated by either more utilitarian or hedonic offerings (airline and hospitality services, respectively). A cross-group SEM analysis and a series of t-test were performed to test the hypotheses.



This study confirms the applicability of the AIDUA theory in both service contexts. Findings indicate that social influence is a stronger determinant of AI device acceptance in hedonic services (e.g. hospitality services); individuals have higher performance expectancy toward the use of AI device in utilitarian services (e.g., airline services); individuals’ willingness to use AI devices is lower in hedonic services due to the need for human-human interaction. This result highlights that, in hedonic services, AI devices should be used to empower rather than to replace human employees.