Please use this identifier to cite or link to this item: http://hdl.handle.net/10419/191021
Authors: 
Budzinski, Oliver
Noskova, Victoriia
Zhang, Xijie
Year of Publication: 
2018
Series/Report no.: 
Ilmenau Economics Discussion Papers 118
Abstract: 
The paper applies economic theories to give an overview of the emerging phenomenon of digital personal assistants (DPAs). A DPA is an intelligent automated system that interacts with the user through a dialogue in natural language, and meanwhile applying third-party services to obtain information and perform various actions. We analyze the benefits of increasing usage of DPAs, such as reduction of transaction costs, enhanced organization efficiency, procompetitive effects, and boosting the e-commerce economy. Besides benefits, however, adopting DPA in life may also contain some risks and downsides, which may reduce the positive welfare effects or even lead to decreasing welfare: biased services, market power on the DPA market and economic dependence on a dominant DPA, potential leveraging of DPA suppliers' market power into neighboring markets, personalized data (ab)use and privacy, media bias and manipulation of public opinion.
Subjects: 
digital personal assistant
DPA
platform economics
economics of privacy
imperfect competition
behavioral economics
antitrust
smart speaker
auto-mated assistant
virtual assistant
digital butler
digital helper
digital assistant
speech-based interface
agent-based assistant
algorithmic assistant
digitization
digital economy
JEL: 
L86
L13
L40
D43
D90
D82
K21
O33
Document Type: 
Working Paper
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