Towards Real Smart Apps: Investigating Human-AI Interactions in Smartphone On-Device AI Apps

3 Jul 2023  ·  Jason Ching Yuen Siu, Jieshan Chen, Yujin Huang, Zhenchang Xing, Chunyang Chen ·

With the emergence of deep learning techniques, smartphone apps are now embedded on-device AI features for enabling advanced tasks like speech translation, to attract users and increase market competitiveness. A good interaction design is important to make an AI feature usable and understandable. However, AI features have their unique challenges like sensitiveness to the input, dynamic behaviours and output uncertainty. Existing guidelines and tools either do not cover AI features or consider mobile apps which are confirmed by our informal interview with professional designers. To address these issues, we conducted the first empirical study to explore user-AI-interaction in mobile apps. We aim to understand the status of on-device AI usage by investigating 176 AI apps from 62,822 apps. We identified 255 AI features and summarised 759 implementations into three primary interaction pattern types. We further implemented our findings into a multi-faceted search-enabled gallery. The results of the user study demonstrate the usefulness of our findings.

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