Award Date


Degree Type


Degree Name

Doctor of Philosophy (PhD)


William F. Harrah College of Hospitality

First Committee Member

Mehmet Erdem

Second Committee Member

Billy Bai

Third Committee Member

Chih-Chien Chen

Fourth Committee Member

LeAnn Putney

Fifth Committee Member

Ashok Singh

Sixth Committee Member

Yong Li

Number of Pages



Artificial intelligence is represented in different forms and different devices and its application in the hospitality industry covers a wide range of areas. Voice-enabled AI technology (e.g., smart speaker or virtual assistant) is one of the trending technologies in the hospitality industry, especially during the COVID-19 pandemic. Applications of AI powered technologies for service provision in the hospitality entities is evolving the guest experience as guests increasingly interact socially with machines/computerized programs rather than human agents when requesting a service using such technologies. Recent research studies have confirmed that adoption of anthropomorphic features in an AI agent facilitates a more natural and engaging interaction between humans and AI agents. For a voice-enabled AI agent, as a disembodied agent, verbal features (e.g., voice) are the only features that developers can use for a humanlike design. The voice of a socially intelligent AI agent conveys traits such as gender, personality, social and racial group membership. Therefore, it can be used as a social cue for social categorization of such AI agents.This dissertation attempts to offer theoretical and practical implications to guide scholars and practitioners in developing and adopting strategies to provide a customized service encounter that can enhance hotel guests’ perceived experience of hospitality. Drawing upon the Computers Are Social Actors paradigm, Social Identity Theory, and Stereotype Content Model, the social interaction between hotel guests and voice-enabled AI agents and its impact on perceptions of experience of hospitality are examined in this dissertation. Additionally, the influence of voice-enabled AI attributes on the perceptions of hospitality is investigated in this dissertation. To achieve these goals, this dissertation used a mixed methods design which consists of two studies. In Study 1, a qualitative approach was employed to gain an in-depth understanding of customers’ attitudes towards using voice-enabled AI and their preferences towards different characteristics of this technology, as well as customers’ perceptions of attributes of voice-enabled AI agents. Study 1 results shows that friendliness, empathy, humor, politeness, smartness/intelligence, and helpfulness are some of the main human characteristics that guests expect for voice-enabled AI agents. Warmth and competence were also identified as two main attributes of voice-enabled AI agents. In the Study 2, an experimental design was used to examine the effect of voice-enabled AI agents’ gender and accent on guests’ perceived experience of hospitality in service encounters that involve human-computer (voice-enabled AI agent) interactions. Also, the role of warmth, competence, and authenticity on the perception of experience of hospitality was investigated. The results of Study 2 showed evidence of bias in the perceptions of experience of hospitality based on the gender and accent of both users and agents. Additionally, it was shown that perceptions of voice-enabled AI agent’s warmth, competence, and authenticity has an influence on guests’ perceptions of the inviting, care, and comfort dimensions of experience of hospitality. More findings, implications, and suggestions for future studies were also discussed.


Authenticity; Competence; Experience of Hospitality; Human Traits of AI; Voice-Enabled AI; Warmth


Artificial Intelligence and Robotics | Computer Engineering | Marketing

File Format


File Size

2200 KB

Degree Grantor

University of Nevada, Las Vegas




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