CUI 2023
Conference paper

"this means nothing to me": Building credibility in conversational systems

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Small business owners (SBOs) face several challenges when asking for microcredit loans from financial institutions. Usual difficulties include having low credit scores, unbanking situations, outstanding debts, informal employment situations, inability to showcase their payment capability, and lack of financial guarantor. Moreover, SBOs often find it hard to apply for microcredit loans due to bureaucracy, proof documents, and lack of information on how to proceed. For those reasons, banks and non-profit organizations have credit agents and advisors to give SBOs directions, and help them. Moreover, there are plenty of NGOs focused on financial education to teach the basics of business management and planning. The task of asking for a loan is a complex practice, and asymmetric power relationships might emerge from it, what does not benefit micro-entrepreneurs. In this provocation paper, we aim to investigate credibility as a value, and describe how a conversational system based on artificial intelligence might be employed to mitigate perceptions of mistrust, and occasionally, in trying to achieve that, inadvertently amplify those perceptions.