Anne Scherer

Research Focus

Consumers & Data

Data is considered the new oil of our age. It is the prime fuel for AI applications. Many consumers, however, are unaware how their data is used and which inferences can be made based on it. I examine how we can increase consumers' algorithmic awareness and give corporations guidelines on how to communicate and design ethical data practices.

Consumers & AI

Consumers interact with AI on a daily basis, sometimes knowingly - as is the case with robo-advisors or chatbots - but also unknowingly - as is sometimes the case with personalization algorithms. I examine how these technologies affect consumers' perceptions and behavior and how they should best be designed to avoid possible drawbacks or pitfalls.

Consumers & Social Media

Today, news consumption increasingly takes place on social media. About two-thirds of Americans regularly get their news on social media. As these platforms were originally designed to connect users and actively engage them with content, news consumption has changed tremendously. In my reserach, I aim to understand these changes and develop possible interventions.

Current Projects

Personal Data. To Share or Not to Share?


Why do consumers freely share their personal data on social media, but remain hesitant to donate their data for a social good? In my reserach with Claudia Wenzel (UZH), I examine how the privacy-related cost-benefit analysis shifts when consumers’ are faced with the decision to share their personal data for a social good rather than a personal benefit.

Let's Talk. Conversational Intelligence.


Its not always about what you say, but about the way you say it! This is the basic premise we currently find in my reserach with Sandro Arnet and Florian v. Wangenheim (both ETHz), as well as my research on chatbot interactions with Peter Fischer (University of St. Gallen) and Bernd Schmitt (Columbia University).

Human or AI Advisor - Whom Do We Trust?


Many banks are now testing to offer artifical agents or so-called robo-advisors to their customers. My reserach with Cindy Candrian and Rene Algesheimer (both UZH) demonstrates that AI advisors may not be so bad after all: in fact, we are more likely update our beliefs and listen to negative advice of AI more.

News on Social Media - Do You Like This?


Should we say goodbye to likes on social media? Users oppose the idea, but platforms are testing the removal of likes. My research with Andrea Bublitz and Rene Algesheimer (both UZH) shows that likes on social media can have unexpected effects and lead to a knowledge illusion effect: consumers are uninformed, but unaware.

Knowledge Transfer

Interactive Teaching


Learning comes by doing. This is why students in my classes do not only learn new concepts, methods or theories, but also need to apply them right away. For this, I like to bring in industry partners like HelloNina (2018) and Swisscom (2020) in my Marketing Experiments class.

Pilots & Applications


With the help of the People and Computing Lab at the University of Zurich, we have developed the social news reader "newsroom" to better understand today's news consumption behavior and run our tests in a realistic environment.

Industry Collaborations


Collaborations with industry partners are a win-win for both sides: Partners benefit from acute research insights for their digital user experiences and I can conduct my newest reserach in a realistic test setting.

Speaking Engagements


I regularly serve as a keynote speaker and workshop participant on digital user experiences and the consumer psychology of technology. You could have seen me at TEDxZurich 2020, Shift2019, HWZ Arena, REATCH, or various SITIC Roundtables.

News & Events

Connecta Talk on how Technology Changes Consumer Behavior

The Swiss Post invited experts to talk about their views on digitization and its impact on people, organizations and society. Due to Corona, talks were hosted online. You can find my talk here.

Workshop on Data Sharing for Social Good

In the joint workshop hosted by the University of Zurich, Swiss Data Alliance, Stiftung Risiko-Dialog and Stiftung Mercator Schweiz, we discuss with around 30 stakeholders from civil society, business, science, politics how data can be used for social good in times of crisis.

When algorithms decide for us: the challenges of artificial intelligence

Recently Anne Scherer together with other researchers have published an interdisciplinary study that evaluates the opportunities and the risks of AI in five key areas: work, education, consumption, media and administration. The expert study for TA-Swiss is now available in bookshops and can be downloaded free of charge here.

UZH Magazine on AI - Cleverer than us? What artificial intelligence can do

Will intelligent algorithms and adaptive AI systems soon be cleverer than us? Do they work and think for us, or do they expand and enhance our skills? These and other questions are the focus of the latest issue of the UZH Magazin. The interviews with UZH researchers, who are exploring artificial intelligence from a variety of angles, can be found here.

Stiftung Mercator Schweiz on the Value of Data

What happens to our data? How can we take advantage of the opportunities offered by digitalisation and at the same time protect our data? These and more topics are addressed in the current issue of the "Digitisation and Society" series of the Stiftung Mercator Schweiz. The article by Anne Scherer and Claudia Wenzel addresses the topic "Shared responsibility - no personalised offers without data: Consumers want more transparency and control".

The complete article can be found here (in German).

DSI Conference "Trust in Autonomous Machines"

The conference “Trust in Autonomous Machines” is an interdisciplinary event that brings together people from different backgrounds like philosophy, computer science or psychology, interested in the topic.

Speakers include: Marcel Heerink, Philip Nickel, David de Cremer, Anne Scherer and Viktor Koelzer.

More information on dsi.uzh.ch Please register via trust-conference@dsi.uzh.ch