Document Type


Source of Publication

Australian Journal of Information Systems

Publication Date



The way users perceive and use information systems artefacts has been mainly studied from the notion of behavioral beliefs, deliberate cognitive efforts, and physical actions performed by human actors to produce certain outcomes. The next generation of information systems, however, can sense, respond, and adapt to environments without necessitating similar cognitive efforts, physical contact, or explicit instructions to operate. Therefore, by leveraging theories of consciousness and technology use, this research aims to advance an alternative understanding of the "use" associated with the next generation of IS artefacts that do not require deliberate cognitive efforts, physical manipulation, or explicit instructions to yield outcomes. The theory and proposed model were refined and validated through the burst detection technique, IS expert involvement (n=10), a pilot study (n=130), and end-user surveys (n= 119). Structural equating modelling techniques were employed to test the theory. We show that unlike the manually operated IS artefacts, the “use” of a fully autonomous artefact is a conscious thought rather than a physical activity of operating a system to produce certain outcomes. We argue that, unlike the traditional notions of use associated with manually operated technologies, conscious use is not characterized solely by behavioral beliefs stemming from logical and reflective cognitive and physical efforts (e.g., effort expectancy). We propose the notion of conscious use within the context of fully autonomous entities and empirically validate its measure. Additionally, we offer recommendations for future research directions in this area. The conceptualization of this new theory for fully autonomous IS artefacts adds significant academic value to the literature given the convergence of AI-based machine learning systems and cognitive computing systems.




Australian Journal of Information Systems




Computer Sciences


Conscious use, Autonomous things, Cognitive computing systems, AI-based machine learning, Theory of use

Creative Commons License

Creative Commons Attribution-NonCommercial 4.0 International License
This work is licensed under a Creative Commons Attribution-NonCommercial 4.0 International License

Indexed in Scopus


Open Access


Open Access Type

Gold: This publication is openly available in an open access journal/series