Over the next few years, voice automation will take on many aspects of our lives. While the voice does not change everything, it will be part of a movement that inspires a new way of thinking about our relationship to devices, screens, data, and interactions.
We become more task-oriented and less program-oriented. We will think less about objects and more about the collective experience of the device ecosystem they belong to. We will enjoy the experiences they allow, not the specifications they celebrate.
In the New World, I hope we give up our role of the slaves we are today to regain control.
The voice will not kill anything
The standard method that technology offers is to do more than just replace it. The TV did not kill the radio. VHS and then streamed movies did not kill the cinema. The microwave did not destroy the stove.
More than anything else, people can receive machine output and make input. It is a kind of user interface. With UI design, we had the era of punch cards in the 1
All four of these mechanisms are present today and except for the exception of the punched card, we move freely between all input types based on the context. Touchscreens are horrible in cars and fitness equipment, but they are great for tactile applications. Computer mice are easy to view and click. Each input does very different things in a brilliant and bad way. We have learned what is best for everyone.
With Voice, brands are not killed, keyboard sales or touchscreen devices are not affected – it becomes an additional way to do things. it is incremental, not cannibalistic.
We must design it
Nobody wanted the computer mouse before it was invented. In fact, many were baffled because it made no sense in the previous era when we used command lines and no visual symbols to navigate. When working with Nokia on touchscreens in front of the iPhone, the user experience was poor because the operating system was not designed for touch. 3D Touch is still pathetic because few software designers were enthusiastic about it and built for it.
The exciting thing about the language is not the use of voice interaction capabilities, but the consideration of new applications / interactions / use cases never seen before.
Right now, the burden is on us to adapt to the limitations of the voice, rather than working our voice to our needs.
A Great New Facade
Have you ever noticed the most corporate desktop? Websites are their worst digital interface. Your mobile website is probably better and the mobile app will be the best. Most airline or hotel or bank apps do not offer reduced experiences (as they did in the past), but their fastest, smoother experiences with the best functionality. In general, new things happen to new Cap-Ex, the best people, and the best ability to bring about change.
However, most digital interfaces are still tuned to the silos, workflows, and structures of the company in which they were manufactured. Banks can offer eight different ways to send money to someone or something in their departments. Hotel chains may ask you to navigate to their hotel brand, not location.
The reality is that people are task-oriented and not process-oriented. They want a result and they do not care how. Am I giving a shit if it's Amazon Grocery or Amazon Fresh or Amazon Marketplace? Not a little. With Voice, companies can build a new user interface that goes beyond the outdated crap that they inherited. I'm allowed to "send money to Jane today" and not press 10 buttons around the organization chart.
When I first showed a mouse to my parents and told them to double-click on it, I thought I had a seizure. The cursor would jerk and often get lost. The same dismay and contempt I once had for her, I now feel every time I try to use the voice. I need to reprogram my brain to think about information in a new way and think about how my brain works. While this will happen, it will take time.
What's interesting is what happens to the 8-year-olds who grow up thinking about the voice. What happens when developing countries use tablets with voice and not desktops to educate. When people grow up with something, the understanding of what it means and what makes it possible changes. It will be fascinating to see what becomes of this canvas.
Voice as Tie Layer
We are always stupid and think of voice as the ability to interact with a "machine" and not as a connection between all machines. Voice is an inherent crap to get expenses. If a picture says a thousand words, how long does it take to buy a T-shirt? The actual value of language is the user interface of all devices. Advertising in magazines should contain voice commands to learn more. You should be able to scream in the Netflix carousel or add items to your grocery list in TV commercials. The voice will not be how we "do" things, but how we trigger or end things.
We have always assumed that we first spoke with devices. Should I really remember the command to turn on the lights in the house and utter six words to make this possible? I always want to ask. Assuming devices are selected when they first speak, it's fun to see what happens when the voice is proactive. Imagine the possibilities:
- "Welcome home, would you like me to choose the evening lighting?"
- "You are late for a meeting. Should I order an Uber to get you there? "
- " Your Normal Citi Bike Station does not have any bikes at the moment. "
- " While it looks sunny now, it will rain later. "
Although many think we do not want to share personal information, there are clear signs that if we get something back, we can trust the company and be transparent. Voice will not develop on its own, but it will evolve alongside Google with the answers to emails, Amazon suggests buying options and Siri suggests contextual apps for use. We are slowly getting used to the idea of outsourcing our thinking and decisions to machines.
We have already outsourced a lot. We can not remember phone numbers, addresses, birthdays – we even rely on pictures to sharpen our memories of experiences, so it's natural that we outsource some decisions.
The medium term future in my view is one in which we allow more data to automate the everyday. Many say the voice asks Alexa to order Duracell batteries, but they're more likely never to think about batteries, detergents or other low-value items, or to top up their subscriptions.
There is an expression that a computer should never ask a question that the answer itself can reasonably conclude. When a technology really does exist, we do not see, notice, or think about it. In the next few years, voice automation will take on many more aspects of our lives. The future of the voice may be a few long sentences and some intelligent commands, but most of the time it's just a grunt of yes.