Will voice technologies liberate us from our device masters?

staring-at-smartphones

You see it everywhere: People walking on the sidewalk, sitting at a restaurant table, riding a train or bus, their eyes glued to the tiny screen in their hands. There’s probably a guy out there who proposed to his girlfriend while simultaneously checking his texts. (Hopefully she texted him “no.”) It is no less than device […]

If consumers can be concerned about AI, so can workers

smart-speaker-in-home

One frequently voiced concern about intelligent voice assistants such as Alexa and Google Home is that they can eavesdrop on their owners. Which, it turns out, they can! And while this form of virtual spying mostly is used to deliver targeted ads to device owners (“Hey, that’s weird; we were just talking about beer, and now […]

Would you trust orders from a robot at work?

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For all the concerns people have expressed about robots taking over the workplace, a new survey makes it clear that most of us are ready to place our trust (and maybe our fate!) in the hands of our algorithmic overlords. Data from Oracle and research firm Future Workplace shows that 93 percent of respondents would […]

The coming revolution in computer usability

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One of the biggest complaints among doctors and other healthcare providers is how much time they must spend entering data into devices connected to their electronic health records (EHRs) systems — time that could be better spent focusing on their patients. Two health experts writing in Harvard Business Review call for a “revolution in usability,” arguing that “voice […]

“Voice first” as the new brand culture

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There has been no greater sugar rush in business recently than the tsunami of voice-enabled devices appearing both at the consumer and B2B level. Those who bought in early thought the Alexa “skill” of requesting that top news stories be read to you was groundbreaking. Now, just a year later, we look back and are […]

Voice assistants like Alexa will invade the workplace this year

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If this year’s holiday sales are any indication, 2018 could be the year that digital voice assistants become common in the workplace. Amazon reports that Echo Dot – the hands-free, voice-controlled device that connects to the online retail giant’s Alexa voice service to provide information, play music, send and receive messages, control smart devices, and […]

The letterbox problem with voicebox assistants

There are lots of voice activated tools and services now available from software on your PC and in your car to physical hardware you can place around your home. These devices and associated requests are becoming everyday occurrences, “Alexa, whats the weather” to“Siri, recipe for Chocolate Cake” (too many to list). The two main ways to […]

Alexa’s growing skills show potential for voice assistants in the workplace

Amazon announced last week that Alexa, the voice assistant software that powers home hardware units such as Echo, Dot and Tap, now has 10,000 “skills” to offer humans seeking information, instructions or entertainment. Not everyone is impressed. Gizmodo’s Michael Nunez dismisses Alexa’s “10,000 mostly useless skills,” lamenting that “you can’t really complete any important tasks with the […]