Dirk Knemeyer

Voice User Interfaces

Voice User Interfaces, December 11, 2014

A short comment contextualizing the prediction could go right here

To me, the use cases where voice is appropriate, where voice seamlessly and in a friendly way fits into environments are environments where we’re alone, in our car or in an office that has some noise protection and privacy to it. I just don’t think the use cases are that limited. The intrusiveness of voice on other people is, for me, a real problem. Even though I can see in certain cases voice can be really nice and useful and convenient, I don’t see it as this big game-changing silver bullet. I see it as something that is either a lot more niche, or if it becomes this huge paradigm controlling user interface, boy, I think the world will be a lot worse for it.

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If we look at how people use their devices in public spaces or around other people today, it’s generally in unfriendly ways. We will, as we’re going down the street, just like we could tip-tip-tap with our fingers currently, we will be talking to our device and ignoring or not caring about the strangers who are inhabiting spaces around us. Computing devices already, even just in the head-down, tap-tap-tap, are unfriendly. The more that we move into voice, it will be unfriendly as well. People have proven that they’ll treat strangers, they’ll treat people in public spaces and environments with them like flotsam and jetsam and won’t have concern and consideration. I don’t know, we’ll see, but I think it’s going to be yet another hit against civility and community and treating others well.