WE HAVE AN Echo Dot in the house and she is really getting to know what we like to hear by listening to us ask her things. This isn't anything unusual but for visitors who never have seen Amazon's Alexa adding to human conversations, it can be a little unnerving.
Voice-activated alarms, spoken requests for weather forecasts, and routine questions to Google have become part of our daily lives at home. This spatial computing is more than a way to play music--we've discovered Alexa often knows what we want to hear even when we fail to complete whole sentences. After six months of near-daily use, we have a smarter kitchen table where Alexa sits. We have brought machine learning together with human interaction from age six upwards. Our interactions with technology has changed the way we talk.
We have made more Facetime calls than landline calls every month for the past 13 months. Our six year old son has not used a landline for more than a year. He might feel disenfranchised if unable to call someone by saying their name into a contacts app.
From my seat, it looks like we have arrived at a conversational singularity and now we can converse with anyone anywhere and with anything. I'm very interested to see if my youngest would be able to reach his sister by using a pay phone. Would he know how to operate technology created in a century he never lived?
Previously on InsideView.ie:
"Inviting Alexa into the Classroom", February 2, 2017
"Echo Dot in Ireland", September 17, 2016.