I read this article this morning:
Before Christmas, I’m sure that we all got our fill of advertising about the Google Home and Alexa products.
I guess, on the surface, there’s a fascination with talking and having a computer respond. Around here, I have experimented with Cortana, Siri, and Google Assistant.
I’ll admit that it’s interesting to talk and have something respond. Any time that I’ve tried it, my wife has been in the room and looks up thinking I’m talking to her!
I have yet to find a reason other than cuteness to use an assistant seriously. I did train the Google Assistant to know my dog’s name.
But I’m really not getting it. I’ve had people who have used the dictation ability to send emails and, just like they have a disclaimer about using predictive text, they apologize for any mistakes in transcription.
I have a vocal input for the GPS in my car and my family get a kick from me losing my temper because it doesn’t understand me. I end up spelling my location or typing it into the machine for accuracy.
I do use the voice input into my watch for quick notes while I’m walking but I do find that I have to come home and look at the note afterwards and try to interpret what it thinks that I said.
Don’t get me wrong; I think that the technology is amazing and shows the current state of the art and we really have come so far. But, I don’t think we’re there yet. I think that ultimately we’re headed towards the Star Trek-ish situation “Computer – blah, blah, blah” that we enjoyed years ago on television. (and today via reruns) Just substitute “OK Google” or “Alexa” or your device wakeup call for “Computer”.
At this point, though, I would rather grab myself a keyboard and take control of things myself.
I never bought a “Clapper” either!
It’s been interesting to see the products that will appear at the Consumer Electronics Show. There even was a refrigerator that analyses what’s in it and then suggests a meal. Has it come to this?
But I can be convinced. If you’re on the side of using these things, go for it.