Not getting it

I read this article this morning:

JBL announces three headphones with Google Assistant built-in

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.

Screenshot 2018-01-09 at 07.29.18

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.

Author: dougpete

The content of this blog is generated by whatever strikes my fancy at any given point. It might be computers, weather, political, or something else in nature. I experiment and comment a lot on things so don't take anything here too seriously; I might change my mind a day later but what you read is my thought and opinion at the time I wrote it! My personal website is at: Follow me on Twitter: I'm bookmarking things at:

2 thoughts on “Not getting it”

  1. I tend to agree with you, Doug! I usually use my keyboard as well. I will admit that when writing longer emails or comments on my iPad, I sometimes use predictive text along the bottom of the screen to save me time and frustration. I still proofread my work to pick up on mistakes though. I also like using Siri to compose emails, a text message, or even a report card comment or two, when my hands are busy doing other things or just plain tired from typing so much. I always have to do a little proofreading and editing though. As someone that composes things well orally, I wonder if this part of the draw (and value) of something like Siri or Alexa. Not sure if (or how) people use these device options, but would be curious to know.


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  2. Interesting take. I find that proofreading and correcting things often takes more time than the original posting. It’s worth it though to make sure that things go out correctly.

    I’m fascinated by the growth in this area and just know that it’s going to be in our future, like it or not. At this point in time, I’m not prepared to leap.

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