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Change Through Understanding

We believe shared knowledge is a source of inspiration and stimulation within the digital ecosystem. Therefore we have created this space for discussion and it is our wish that it be two-way one. So tell us what you think!

The voice of technology

Voice-activated technology is rapidly becoming one of the main ways we search online, while voice assistant functions are being added to our phones, smart TVs, fitness trackers and even our cars.

Thanks to advances in software technology, voice dictation has taken major strides, and Smart voice assistants are already a staple in many homes throughout the United States and the United Kingdom, more recently making their appearance in Latin markets, such as Spain and Mexico.

Voice interface is also a far more accessible form of interaction for users with visual or physical disabilities or those with difficulties using computers and phones. The children of these new generations are incorporating voice technology into their daily lives without a second thought. Although still not working to the performance levels expected by most users, voice assistants are becoming increasingly useful tools for everyday life, and indeed for work.

VUI (Voice User Interface)

Whether it’s to find out what the weather’s going to be like today, listen to the news, play music, or cook, having a voice assistant to immediately give us what we need is undoubtedly very useful. The more disorganized among us are particularly grateful to be reminded where they left the keys, when to charge their phone, or of upcoming family birthdays.

This entertaining video compares the four main voice recognition interfaces.

Comparison between Alexa, Google Assistant, Cortana and Siri

Google Duplex

Listening to it in operation is really impressive. These telephone conversations suggest that this type of voice synthesis and natural language recognition can fool anyone. Although, being able to do this doesn't necessarily mean that one should.

Shouldn't Google Assistant tell you you’re talking to a machine? Many claim that it is morally unacceptable for a machine to pose as a person made of flesh and blood with vocal cords, and engage in conversation with a human being!

For example, voice actor Susan Bennet didn't know her voice was going to be used for Apple's original personal assistant, Siri. In an interview she said that the first time she heard and recognized herself, it was unsettling to say the least.

Artificial Intelligence

It’s clear that every technological advance has both supporters and detractors. The key lies in the criteria with which the technology is used.

Let's not forget that using an ingenious Japanese invention allowing us to speak simultaneously in over 40 languages, we could unleash a scandal of global proportions in the UN.

The dilemma brought about by AI is the following: given the evident concentration of power in the hands of technology, if for whatever reason it starts using its own criteria, taking decisions and ultimately becoming independent from humans, this may not be convenient for us. In fact, concern is already brewing in some sectors about the future of humanity in the context of AI, as this article explains.

Still from the science fiction movie Ex Machina, (2014)

Conversely, there are those who say that humans will always be better than robots, quite simply as they’re human. They posit that the keys to success are creativity and curiosity, together with emotional intelligence, empathy, and constant training. The tendency to humanize things will be a "differential human value" for at least another 200 years.

Finally, we share an interview with the "father" of Artificial Intelligence, Marvin Minsky (1927-2016) by film director Kike Maíllo.

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Qm Digital Agency

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