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Intelligent Digital Assistants

The Real Problem With Voice Assistants Like Siri Is Your Brain

“The bad news is that the capital-d Dream of a virtual assistant that manages your digital life while you live your real one is probably a lie. The real problem with voice assistants isn't that they're underpowered, or that their neural nets aren't sophisticated enough to intuit our requests. It's that user interfaces will always demand your attention—whether they're graphical, conversational, or, hell, telepathic.

I know this because for the past week, I’ve been using my AirPods to interact with Siri. Not to create timers, launch apps, or add things to my shopping list, but to, you know, get shit done.

In the morning, I slip an AirPod into my ear (just one), double tap it, and ask Siri to read me my emails while I make breakfast, recite the day's schedule while I put away dishes, organize my to-do list while I feed the dog, or help me field and respond to text messages as I pack up my bag and walk to the bus stop. Siri's voice recognition is now strong enough, its neural nets sharp enough, and its access to my personal information complete enough to handle this small handful of tasks quickly and consistently.�

The Real Problem With Voice Assistants Like Siri Is Your Brain
via Instapaper

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Human ingenuity will be the genesis for IoT prosperity: thoughtful piece by Jeanne Beliveau-Dunne (Cisco)

“As business leaders, we must think beyond the fiscal bottom line and technological advances in products and services and ask ourselves, how will IoT affect the communities we operate in and whatwill our role be in readying society and the workforce for this digital phenomenon that is rapidly proliferating? Technology itself has no ethics. It is only when people apply purpose and innovative thinking beyond revenue and profit that we will be able to reap collective benefits and security of the digital world.

We explored this topic in depth at the recent IoT World Forum in London, where renowned futurist Gerd Leonhard provided us a stunning window into the ethics of IoT and the critical role of human ingenuity in designing and shepherding its outcomes. (Watch the replay of Gerd’s keynote, moderated by Cisco’s CMO, Karen Walker: “Beyond Business: A Holistic View of the Societal and Human Impact of IoT.”)

As the IoT World Forum team put its agenda together for an influential community of C-suite executives in London, there was a realization that we needed to address this topic, as provocative (and sobering) as it might be. We recognized that we had to acknowledge the “elephant in the room”: that we are in unchartered territory, as we enter into this new era of exponential change together. When we think about what the implications are of a rapid surge in IoT innovation, we must all collectively consider the potential effects on the geopolitical and global economic landscape (in both advanced and developing nations); on global challenges such as wealth inequality, aging populations, healthcare, and the environment; and on the global workforce. Of course, no one has all the answers, but we must be bold in exploring these issues as a global business community. I will explore this in more depth in my next blog, but I will say that we know we need a global unified approach to succeed. No one can go it alone, and a “head in the sand” mentality is not an option.”

Human ingenuity will be the genesis for IoT prosperity
via Instapaper

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