What Say You Siri?

I am interested in researching how recent advances in technology during the past two years have changed the way in which we interface with computer platforms, both at home and in our work environments. These advancements have been brought about by improvements in ‘deep learning’ and access to massive data sets. During this period there has been an exponential increase in technological development in the area of voice interfaces and assistants and a move away from the development of API’s (Application Programming Interface) to massive amounts of R and D directed towards chatbots and artificial intelligence. Both these technologies are changing the way we perceive what computers are, and how we interact with them. The user interface is developing a cloak of invisibility and the applications which currently clutter our mobile screens will go under cover and be accessed not by touch so much as by voice and gesture. The ubiquity of mobile has brought about a need to make it more efficient and this has led to a push from the big platforms such as Facebook, Apple and Microsoft to fuel the paradigm shift which is occurring around the way we interface with our computers.

 

Messaging will become ubiquitous and notifications will be the interface, alerting us to news, appointments, the closest Thai restaurant and those special occasions such as our partner’s birthday. The implications for freeing up time which up till now has been spent interfacing with technology are many and varied. In the workplace it will open up avenues for direct communication with the computer being interactive in meetings without being intrusive. The focus can be turned towards interaction with each other with the computer being called upon when needed. Talking to others and to our mobile applications will become de rigueur. Chatbots will be the go to when we require information or need something done. For businesses this will open up the possibility of providing 24 hour services with many requests being able to be carried out by bots.

 

My idea is to present this research in a video format showing the shift from the web with browser based applications to the mobile platform which has led to the development of ‘hands free’ interfaces. I will use images, illustrations and voice to show the rapid development in technology and discuss the paradigm shift that is occurring with the way in which we perceive our interaction with devices and how the mobile platform has been a catalyst for these changes. I would like to show how business and personal meetings have been conducted with our devices very much ‘in our faces’ to a similar meeting held 5 years from now with the devices being part of our surroundings for example in the table we sit at or nowhere to be seen, with our voice or a gesture being the trigger for an action or request.

 

I feel that this is an exciting research project with access to many recent articles in respected industry publications that point to these new forms of communication being in use within the next 5 years. The difficulty I foresee will be in creating a credible video that does not present as ‘amateur hour’ and is a valuable source for those interested in the interactions between man and machine. I would like to also include something on AI (artificial intelligence) which is the next chapter where machine talks to machine. The script for the video will need to be well researched and succinct and have a very clear and concise narrative around the topic.

 

Sample of resources used:

 

Review of the Australian Communications and Media Authority

Issues paper / July 2015

Commissioned on the 12 June 2015, by the Minister for Communications, the Hon Malcolm Turnbull, MP, this document looks at many areas of Australian Communications and Media but of particular importance to my area of research is a detailed review of the current issues which are affecting the Australian Communications market.

No UI is the New UI written by Tony Aubé for TechCrunch in October 2015 discusses the rise of conversational devices and the disappearance of API’s. Aubé is a Canadian UI designer and UX researcher who has written a number of technical articles which discuss technology and design thinking.

Design for voice interfaces

written by Laura Klein for O’Reilly Media in October 2015. This article looks at voice interfaces including a comparison of VUI’s (Voice User Interfaces) and the once innovative GUI’s (Graphical User Interfaces)

The Chatbots Are Coming: How Facebook’s New Bots Will Impact the Public Sector

by Dustin Haisler in April 2016. An article published in GovTech Social looks at the recent f8 Facebook’s annual developer conference and the emphasis they will be placing on virtual reality (VR), live video application programming interfaces (APIs), artificial intelligence (AI) and chatbots (GovTech.com 2016).

 

Resources:

The Department of Communications and the Arts,. Review Of The Australian Communications And Media Authority. The Department of Communications, 2015. [ONLINE] Available at: https://www.communications.gov.au/documents/review-australian-communications-and-media-authority-%E2%80%94-terms-reference . [Accessed 15 May 2016].

 

Dustin Haisler. 2016. The Chatbots Are Coming: How Facebook’s New Bots Will Impact the Public Sector. [ONLINE] Available at: http://www.govtech.com/social/The-Chatbots-Are-Coming-How-Facebooks-New-Bots-Will-Impact-the-Public-Sector.html. [Accessed 15 May 2016].

 

Laura Klein. 2015. Design for voice interfaces; Building products that talk.

[ONLINE] Available at:https://www.oreilly.com/ideas/design-for-voice-interfaces. [Accessed 15 May 2016].

 

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