What a year! Voice in the Netherlands was born as well as in many other European countries. But, before we go into this weeks cool links and a nice summation lets get a commentary going.
Maarten here. I was dreaming about going online in the late eighties due to the cyberpunk science fiction books I was reading (thanks Bruce!). When finally it arrived it was unbelievable. Communication with anyone across te world at no cost, accessing libraries which normally required you to physically be present. Usenet discussion groups that were mind boggling. People back then believed the open access to information would lead to a better world.
In those early years CompuServe and America Online were the two walled off services trying to capitulate on the new energy, the new opportunity, of connectivity. They helped the masses to get online. For me that is similar to Amazon and Google’s smart assistant initiatives today. Both are walled gardens, both are first movers in a new and emerging medium. Both control all in their platforms…
Last week New York Magazine had an article mentioning that about 30% of the web traffic is fake. Bots trying to emulate what humans do in an ad based web world. In a way it is logical. The web (or Facebook..) now is driven by ad revenue, by companies not driven to help me as an individual but focus on making a profit. Phone platforms are more about capitalizing people’s attention. It is all a means. For them and not for the user as much.
Can we learn from this? Can we make better choices so Voice will be a better platform that services us all?
It is so tempting to these old ad machines to use the emerging AI power to get peoples attention with engaging conversations leading to their benefit.
This is why even though I am grateful for all of Amazons and Google’s efforts I hope there will be more and even beter movements that work not for direct profit but for a common good. Call me sentimental, it is the end of 2018 after all. But still. Let’s get a level playing field at least where my Voice services are able to be as good as the ones from the to dominating powers. That will be a start. [End rant ;)]