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Alexa would you marry me 💍 - Issue #23

A week filled with hardware announcements from both Google and Facebook, among their respective data
Alexa would you marry me 💍 - Issue #23
By Mari from VoiceFirst Weekly • Issue #23 • View online
A week filled with hardware announcements from both Google and Facebook, among their respective data expositions news.
In this week’s issue, more reports of voice technology in different industries, including the government and marriage proposals. Buckle up, this is a rather long, emotions filled ride.
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The ultimate resource in voice technology.
Alexa how will you change us
Warning: This is a very long read. Maybe you are like me and save these for the weekend. Or you would like to listen to it here. Yet there is an inherent appeal to the devices, too—one beyond mere consumerism. 
Insightful on, as the author puts it, the ramifications of the shift to voice.
Trucking technology begins to find its voice
It’s amazing the expansion growth we are observing across industries of voice technology. This article focus is the trucking companies entering the voice space. 
Fleet managers are very busy and this Alexa skill allows them to log into multiple systems to get all of the information they need without navigating to each system separately and pulling up different data sets on computer screens. They’re able to query for [business] vital signs, and now they want to know what else it can do. I didn’t foresee that.
Voice is a safer way to interact with devices, particularly for truck drivers and other workers in similar conditions.
The article closing statement enforces the safety help voice technology can provide:
…we certainly think [voice assistance] is going to be around to stay. The art of it for us is not just doing things because it’s here or because it’s available, but [to look at] the real problems we can solve and make people safer.
Alexa, will you marry me?
Should I say I’m surprised? The topic of anthropomorphization fascinates me in the scope of technology and it was in the very first episode of VFW flash briefing.
Amazon reported that more than 1 million people in 2017 asked their Alexa-powered devices to marry them according to Business Insider. Alexa turned them all down, savvy as she is. A friendly reminder that voice technology is not [just] an evolution from GUI. We never heard designers reporting before that people love their app so much that they did a marriage proposal, being funny or not. Voice + conversation = emotions.
Amazon patents new Alexa feature that knows when you're ill and offers you medicine
If certainly patents not always make it to products, this is still relevant:
The feature can automatically detect when you’re ill and offer to sell you medicine. It would analyze speech and identify other signs of illness or emotion.
In the article a way to store your emotions is discussed as well. Imagine if you had an archive with your feelings, that you can know that you are always down on the first Tuesdays of every month and correlate that to events or places in your life. Or the diseases your family has had over a lifetime. Based on the history of your symptoms the assistant could alert you to do a check up for a certain type of cancer. The downside, is of course, that they will also have all this information about you. What are the moral and ethics implications? Will the assistant be able to pass that information to partners? What happens when you are warned of having a potential contagious disease and you don’t go to the hospital, can the assistant report you?
11 Voice Search Statistics Digital Marketers Need to Know
Get ready to impress your colleagues, your boss or to improve those voice presentations and client’s pitch. Here are my two favorite from the list:
  • 65% of 25-49 year olds speak to their voice-enabled devices at least once per day.
  • 28% of consumers go on to call the business they voice searched for.
City of Albuquerque hires Alexa to help with service requests from residents
Last month, Albuquerque, N.M., won the National 2018 Government Experience Innovation Award from the Center for Digital Government for making 311 service requests available through Amazon Alexa.
When voice helps streamline government services.
I talked back in June about the possibilities of voice for government services: I’m gonna play near future oracle here. It seems to me that in time it makes a lot of sense that every city has a voice assistant in every main attraction area where visitors and locals can ask questions about the city and the different services that are link to the government. Betting on this one.
Google Assistant now works with more than 10 000 smart home devices
This week Android Police website noticed that with little fanfare, the Google Home support page has been updated to show that more than 10,000 devices from more than 1,000 manufacturers play nice with Google’s ecosystem.
Virgin Australia launches Alexa voice recognition check-in service
The service, which was set to rollout this Monday, October 8, will allow passengers to link their Velocity membership to Alexa and say: “Alexa, ask Virgin Australia to check me in”. As you see, the vision of Alexa everywhere might not be that far off.
In the news
Facebook
Amazon
Google
Jobs
Resources
A practical guide on how to localize your Alexa skills.
Quote of the week
When we converse with our personal assistants, we bring them closer to our own level.
Judith Shulevitz
Did you enjoy this issue?
Mari from VoiceFirst Weekly

The ultimate resource in #VoiceFirst. Weekly digest of the most relevant news in the #VoiceFirst ecosystem. Everything from voice assistants to bots including conversational AI and published audio.

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