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Can two chatbots fall in love this Valentines Day 2019? - Issue #41

Can two chatbots fall in love this Valentines Day 2019? - Issue #41
By Mari from VoiceFirst Weekly • Issue #41 • View online
Can chatbots fall in love? Should they? And if so, how do you define love between chatbots? There is an ongoing exhibition on display on Singapore that will run until two chatbots fall in love. I bet a few Valentines ago this was not the news you were foreseeing to read when opening a tech newsletter. Yet, here we are. I expect we will have streaming of chatbots (or bots) alone, no human intervention. With that being said: Happy Valentines Day! Whether you believe in it or celebrate it or not, I just want to send love from my heart to yours. All of our activities are made better by the love we put into them. And our lives are enriched by those we love and love us. This day, keep in mind I love and appreciate all of you ❤️. Also, please keep reading, there’s a thing called Refrigerdating that you can not miss!
Join me at the SuperBot Conference 2019
I’m extremely excited to announce that I will be speaking at the SuperBot conference in San Francisco next Tuesday April 2nd. You can use code “mari” to register and get 25% off price here. See you there, it’s expected to be an amazing conference. Also look at the art they made: a superhero cartoon with my face, this one is a keeper!

Join me at the SuperBot conference next April in SF.
Join me at the SuperBot conference next April in SF.
Samsung, do my laundry!
Two refrigerators news from Samsung this week: Samsung launches new smart washer and dryer equipped with Bixby that can recommend the best wash and drying cycles for your load, taking into account its size, colors, and amount of dirt. You can use Bixby to start and stop the cycles, and can also schedule for a preferred time. This by itself is not extremely surprising, we knew at some point our devices will all talk to us, but then I also learned about Refrigerdating (this is not a joke!) a service by Samsung that helps you to find love based on the content of your fridge. By uploading an image of your food, you can get in contact with others who have realized that you are what you eat! I mean, I can’t stop talking about this, I only regret they haven’t market it more aggressively. The service is to promote FamilyHub, Samsung’s refrigerators technology, but you can sign up and participate. I was too afraid to upload a pic of my fridge to sign up, but do let me know if you sign up and end up dating someone because of the inside … of their fridges.
Chatbots are literally saving lives
“UNICEF deploys its bot to take surveys about pressing social issues which can guide the organization’s policy recommendations. While this chatbot’s functions may seem limited, it was able to make a huge impact when a survey found that 86% of 13,000 Liberian children polled responded they had been coerced to have sex by their teachers in exchange for better grades.”
Forbes’ 7+ Amazing Examples Of Online Chatbots And Virtual Digital Assistants In Practice had amazing and interesting uses of chatbots, but the above example was the most impactful, showing a use case for the technology that it’s far ahead from the typically customer oriented role chatbots are portrayed in.
Alexa Skills Blueprints for content creators, bloggers and organizations
Amazon keeps opening their Alexa skills platform for users in new and more convenient ways. In their latest announcement yesterday the company is opening their Blueprint offering to the skill store:
Now, anyone can publish skills created using Alexa Skill Blueprints to the Alexa Skills Store in the US for customers to discover, use, and review. We’re also excited to announce new Skill Blueprints built specifically for content creators, bloggers, and organizations, so they can reach anyone with an Alexa-enabled device - with no coding required - adding to the more than 80,000 skills already available to customers in the Alexa Skills Store.
Please note the no coding required highlight. There is a lot to unfold in the announcement for content creators, but the main point is the democratization of the Alexa skills creation process. The Seattle company is making easier for creators with no coding abilities to add to the list of skills. And that is without doubt a wonderful opportunity for both Amazon and the creators: spreading the platform for the former and easiness of integration of their current content into voice for the later. However, there two issues that I keep pondering, the first one is the Achilles’ heel of voice tech so far: discovery. Even though this is clearly a step forward, as more users build skills, it will help with awareness and use, there is still work to do in getting users in front of skills. And the second issue is about this process of making it easy to everyone: In voice, the technology is not the imperative, but the design, the design of the conversations. For voice, the conversation is not content is the application. The conversation is the structure of the application. And thus, designing the conversations is where the real challenge lies for engaging voice first experiences.
Report: voice assistants to triple by 8 billion by 2023
Juniper Research forecasted this week the use of voice assistants is set to triple over the next few years. The firm estimates there will be 8 billion digital voice assistants in use by 2023, up from the 2.5 billion assistants in use at the end of 2018. The interesting part is that Juniper predicts the fastest-growing category for voice over the next several years will not be smart speakers. It will be smart TVs. The report also talks about voice commerce: We expect the majority of voice commerce to be digital purchases, until digital assistants offer truly seamless cross-platform experiences.
Finally, the report highlights smart speakers becoming integral part of user’s routines and the decrease of standalone mobile apps: There are early indications that smart speakers are becoming a part of users’ daily routines in ways that voice assistants on other platforms are not. This will lead to increased demand for voice-only interactions in the future.
In the news
Quote of the week
Convenience is top priority. I want an assistant that’s easier than using an app.
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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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