Humanising voice assistants, should we?
As Google’s DeepMind releases technology Wavenet, that produces computer generated voices nearly indistinguishable from a human’s, should DeepMind be creating this? We saw Google’s demo of the very human voice phone call to the hairdressers at Google IO this week and the mixed feelings that caused with those who watched it.
Should we be mimicking the human voice?
We have seen how voice assistants are creating more and more human-like interactions. Amazon recently announced Echo for Kids (a filtered subset of kid friendly voice skills) but also, they are testing a reward system for when kids say please and thank you. Which if the objective is for Echo/Alexa to communicate as a human then it is good to mirror social constructs, but should kids be able to tell the difference to what voice is a computer and what is a person.
** Only yesterday Amazon now allows developers to pick one of eight voices to use when building an Amazon Alexa skill.