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Author Topic: AI Assistant is just selling gimmick  (Read 4117 times)


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AI Assistant is just selling gimmick
« on: February 03, 2017, 05:20 AM »
Every big software house is making an AI Assistant; Siri, Alexa, Cortana, Google Assistant etc.  As I understand, they answer or try to answer your queries. One has to speak and not type, his / her queries. So far so good.

Since most people walk with mobiles now, why I am not hearing them shouting or even whispering to their mobiles or laptops on a table ?  :huh:

Everybody is typing with thumbs or fingers but none is talking. Everybody is searching Google, Bing etc. but none is asking for it. So I am wondering if all the hullabulla around these so called AI assistant is just selling gimmick and have no practical use !

I do not find myself comfortable in talking to a 'software' and maybe true for the rest.




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Re: AI Assistant is just selling gimmick
« Reply #1 on: February 03, 2017, 05:23 AM »
Since the assistants are constantly on the ready, it's just another way to monitor everything you say, with your consent. :P

All I know is that my daughter is constantly annoying her phone when she says "SIRIously."  ;D
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Re: AI Assistant is just selling gimmick
« Reply #2 on: February 03, 2017, 12:04 PM »
I have no desire to talk to my computer, I prefer to type.  And I don't use a mobile device often.

Having said that, I have a friend who does use the voice thing with his mobile phone and can tell you without a doubt that asking your phone google to search for something using your voice is about 20x faster than typing it in.

When it works, and it works most of the time -- it can be a huge time saver on a mobile device.

On a full keyboard I'd rather just type, but for a small mobile phone or tablet -- voice searching is much more efficient.


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Re: AI Assistant is just selling gimmick
« Reply #3 on: February 03, 2017, 12:29 PM »
I tend to feel stupid talking to a machine, but maybe that's just me... :-[


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Re: AI Assistant is just selling gimmick
« Reply #4 on: February 03, 2017, 01:25 PM »
When using my phone as an organizer it's easier to speak than to type.

In my workshop, or in my garage, it's a relief not to have to stop and clean my hands in order to take notes or work out, for example, what is 4'6" divided into 9 equal segments allowing for kerf, or how much torque to apply to the head bolts.

So, for me, AI plays a useful role in handling non-sensitive information on the fly.


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Re: AI Assistant is just selling gimmick
« Reply #5 on: February 03, 2017, 01:28 PM »
For what it's worth, in my small group of acquaintances, I do hear people now and then saying "OK Google..." and asking questions or giving commands. But I think a lot of that is because I remind the people I'm around, "You have a phone, don't you? Ask it."

Generally speaking, I think there needs to be time for people to get used to the idea that talking to their computers (or phones/devices) actually works fairly well and then more time to transition from old habits (typing) to the new habit (speaking). It may even need the upcoming generation being raised with the AI assistants there before they become truly ubiquitous.

I think the older and wiser generation is distrustful of such technology and the invasiveness of it. I'm generally reluctant to give my devices permission to listen in on me. That said, I've been suppressing the klaxons in the back of my mind as much as I can that Google already knows basically everything about me. I use their browser, I use their email service, I send and receive phone calls and texts/IMs through Hangouts & Google Voice, I use their calendar to schedule events, I use Android which tracks my location, I use Chromecast to watch stuff on TV, I use Google Drive for my spreadsheets and documents. And there's probably even more of my personal information out there in Google's hands that I'm overlooking at the moment. All voluntarily and willingly given to them from me.

With the knowledge that they literally own almost everything a person could know about me, it's hard to keep up what must be a facade of concern about an AI assistant gleaning more information out of me. So I use it in some minor ways.

If I'm at my computer, I'll just "Google" something (using Duck Duck Go). But if I'm out on the go, I'll use a phone (someone else's) to "OK Google..." and ask a question. I also often use voice commands to set up an alarm or timer on my device, or other reminders. When it's as easy as "OK Google... Remind me tomorrow at 3PM to [whatever]" there's no excuse to forget anything again. It can be really convenient.

That said, I have no need or even desire for an AI assistant sitting in my house, always listening and waiting, ready to answer questions or play some music for me. If I need questions answered, I'll ask my computer or phone/tablet. If I want music played, I'll play it on my computer or phone/tablet. Maybe if I had a "smart home" and the AI assistant could preheat the oven for me, or turn on the heater/air conditioner or adjust the lights, or whatever, I might make more use of it. But a lot of those are actually things that I would want to be able to do while I'm away from home. So I'm still not sure I'd benefit from a stationary AI Assistant on the bookshelf of my home.