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We do not know how to communicate with voice assistants. This is problem

Alice has been living in the editorial office for several days – a voice assistant built into the new smart column Yandeks.Stantsiya (we have already studied it, ).

First we tried to make friends with this lady: “Alice, what is the weather in Moscow?”, “Alice, make music quieter” and other simple commands were performed without problems. But the growing feeling of awkwardness the next day after the purchase of the day repelled any desire to communicate with the voice assistant.

And there are several reasons for this. The main thing is that we are still lost when dealing with artificial intelligence.

And here are the other problems:

1. Voice assistants mimic the human voice, but not the style of communication

Admit that you communicate with people much more often than with artificial intelligence, right? Personally, I – more often. That’s why the mechanical pronunciation of words is uncomfortable for me to hear. Moreover, a lifeless voice drives me into a stupor and confuses thoughts.

As a consequence – I pause, trying to build the most correct phrase in my head, which leads to replicas of the voice assistant like “I did not understand you” and “repeat, please.”

Yes, I have not said anything yet, stupid piece of iron!

Jokes in the performance of the same Alice, pronounced with mechanical intonations, in general sound extremely eerie for me. Immediately remember films like “I’m a robot” and other uncomfortable fantasies about the dominance of cars over a man.

The same Siri on my iPhone – I occasionally use her services to put a timer or alarm clock. For more, like dictation messages, I do not have the patience.


As for Alice, this helper does not build the sentences in a very human way: for example, if you ask her “Alice, how long will it take to get to (street name)”, then she will reply “back to the street (name) it’s minutes. “

This listens unnaturally, because I have already voiced the name of the street in the question, what is the point of duplicating this name in the answer? Such dialogues do not let you forget that you are trying to communicate with a program that is still far from human imitation.

2. The word is not a sparrow: it will fly out – you can not fix it


All voice assistants are very limited in perception of spelling nuances. For example, Siri can not understand the word “humanity”, constantly changing it to “humanity.”

I understand that in terms of endings the Russian language is quite complicated, in comparison with English. But I wonder how well voice assistants distinguish, for example, Spanish words, in which one letter in the ending is capable of completely changing the meaning of the word.

If we compare the two scenarios for searching information on the Internet:

1. I make an offer in my mind, I pronounce it, the voice assistant hears my words incorrectly. I have to activate the assistant again and rephrase my proposal, maybe several times

2. I open the browser and drive in search the necessary words. After a split second I see the result on the screen.

It is clear that a script without a voice assistant is preferable. And the point here is not even in the possible stuttering, but in the imperfection of the program that imitates the human voice.


But for me, it does not matter. It is important for me to quickly get an answer to my request, because the 21st century has taught me to instantly exchange information. There are two ways out – to abandon the use of Alice, Siri, Cortana and other assistants, or get used to speaking in a language they understand.

And I do not want to go down in my speech to the level of a soulless machine.

3. Voice assistants do not have trust. Can substitute


One of the main differences between the program and the individual is the lack of moral and ethical norms. The voice assistant can easily send a message or start dialing an unnecessary subscriber right now simply because he did not hear my speech correctly.

This is completely unacceptable, and in most cases it is the hypothetical possibility of such situations that literally scares off the same iPhone owners from communicating with Siri.

Suddenly I will say: “Hello, Siri! Connect me to Cisco “, and the stupid program will start to call the” Pussy “subscriber. I do not need this scenario at all.

Given that there are a lot of such examples on the Internet, we all need, in addition to studying the characteristics of spoken etiquette with the program to master the writer’s talent.

Weakly rename all contacts in the phone book so that the voice assistant does not have a chance to make a mistake in the choice?

4. We are still not used to communicate with cars


In general, the main problem of all voice assistants is that they still do not recognize human speech well.

Despite the colossal amounts of billions of dollars that leading companies spend on developing AI, the program’s intelligence is still far from perfect.

There is an opinion that at the moment the intelligence of voice assistants is even lower than that of an ordinary bee.

Have you ever tried talking to bees?

So today for a fruitful dialogue with Siri, Alice and other pseudo-human imitations you need to disable your skill of eloquence and learn to express yourself in simple short phrases.

And if you remember that instead of writing words, we are increasingly using Emoji icons, and before the general degradation is near.

Therefore, in our office, Alisa is silent for the third day already. It is much safer and more pleasant to adjust the sound yourself, look at the route in the maps on the smartphone and find out the weather on the profile sites visually.

Or not? Perhaps you found a common language with voice assistants in your gadget? Tell us in the comments!

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