I’ve been talking a lot to my computer lately since I installed new operating systems on my machines. I am quite impressed by the dictation accuracy and the degree to which I can use voice commands to control them.
Over the past 40 some years I have followed with interest developments in “communication” between humans and computers. In the 60’s I interacted with Eliza, the Rogerian therapist and in the 70’s the Talking Moose resided on my early Macs—useful toys. But the capabilities of software to “read” text, translate simple conversations, and follow voice commands has dramatically improved since then and become useful in my work. What was once fiction (e.g. The Circle, 2312, Lexicon) is much closer to (dystopian) reality. The challenge remains how to let technology be a tool controlled by (rather than controlling) me. It is easy to be seduced by the WOW factor.