When was the last time you spoke to your car and what did it answer back? I talk to mine nearly every day; asking it to phone someone or to guide me to an address. My car doesn’t always understand me, especially when I forget to speak in an accent it understands, i.e. English phonetics. Nonetheless, the process is fairly efficient and helps me keep my eyes on the road and my hands on the wheel.
Although speech technology in cars has been around since the early 80’s, it never really caught on. It appears that us humans don’t like being told what to do by a machine and especially a car. However, this is not the reason why I think the new generation of chat bots will not be popular in the workplace. Obviously, they will be far superior to my Mercedes and even Siri. But who would want other people to overhear what their chat bot is advising them? They might, at a pinch, talk to the bot but I am sure they will want it to respond visually; offering simple screen options which can be easily navigated using fingers.
In a real-life conversation between two humans, once someone else enters the room, we tend to either stop talking, change the subject, or move away to a place where we cannot be overheard. People like privacy and only feel comfortable to open up and talk when in an intimate and private environment.
Call me old fashioned, call we wrong but I believe chat bots will be great when alone but an embarrassment when in a crowd. Either way, I am excited to see where this new path leads us.
Have a good week,