Along with big data, artificial intelligence, and the cloud, voice computing is a big topic of the day. In what ways will it change the world? Talk To Me: How Voice Computing Will Transform The Way We Live, Work, and Think seeks to answer that question.
Talk To Me
They’re not just in our phones. Voice computing is appearing everywhere and changing the way we interact with machines. Talk To Me: How Voice Computing Will Transform The Way We Live, Work, and Think by James Vlahos is an exploration of the history of our speech-driven interaction with computers and where we may head in the future.
We’ve all used voice assistants on our phones to search for everything from driving directions to restaurant recommendations, but voice computing is far more than that. Voice brings an entirely new medium for engagement with the machines around us and will certainly continue to evolve the way we interact with the increasing number of digital devices in our everyday lives.
While most of us think of voice computing simply as Siri, which was introduced in 2011, the history of our desire to engage with voice goes far further back. Talk To Me examines how we go to the present day, with an extensive look through history, which includes a time before computers even existed. Long before the digital day dawned, humans were already trying to find ways to use our voice to interact with machines.
Despite a title that appears to indication a look to the future, Talk To Me is really about the past. The book title should be How Voice Computing HAS Transformed The Way We Live, Work, and Think, rather than WILL. While it’s a very detailed look at the history of voice computing, it really only brings us to present day. There’s no look at where we may be headed or how voice may continue to integrate into countless other areas of our everyday lives.
It’s also quite a dry read. The author randomly tries to throw in a quick humorous line ever couple chapters, but falls flat, as it simply doesn’t fit the style offered the other 99.9% of the book. Plenty of detail, but it’s largely presented in a way that feels like Ben Stein is giving a monotone report. History is far less fun to explore in such a mundane way.
Past and Present, Without Future
Any proper look to the future first requires a knowledge of how we got to the present. That foundation gives the understanding needed to see how this technology already has changed the world, and how it may continue to do so in years to come. But we want to know what’s next, and that’s what the author fails to offer in Talk To Me. While the history is solid (maybe even too detailed), the future isn’t addressed. If you’re looking for a history of voice computing, here it is. If you’re looking for where we’re headed, you’ll have to find those insights elsewhere.
For those that want to look to the voice computing past, rather than the future, grab a copy of Talk To Me: How Voice Computing Will Transform The Way We Live, Work, and Think on Amazon now.