I liked this short post from Tim Bray. "I'm still blogging," he says, noting that it's a bit of an exception these days, an exception not only to write (as fewer and fewer people are doing it) but also to be read (as more and more the internet is being taken over by commercial publications). "The great danger," he writes, "is that the Web’s future is mall-like: No space really public, no storefronts but national brands’, no visuals composed by amateurs, nothing that’s on offer just for its own sake, and for love."
At a certain point this online text reverts back into being an ordinary textbook, but the premise was interesting. It has often been said that to learn how to become something - a computer scientist, say - is to be able to think like that kind of person. And so that's what this guide sets out to do. Alas, computer science also involves an awful lot of small things like string methods, GUI and recursion, so you get less of the 'think like a' and more of the detail.
Our new word for the day is "Skeuomorphism", which means "using real world references and metaphors on interfaces to enhance their comprehensibility." For example, "A skeuomorphic button looks like a physical switch, a skeuomorphic canvas can have a wood texture." The point of this post is to examine the concept as it relates to audio input devices, such as your voice assistant. Currently, these resemble human voices - they have gender, they make jokes, they express emption. None of these is core to the function of the voice, however. The suggestion is that, as we become used to voice assistants, we will be more inclined to let them be featureless automatons.
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Copyright 2017 Stephen Downes Contact: firstname.lastname@example.orgThis work is licensed under a Creative Commons License.