Bill Gates is predicting that we’ll interact with computers via speech and touchscreens more in the future.
In five years, Microsoft expects more Internet searches to be done through speech than through typing on a keyboard, Gates told about 1,200 students and faculty members Thursday at Carnegie Mellon University.
I just can’t see this happening without a major redesign of work areas. Far too many people are in shared offices where constant speech is a distraction. Also, think of how we search for data now – we find data, look at it, decide this isn’t what we needed, and search again, perhaps for only a slight variation of what we originally searched for. Now imagine *hearing* your co-worker do this. Constantly. All day long.
Imagine being in a library and wanting or needing to search for an unpopular topic. Now imagine doing it with speech
Keyboards and mice aren’t 100% perfect, but they are *quiet*, and don’t distract others around you nearly as much as someone talking. Keyboards and mice also offer a level of privacy that speech just never will.
Now, if Gates was predicting *thought* interaction – just think about stuff and the computer would help you search for it – I’d agree 100% that it’s good and we should be striving towards that. But speech? I’m perhaps just a stick in the mud, but I don’t see it taking off, except for niche vertical markets (customer service kiosks, perhaps, or medical systems for disabled individuals).
What do you think? Am I missing some killer use cases?
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