Elizabeth Dwoskin for The Washington Post on Viv, a voice assistant by Dag Kittlaus and Adam Cheyer, co-founders of Siri:
Didn’t know Apple only bought Siri and didn’t hire the guys that made it. Makes me think that Apple bought and implemented Siri too early, so early that that the feature, while heavily advertised as a selling point of the iPhone 4S, was labelled as a beta. Also, consider that Siri wasn’t an in-house development, and that it wasn’t further developed with the direct guidance of its creators.
This paragraph in particular struck me a bit:
There’s that word again: data. In an age where online publishing is monopolised by Facebook because of the unending thirst for data, and where large podcasters are now vying for a platform that allows data collection, it’s easy to look at the need for data in other areas of technology quite negatively. As I implied in my recent post about Siri, I think that user data, and a ton of it, is an absolutely necessity for voice assistants to work serviceably, which can’t be said for publishing (at least at first) nor podcasting.
I think Kittlaus and Cheyer, among others developing better voice assistants and services, will need to be much more transparent than the data-driven companies of today if they want to create a voice-driven platform for tomorrow.
Here’s a nice bit that speaks a lot as to why voice assistants are increasingly desirable:
In other words, voice interactivity can transcend the silos that are apps (especially within Apple’s ecosystem) without breaking down the walls that (justifiably) keep them apart.