Tuesday, December 13, 2016

Three women listening all day

We have added Amazon's Alexa and Google Home (I didn't name her!) to Apple's Siri.  So, we now have three female voices that can respond to questions and commands.  But so far, their responses are pretty limited.  I think Alexa and Google Home might be able to tell us all the things either of us have told them to do or answer since we brought them into the house.  I suspect that about half of what I have asked them resulted in failure, "I'm sorry, I don't know how to help with that yet."

When I try to do something with my mouse at the computer, my eyes pick up possible alternatives and additional tasks.  BBC rang an item this morning on distraction addiction, which is everywhere in the US today.  We are living in an attention economy, where your attention is quite valuable.  Getting attention, sometimes referred to as getting eyeballs, translates into dollars.


Web sites and individual pages are too cluttered these days, often inserting an ad in front of what I am trying to read.  That makes me angry!  But I laugh when a 2nd ad obscures the first.  C'mon, people are paying someone to interrupt other interruptions that are also being paid for?

I have heard of computers being used to auction ads, such as the tv ads to interrupt a very popular football game.  I would not be surprised to find that the interruption that interrupts the 2nd interruption is cheaper to buy.  By then, the viewer will be enraged or have turned off the device.

From the small amount I have tried using devices that can hear and speak, one advantage seems to be that what I want is carried out (or fails) with limited distractions for me.  I would not be surprised if one company or another starts having their speaker say "I will answer your question in a minute but first listen to this great deal Barney's Grocery is offering today only."  Maybe I shouldn't even express that idea in public.  It may draw the attention of evil spirits or needy marketers.  But for now, when I say,"Set a timer for 5 minutes", I get my timer immediately and it starts timing immediately.  So far, I haven't found it smart enough to remember a reminder for me so when the timer goes off, I have to remember all by myself what I wanted to do then.

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