Monday, April 16, 2018

Will smart speakers ease disabled people?

Smart speakers, such as Google Home and Amazon Echo, are said to change our daily life. But are their utility applicable for all people?

In this article below, the author's father was struggling to communicate with Alexa, Amazon's AI interface. Many blind people have acquired a communication pattern which is a little different to those of ordinary people. Alexa's voice recognition program will take some time to be optimized for people with disability.

The Atlantic: Alexa Is a Revelation for the Blind

At a glance, a voice controller is very useful for blind people. But in reality, it is not entirely sure. We unconsciously gain massive information from every sensory organ. Voice is never independent of gesture, intonation, and vision, though I hardly recognize.

In general, development of technology enables disabled people to be reintegrated in the society. On the other hand, the digital divide has been apparent in the last couple of decades. We should be aware which kind of devices and services are the most useful for each people with disability.

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