Voice Voice Voice

Yesterday, I was driving the family home from Sedona and so I got to be in charge of music.

I blue-toothed my Spotify play list and the rest of the family whipped out their airpods to tune me and my music out with their own music.

From a user perspective, other than the airpods for the whole family, I’m late to the voice trend.

I am not a podcast guy, but all around me it seems podcasts and voice are the new new thing,

With Amazon, Google and Apple now battling it out with products to listen in on us in the home (under the guise of letting us shop or ask the weather), voice technology is exploding.

Here is a good Amazon piece ‘The Veni, Vidi, Vici of Voice.

Prediction: Between touchscreens and voice, most people in the future won’t even know how to touch-type, and typing will go back to being a specialist practitioner’s skill, limited to long-form authors, programmers, and (perhaps) antiquarian hipsters who also own fixies and roast their own coffee. My 2-year-old daughter will likely never learn how to drive (and every pedal-to-the-metal, “flooring it” driving analogy will be lost on her), instead issuing voice commands to her self-driving car. And she’ll also not know what QWERTY is, or have her left pinkie wired to the mental notion of the letter “Q,” as I do so subconsciously I reach for it without even thinking. Instead, she’ll speak into an empty room and expect the global hive-mind, along with its AI handmaidens, to answer.

The data-for-money alchemy that pays for the Internet will no longer only be turning Google queries and Facebook actions into fortunes. Rather, the new data inputs of value will be her spoken requests to the ambient and ubiquitous smart speakers, which will follow her seamlessly like a disembodied servant from home to transit to work. Dynamically-generated targeted ads, based on those spoken queries, will fill the gaps in her ever-present stream of music, podcasts, and books. Perhaps they’ll even be synthesized to sound like Ira Glass or Joe Rogan or some other favorite host (since so-called ‘host-read’ ads outperform random human voices).

Computer keyboards will then join typewriters in the history museum displays, and that complicated larynx, unique among primates, that first set us down the road to sophisticated social intelligence will once again be central to how we navigate the world.

Here is another Wired article on the rise of daily news podcasts.

Finally, a third Wired article titled ‘Inside the Alexa Prize

I’m riding this trend with Apple, Google and Amazon which seems rather boring.

If I were to add some spice, Twilio ($TWLO) has broken out to a three year high.

Also published on Medium.