The Siri seduction

For the last few mornings, my five year old daughter has spent a significant amount of time figuring out what she can and can’t do with Siri. Sometimes it’s just silly playfulness, but sometimes she gets really focused. For example, this morning she realised she could ask Siri to show her photos of things, and ended up asking for photos relevant to her school project.

Now, bear in mind that she’s five. She can read pretty well, but is only just learning to write, and certainly can’t type yet. She’s getting an incentive to learn speech interfaces that I don’t have, and hopefully never will. I think those who are scepticial about the role of Siri, Alexa, Cortana et al in the future computing landscape might do well to watch the youngest generation, and see if they maintain this approach as their writing and typing skills grow.

Interestingly, she’s never really engaged with Alexa in the kitchen Amazon Echo. I wonder if the HomePod might change that?

  • Thoughtful post Adam. It’s fascinating to understand how the young are adapting to AI and this kind of thing, they come to it without any kind of user manual or agenda.

  • Vicky Hyde

    Hoping kids will also figure out what they really shouldn’t do with voice recognition. Recently DS2 called DS1 a ‘douche’ while we were all out dog walking. DS1 retorted that being called a word that just meant ‘shower’ in French wasn’t much of an insult. I pointed out that ‘douche’ had a different meaning in English, and when he expressed disbelief I said ‘feel free to google it’. So he did. Out loud. I think a few people around still snigger when I go past them…