Confirming what we all pretty much knew already: Amazon is really doubling down on Alexa. This is based off of a somewhat subjective study by Citi (it’s all relative terms to how many employees each company has), but interesting to see the types of roles being allocated to building up this business unit: engineers, data scientists, developers, natural language processing experts, analysts, payment services professionals. Although anyone else surprised they’re not hiring more on the BD, brand relations or dev relations side to bolster the ecosystem around it?
Love this. Always refreshing when tech realizes there are more consumers than just single, rich, urban-dwelling, bored Millennials out there. A great read for anyone looking to debut voice assistant presence to understand more about who users are and what they value. We love that this really highlights the “Assistant” part--that these devices (and their accompanying skills/apps) are about efficiency and helping people get things done, make life easier. Great rubric for use case definition on anyone’s first foray into voice.
Something to keep in mind when designing chatbot conversations--the power of images/gifs/emojis. Yes, NLP is sexy and a little yellow smiley can seem childish, but do not neglect its essential role in Conversation Design on Messaging. This article is about a custom Slack raccoon emoji that’s used to signal to coworkers to take their tangential conversation elsewhere/remove it from a public forum/channel. It’s even become a verb--”I’m raccooning this” meaning, I’m asking you to take this offline--but not in a mean or aggressive way. Humanity is barrelling towards a more visual future, surpassing the boring old alphabet. Emojis do what text can’t--they convey so much in one small image that would otherwise require a paragraph. Maybe if we had more German words that are super long but convey complex emotions, but we don’t. This raccoon is our schadenfreude. An in this case, an emoji is worth a thousand words.
And another glimpse into the impact Smart Assistants are having on the non-Millennial group. This time a look at how Google Home is riding the Silver Tsunami. While still making an impact via efficiency, there’s an interesting “device-as-companion” concept here too. Finally, a technology that older generations “just get.” Probably because you don’t have to put your glasses on to talk to Alexa, amirite?
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