Not sold on voice?


Not sold on voice?

12 May ’20 Teaching 0

Voice is here. Voice has made a surge. Smart speakers and assistants are everywhere.

Life begins at billion examples.

Ray Kurzweil – Futurist

And we now have even more data than that thanks to the proliferation of voice assistants, in fact we have surpassed a billion voice searches per month. That ultimately means voice is getting more accurate, faster,and gaining more attention commercially.

Google’s voice assistant alone (plus Alexa, Siri, Cortana) is now available on more than 400 million devices. Smart speaker sales reached a new record of 146.9M in 2019, up 70% from 2018. According to think with Google reports 27% of the online global population uses voice search on mobile. Consumer spending via these devices is ever increasing. And finally, broadly speaking – voice word accuracy rates have recently crossed 95% marker for major players. I recognise it is not a level playing field, with significant race, gender and dialect biases, however accuracy can only get better and more intelligent. That said – three quick tips to make voice work harder for you.

  1. Set up: Set your location and language. Get yourself a headset.
  2. Use voice. Most voice products are self-learning, maintaining a profile of your voice pattern, which it can use to train itself to improve its voice-recognition capabilities by reviewing documents already on your computer. 60 minutes of speech training can dramatically improve accuracy.
  3. Learn the “commands” to make the most of voice.

Still not sold on voice?

Google’s voice search is now available in over 100 languages, across the G Suite (think creatively about the benefits for EAL learners and parents). With assistants omnipresent, you can set timers, get directions, control lights and thermostats, watch YouTube or Netflix and more – all with simple voice commands. You can even transform “any socket” with smart plug.

Most assistants will: Integrate with Messages, Hangouts, Meets with “Read back replies.” Let you call, hang up, pair or unpair, find or ring your phone. Tell you about the weather, traffic, set a reminder, set a reminder based on your location, add an item to your shopping, check notifications, share your agenda for the day. Then there are “Skills.”

“Skills” are like apps for voice. Skills like telling a story, playing interactive fiction, setting a Lego challenge, helping with meditation, coaching you through a 7 minute workout, sharing the news. Sold on voice yet?


Still want to do more – If This Then That (IFTTT) is aservice, which allows different “smart” systems to interact and do even more.

Artificial Intelligence

Not too far off – AI picks up. That will definitely innovate education. For example, it will be possible to assess open text responses. Kai-Fu Lee on the future of AI has some interesting thoughts.

Next – Voice in Education.


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