How AI will change the way we communicate
In our last blog before the break we looked at some of the tech trends to watch in 2018. One of these was AI – perhaps one of the hardest technologies to get your head around, and understand how it’ll start to impact our lives.
London is the UK’s multicultural city, and here at Shape we work with people from all over the world on a daily basis. One of the aspects of AI that isn’t often mentioned but that has us excited is its potential to change the way we communicate, both within our own language and internationally. We’re going to take a look at some of the emergent technologies and think about how they might change work and society as we know it. The implications of some of this stuff are as interesting as they are huge (and unnerving at times)!
1. Real time translation.
Imagine being able to talk to and understand anyone in the world, in real time, just by putting some headphones in. Well, the technology is here to make that possible. Google unveiled their Pixel Buds in October 2017 – they currently translate 40 languages in nearly real time, apparently fast enough to hold a conversation. Like all tech, these will become faster, smaller and more affordable over time which will open up a whole world of communication potential, literally.
2. AI speech coaching.
1) Human’s emotional reaction to speech is relatively predictable. People say its 10% what you say, 90% how you say it, for example. Whether this is true or not remains to be seen, but we will soon be able to measure reactions to public speaking, break down the elements of the speech that made it resonate or otherwise and generate coaching algorithms that can drill professionals on effective speaking. The difference from using a traditional voice coach is that their guidance is based on their limited personal experience and opinion; the AI version data can base it’s training on big data science.
3. Communicating with computers.
We’ll find that more and more our communications are either largely influenced by AI, or that we are talking directly with a computer – we’ll have to accept them as social agents in their own right. In one (slightly mundane) sense we’re already there, the use of machine learning in customer services is now widespread – we’re used to talking to ‘non-humans’ on a daily basis about things like the location of our lost parcels. But as sophistication increases AI agents will have a bigger role in public and private communication. Trial AIs have been released onto social media – think Microsoft’s doomed Tay experiment and their lesser known Xiaoice bot who acts as a ‘girly assistant’ to over 20 million (mostly men) on Chinese social networks WeChat and Weibo, providing banter and dating advice! Whatever next…
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