You Can’t Dream in a Coma

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This is paraphrase of Bret Kinsella of Voicebot.ai on Bradley Metrock’s This Week in Voice last week, referring to how Apple is not even sleeping at the wheel when it comes to voice, it is in a coma. I think it’s a good description of Apple’s stance in the voice market.

More than 22 years before HBO’s WestWorld came out, the Simpsons aired an episode in 1994 called Itchy & Scratchy Land containing the plot where autonomous entertainment robots become sentient and try to kill visitors. In a knock against low visitor turnout to Euro Disney at the time, the show closes with one of the protagonists, Dr. Frink, asking “…this is happening here, I’d hate to think what’s happening at Euro Itchy & Scratchy Land” and the last clip is of empty parking lots and parks:

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You can check out the full clip here:

This past month, there were tons of announcements around voice. Google I/O introduced Duplex, multi-question mode, follow up mode, etc for Google Assistant. Microsoft announced a new voice SDK and Cortana integrations. Amazon announced in-skill purchases for Alexa Skills and a new kid-friendly Echo Dot.

And Apple? Tumbleweeds. The biggest thing about the HomePod has been the Spike Jonze commercial for it.

I hope there will be some announcements and progress that will bring Siri back into the fold as a viable competitor. Added a “Hey Siri” wake word to Macs is low hanging fruit. Creating smaller HomePods is another, or tying together a music experience solely for the HomePod could help bring in the passionate audiophile crowd.

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