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[UX London 2018] The Future of Voice

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Voice user interface expert Cheryl Platz deconstructs the shortcomings of today's voice user interfaces in order to chart a path towards a future of amplified humanity.

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[UX London 2018] The Future of Voice

  1. 1. THE FUTURE OF VOICE UX LONDON 2018 CHERYL PLATZ Owner, IDEAPLATZ Principal Designer, MICROSOFT CHERYL PLATZ // @MUPPETAPHRODITE
  2. 2. I’ve been designing for voice and multimodal interfaces since 2006. AT AMAZON: First designer on Echo Look and Alexa Notifications AT MICROSOFT: Designer for voice and multimodal interfaces on Windows Automotive and Cortana Conversational AI for cloud business scenarios UX LONDON 2018 COMPUTER, WHO IS CHERYL? CHERYL PLATZ // @MUPPETAPHRODITE
  3. 3. CHERYL PLATZ // @MUPPETAPHRODITE VOICE USER INTERFACES ARE THE OLDEST NEW IDEA WE’VE ENCOUNTERED AS AN INDUSTRY.
  4. 4. Humans have developed the art of conversation for thousands of years. Speech is one of the first skills we learn, and one of the last we lose. TALE AS OLD AS TIME CHERYL PLATZ // @MUPPETAPHRODITEUX LONDON 2018
  5. 5. The accessibility benefits are vast, and not just limited to those with permanent accessibility challenges. UX LONDON 2018 Voice user interfaces leverage this experience to improve lives. CHERYL PLATZ // @MUPPETAPHRODITE
  6. 6. “ ” My wife passed away 4 years ago leaving me, not only a widow, but a widowed quadriplegic trying to survive on his own… Alexa has been a blessing beyond my imagination. She has given me an opportunity that I never thought would be possible. AMAZON ECHO REVIEW FROM MICHAEL DAVIS, FEB 2017 DESCRIBING ECHO’S AID IN HIS LIFE AS A QUADRIPLEGIC UX LONDON 2018 CHERYL PLATZ // @MUPPETAPHRODITE
  7. 7. UX LONDON 2018 CHERYL PLATZ // @MUPPETAPHRODITE IN JANUARY 2018, ONE IN SIX AMERICANS OWNED A SMART SPEAKER. SOURCE: NPR & Edison Research
  8. 8. By deconstructing today’s voice user interfaces, we’ll find 5 key opportunities on the path towards our future voice experiences. VUI: MAINSTREAM, BUT NOT MATURE CHERYL PLATZ // @MUPPETAPHRODITEUX LONDON 2018
  9. 9. Limited training data and an affluent user base excludes underrepresented groups with inaccuracy. UX LONDON 2018 Today’s voice interfaces are inherently biased. CHERYL PLATZ // @MUPPETAPHRODITE OPPORTUNITY 1
  10. 10. “ ” “…looking at race, I found that Caucasian speakers had by far the lowest error rate. African- American speakers and speakers with a mixed racial background had higher error rates. DR. RACHEL TATMAN, LINGUISTICS, UNIVERSITY OF WASHINGTON ON ACCURACY OF SIRI FOR VARIOUS DEMOGRAPHIC GROUPS KUOW, SEPTEMBER 19 2017 UX LONDON 2018 CHERYL PLATZ // @MUPPETAPHRODITE
  11. 11. GENDER Initial data collection is usually internal, and reflects tech demographics. ETHNICITY Training data expands to include early adopters, often affluent. This may exclude underrepresented ethnicities due to wage gaps. ACCENT The North American focus of most of today’s products mean we have yet to attain critical mass of training data for second-language speakers. UX LONDON 2018 DECONSTRUCTING VOICE UI BIAS CHERYL PLATZ // @MUPPETAPHRODITE
  12. 12. UX LONDON 2018 CHERYL PLATZ // @MUPPETAPHRODITE Biased Training Data Poor Accuracy for Excluded Groups High Attrition by Excluded Groups BIAS SPIRAL
  13. 13. WE MUST FIND A WAY TO BREAK THE BIAS SPIRAL, AND MAKE THE FUTURE OF VOICE UI VIABLE FOR ALL.
  14. 14. CHERYL PLATZ // @MUPPETAPHRODITE Open source speech science is coming, and you can help. Project Common Voice: voice.mozilla.org UX LONDON 2018
  15. 15. We are wasting resources re-implementing the same basic tasks on multiple systems. UX LONDON 2018 Today’s voice interfaces are reinventing the wheel. CHERYL PLATZ // @MUPPETAPHRODITE OPPORTUNITY 2
  16. 16. We have an ecosystem of voice assistants solving the same basic problems.
  17. 17. UX LONDON 2018
  18. 18. UX LONDON 2018 Complicated CHERYL PLATZ // @MUPPETAPHRODITEClip from Adobe vision video: “What if you had an intelligent agent for voice editing?”
  19. 19. Needless differentiation of common tasks may confuse and frustrate our customers. LET’S WORK TOWARDS STANDARDS CHERYL PLATZ // @MUPPETAPHRODITEUX LONDON 2018
  20. 20. UX LONDON 2018 CHERYL PLATZ // @MUPPETAPHRODITE
  21. 21. DO WE NEED ONE ASSISTANT TO RULE THEM ALL? UX LONDON 2018 CHERYL PLATZ // @MUPPETAPHRODITE
  22. 22. “ ” Through its collaboration with Microsoft, Amazon said, Alexa users will get answers to some of the same questions that Cortana can now answer – for instance, when is the next budget review with the boss? NICK WINGFIELD, NEW YORK TIMES AUGUST 30, 2017 ILLUSTRATION: MENGXIN LI UX LONDON 2018 CHERYL PLATZ // @MUPPETAPHRODITE
  23. 23. LET’S BUILD A CHOIR OF HARMONIOUS VOICE INTERFACES TOGETHER. UX LONDON 2018 CHERYL PLATZ // @MUPPETAPHRODITE
  24. 24. Alexa, Google Home and Cortana essentially allow only command-and-control scenarios, though recent advances show promise. UX LONDON 2018 Most voice UIs are barely conversational. CHERYL PLATZ // @MUPPETAPHRODITE OPPORTUNITY 3
  25. 25. IT LOOKS LIKE YOU MIGHT BE IN THE AWKWARD EARLY STAGES OF CONVERSATIONAL UI. CAN I HELP? PLEASE NO RUN AWAY UX LONDON 2018 CHERYL PLATZ // @MUPPETAPHRODITE
  26. 26. UX LONDON 2018 CHERYL PLATZ // @MUPPETAPHRODITE THERE’S BEEN RECENT PROGRESS… …BUT CONVERSATION IS MORE THAN A TRANSACTION.
  27. 27. AUDIBLE CUES PHYSICAL CUES UX LONDON 2018 Tone Speed Volume Pauses Filler Eye contact & gaze Flushing Posture Gesture A SPOKEN CONVERSATION IS MORE THAN WORDS CHERYL PLATZ // @MUPPETAPHRODITE
  28. 28. UX LONDON 2018 CHERYL PLATZ // @MUPPETAPHRODITEClip from “Her”: Warner Brothers / Anapurna Pictures
  29. 29. CONVERSATION REQUIRES TRUST. HUMANS BUILD TRUST OVER TIME. UX LONDON 2018 CHERYL PLATZ // @MUPPETAPHRODITE
  30. 30. VULNERABILITY COMPANIONSHIP Speech is more directly connected to our emotions, and that connection must be respected. Trust can lead to companionship, which could benefit many users who may be socially isolated. TRUST IS A DOUBLE-EDGED SWORD CHERYL PLATZ // @MUPPETAPHRODITEUX LONDON 2018
  31. 31. “ ” People have serious conversations with Siri. People talk to Siri about all kinds of things, including when they’re having a stressful day or have something serious on their mind. They turn to Siri in emergencies or when they want guidance on living a healthier life. APPLE JOB POSTING, SIRI SOFTWARE ENGINEER, HEALTH AND WELLNESS APRIL 4, 2017 UX LONDON 2018 CHERYL PLATZ // @MUPPETAPHRODITE
  32. 32. UX LONDON 2018 CHERYL PLATZ // @MUPPETAPHRODITEMicrosoft AI Xiaoice Demo – May 22, 2018
  33. 33. “Microsoft has turned Xiaoice, which is Chinese for “little Bing,” into a friendly bot that has convinced some of its users that the bot is a friend or a human being.” The Verge May 22, 2018 COMPANIONSHIP IS CALLING CHERYL PLATZ // @MUPPETAPHRODITEUX LONDON 2018
  34. 34. “ ” The other night, I found Gary playing his own version of a memory game with Alexa. He was trying to come up with songs he remembered and hadn't heard for awhile and would ask her to play them. AMAZON ECHO REVIEW FROM ALEX S. DESCRIBING ECHO’S AID IN HUSBAND’S STRUGGLE WITH PARKINSON’S UX LONDON 2018 CHERYL PLATZ // @MUPPETAPHRODITE
  35. 35. UX LONDON 2018 CHERYL PLATZ // @MUPPETAPHRODITEClip from “Her”: Warner Brothers / Anapurna Pictures
  36. 36. ▪ How can we (ethically) model a relationship over time? ▪ What information is saved, and for how long? ▪ What level of transparency and control is required? ▪ Does the assistant’s personality adapt, or remain fixed? ▪ How does politeness (or lack thereof) affect interactions? UX LONDON 2018 WHAT DOES A RELATIONSHIP LOOK LIKE? CHERYL PLATZ // @MUPPETAPHRODITE
  37. 37. We have a responsibility to clearly inform customers when they are speaking to conversational AI, and to allow them to opt out. Any hope of building trust with customers – and as an industry – requires we respect a customer’s right to choose. CONVERSATIONAL CONSENT MATTERS. CHERYL PLATZ // @MUPPETAPHRODITEUX LONDON 2018
  38. 38. Creative and large-scale tasks aren’t meaningfully supported. UX LONDON 2018 Voice interfaces don’t yet help us with complex work. CHERYL PLATZ // @MUPPETAPHRODITE OPPORTUNITY 4
  39. 39. UX LONDON 2018 CHERYL PLATZ // @MUPPETAPHRODITE
  40. 40. ENVIRONMENT Not all productivity tasks occur in secure or isolated spaces, especially with the advent of open workspaces. USER TAXONOMIES Customer-defined object names aren’t guaranteed to be acoustically unique. DESIRABILITY We don’t yet fully understand what tasks customers are willing to complete without visual confirmation. UX LONDON 2018 MAJOR PRODUCTIVITY CHALLENGES CHERYL PLATZ // @MUPPETAPHRODITE
  41. 41. Provide peace of mind via monitoring Solve “needle in a haystack” knowledge problems WHERE TO START WITH VOICE PRODUCTIVITY?
  42. 42. Contextual manipulation Conversational authoring Help customers identify the object they need from large data asets using semantic identifiers, rather than names. Create and edit new documents from scratch – by describing the content, instead of navigating UI. FUTURE OF VOICE PRODUCTIVITY CHERYL PLATZ // @MUPPETAPHRODITEUX LONDON 2018
  43. 43. Alexa for Business announcement November 30, 2017 UX LONDON 2018 VOICE IN BUSINESS IS COMING… SOON? CHERYL PLATZ // @MUPPETAPHRODITE
  44. 44. To fully realize technology’s potential, we must design flexible cross-modal systems from the ground up. UX LONDON 2018 We have multiple input modalities, but few multimodal systems. CHERYL PLATZ // @MUPPETAPHRODITE OPPORTUNITY 5
  45. 45. Voice interfaces do change lives for customers who were not well served by primarily visual UI. However, we shouldn’t leave the deaf and others with auditory impairments behind in our march towards a bold new world. MULTIMODALITY MAXIMIZES INCLUSIVENESS CHERYL PLATZ // @MUPPETAPHRODITEUX LONDON 2018
  46. 46. SEQUENTIAL SIMULTANEOUS UX LONDON 2018 Multiple input modalities are supported, but only one at a time. Ideally, state is saved upon changing input – but not always. Support for multiple input modalities at once, which can be processed in tandem to accomplish more in real time. Example: Pointing to a spot on a map and saying “How do I get there?” MODELS OF MULTIMODAL INTERACTIVITY CHERYL PLATZ // @MUPPETAPHRODITE
  47. 47. CORTANA: SEQUENTIAL MULTIMODALITY Switch back and forth between voice and touch as preferred UX LONDON 2018 CHERYL PLATZ // @MUPPETAPHRODITE
  48. 48. ECHO SHOW: PARTIAL SEQUENTIAL MULTIMODALITY Not all tasks can be launched via touch. Once you’ve started with voice, some tasks support touch. UX LONDON 2018 CHERYL PLATZ // @MUPPETAPHRODITE
  49. 49. Centralized state Customer state in a specific scenario is stored globally, to allow seamless switches between devices and input modalities. Highly contextual Customer’s most recent input mode Time of day Current location Ambient noise levels Adaptive output Content scales to match the output medium: spoken prompts shorter than written prompts. Guide customer to most likely input success. UX LONDON 2018 SIMULTANEOUSLY MULTIMODAL SYSTEMS CHERYL PLATZ // @MUPPETAPHRODITE
  50. 50. As our systems evolve to accept multiple input modalities, so too should we expand how we think about output, both active and passive. Pixels (2D) Polygons (3D) LEDs & Lighting Speech Earcons Music Haptics WHAT ABOUT MULTIMODAL OUTPUT? CHERYL PLATZ // @MUPPETAPHRODITEUX LONDON 2018
  51. 51. VOICE DESIGNERS: EXPLORE SOUND BEYOND SPEECH Not all problems are best solved with speech output. Smart audio design can leave the speech to the complex scenarios. CHERYL PLATZ // @MUPPETAPHRODITEUX LONDON 2018
  52. 52. IN A WORLD OF AR AND VR, SIMULTANEOUS MULTIMODALITY WILL BECOME EVEN MORE IMPACTFUL.
  53. 53. WHAT AWAITS US IN A FUTURE OF VOICE UI?
  54. 54. ENHANCED PRODUCTIVITY
  55. 55. MULTIMODAL ADAPTIVITY
  56. 56. INCLUSION AND COMPANIONSHIP
  57. 57. UX LONDON 2018 CHERYL PLATZ // @MUPPETAPHRODITEClip from Star Trek IV: The Voyage Home / Paramount Pictures
  58. 58. UX LONDON 2018 With responsible design, voice user interfaces will unlock new opportunities and a new era in human empowerment. Ready to start? Join my workshop this afternoon: “Giving voice to your voice designs”. CHERYL PLATZ // @MUPPETAPHRODITE
  59. 59. LET’S BUILD A FUTURE OF VOICE INTERFACES WHERE OUR HUMANITY IS AMPLIFIED, NOT ATROPHIED. CHERYL PLATZ // @MUPPETAPHRODITEUX LONDON 2018UX LONDON 2018
  60. 60. May the voice be with you. http://ideaplatz.com CHERYL PLATZ Owner, IDEAPLATZ -- Principal Designer, MICROSOFT Twitter & Medium: @MuppetAphrodite CHERYL PLATZ // @MUPPETAPHRODITEUX LONDON 2018

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