The Rise of Digital Personal Assistants

Living in a cave for the last few years would save you from hearing Alexa, get me this and Siri, what’s the weather in Cairo?  For those, like myself, who user digital personal assistants, when they work they are wonderful.  When the slightest hiccup occurs, they are monstrously annoying.

Does everyone need a digital personal assistant?  Yes – that’s my short answer.  But not really – that’s my slightly longer answer.  Nascent technology is buggy.  It doesn’t always work well and has frustrating limits.  It suffers from hardware upgrades that cost money.  There’s a learning curve that takes time.  For techy people, this is welcomed.  For most people, it has to simply work … and work well.

At my house I have three Amazon Echos, one Google Home and a bunch of Apple tablets and phones running Siri.  Often, I tell everyone they will use a digital personal assistant at least once per day for one specific function.  And more so, that use will replace its former method.  For example, I ask Alexa and Google for the weather daily, and now I dislike looking at the weather on an app.

I also have a wife and two young children at home.  Both of my children can’t read (yet) and they love being able to tell Alexa and Google to play their favorite songs.  Their friends all seem to have one or at least know how to communicate with it.  It’s interesting hearing other young children request random songs.

So why don’t you have one?  Maybe you feel your phone provides a suitable digital personal assistant?  Maybe you feel it’s a waste of money?  Maybe you don’t know why you don’t want one.  I say get one, stick it in your kitchen and see what happens.

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