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Voice First/AI/Voice Assistants

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Voice First/AI/Voice Assistants

Six Aging and Health Blog Posts from the Prolific Month of June 2022

The Meta Pixel problem – who would have thought? Never a dull moment in tech world. Meta (how tiresome, we know it is Facebook) has been sending patient data from hospital systems back to Facebook (appointments, doctor, and a host of other patient-specific data) through the use of a tracking pixel.   Results from a study identifying the problem are now published, and the first of possibly multiple lawsuits are being file for mishandling personal patient data. The point of the pixel was to help in tracking consumer responses to advertising. Like many privacy violations and data misuse on the Internet, consumers are usually powerless other than voting with our feet. With this lawsuit, coupled with government attempts to crack down on big tech, is the tide is turning? 

Voice and AI – Better Together for Older Adults – New Report

Voice assistants made device hardware actually seem smart. By 2018, more technology (and associated improvements) could be found in the Cloud. Besides these invisible upgrades, the voice assistant technology has been continually improving – and if the user could be made aware of those improvements (a BIG IF), they might find them to be very useful. Consider voice-enabled smart plugs, thermostats, audio books, traffic directions, weather, and news updates – and answers to questions that might matter about health, social connection, and personal safety. Today 95 million million US adults have smart speakers and 85% of US adults own a smartphone. Both platforms are now in position to deliver value and benefit to older users -- and thus the opportunity to speak and be heard.

The State of Voice-AI and Older Adults 2022

Substantial improvements in voice and AI software will be required to enable the older adult population to fully accept and benefit from the more complex capabilities of smart speakers and voice assistants.

Isn't it time for a Voice-enabled Tech Concierge?

Tech complexity for new users is getting worse. And it’s pretty obvious to anyone who is paying attention to Apple new releases, new versions of Android phones and other apps like Spotify. And then there’s the PC that runs out of memory – just encountered yesterday. You want to see what that means by checking the manual.  How naïve.  No manual.  So you do what everyone who has just encountered an error message does.  You search the tech forums, find the example of what happened and voilà, there’s the fix. Certainly that must be what senior living residents and older adults living at home do, not to mention the of-course sizable tech staff working in senior living and elder care. Oops.

The future of voice first and older adults as seen in 2018 -- did it happen?

Design improvements that benefit all will benefit older adults and caregivers. Unlike niche hardware and software for seniors, basic Voice First platforms and software will change rapidly and without disruption for users – accompanied by a ‘What’s New’ weekly email and a few suggestions on new tricks to try – but the changes behind the front-facing features will make the most difference. With the 2018 lens to guide the market today, here are a few ways the user experience and thus the ecosystem should have ratcheted upwards:

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