What should be un-invented?
BEN CUMMING, GENERAL MANAGER OF HELL PIZZA
Should we get rid of voice recognition technology—or at least park it for now, until it’s accurate enough to actually be a reliable benefit instead of the amusing gimmick it currently is?
We would love one day to simply tell our iwatch to “order me a double Lust to be delivered ASAP” and, hey presto, 30 minutes later a hot pizza arrives to your location from your favourite store. But would anyone be confident enough that it would work to actually use it? Plus, with pizza names like Lust, Mayhem, and Mischief, who knows what Hell’s customers would end up seeing on their doorstep? Nothing in life makes people angrier than a late pizza, apart from one that never even arrives, so the risk far outweighs the rewards for any real life marketing or ordering purpose at the moment.
Don’t get me wrong, I’ve impressed my grandma by casually asking my phone “what’s the weather forecast for today?” but I’ve also had the realisation while driving that since my attempt at voice-dialing a contact has failed three times and now I’m scrolling through my contacts manually, I’m actually still breaking the law and way more distracted than if I had just used my phone normally.
So, should we un-invent voice recognition? Nope. Embracing technology, even when it’s not ready, is a pledge we all must make because it encourages (and funds) companies to create technological innovations and advancements that will one day become perfect to use and second nature to us.
Mobile phones are the obvious example. Originally massive and hideously expensive and now impossible to live without. So we should pay homage to the ‘80s yuppies who put themselves through the financial pain and retrospective humiliation of buying and using their Motorola bricks; we probably wouldn’t have smartphones now if it weren’t for their commitment to technology.
Until it’s honed and genuinely useful, voice recognition is just frustrating and nothing more than a fun feature used to sell phones, but hey, let’s just keep buying them until they get it right because one day we’ll wonder how we coped without it.