CNET's Next Big Thing at CES 2016: Is typing dead? | CNET
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CNET's Next Big Thing at CES 2016: Is typing dead?

From Siri to Cortana, Google Now to Amazon's Alexa, voice recognition is the new normal. Does that mean the keyboard is an endangered species?

  • max.taves 1/6/2016 11:15:23 PM
    Hey folks, It's Max here at CNET and we're 15 minutes away from beginning of the Next Big Thing's panel on whether typing is dead. Stay tuned...
  • max.taves 1/6/2016 11:32:57 PM
    This panel is going to begin any minute now but for some background on the trend read Tim Steven's primer here ---->

    CNET's Next Big Thing at CES asks: Is typing dead? - CNET

    CNETOur supersession is one of the most popular events at CES. This year, we're looking at the future of interacting with our digital world. Catch it at 3:30 p.m. PT on January 6.
  • James Martin 1/6/2016 11:33:44 PM
  • max.taves 1/6/2016 11:34:53 PM
    Here we go!
  • max.taves 1/6/2016 11:35:17 PM
    Brian Cooley (@BrianCooley) and Tim Stevens (@Tim_Stevens) of CNET are in the house.
  • James Martin 1/6/2016 11:35:42 PM
  • max.taves 1/6/2016 11:36:07 PM
    Brian Cooley: How many of you are on your keyboards right now? We're still in that world.
  • max.taves 1/6/2016 11:36:14 PM
    Oh wait, Siri is here.
  • max.taves 1/6/2016 11:37:02 PM
    The actual voice of Siri -- Susan Bennett -- just took the stage.
  • James Martin 1/6/2016 11:37:28 PM
  • max.taves 1/6/2016 11:37:37 PM
    Susan Bennett says in 2005 for four hours a day began recording 1,000s of phrases solely for sounds, not content.
  • max.taves 1/6/2016 11:38:01 PM
    Siri (aka Susan Bennett) says she had to read some really strange sounds to get Siri prep'd for prime time.
  • James Martin 1/6/2016 11:38:16 PM
  • max.taves 1/6/2016 11:38:19 PM
    Brian Cooley asks Susan Bennett how she became Siri.
  • max.taves 1/6/2016 11:38:23 PM
    Siri: I don't know.
  • max.taves 1/6/2016 11:38:33 PM
    Brian Cooley: That sounds like a Siri response!
  • max.taves 1/6/2016 11:38:48 PM
    Um, yeah, it really does IMHO.
  • James Martin 1/6/2016 11:39:01 PM
  • max.taves 1/6/2016 11:39:16 PM
    "We didn't really know where our voices would end up," says Susan Bennett when she began recording her voice.
  • James Martin 1/6/2016 11:39:32 PM
  • max.taves 1/6/2016 11:40:14 PM
    We're watching a CNET video on the history of typing and the QWERTY keyboard now narrated by Brian Cooley.
  • max.taves 1/6/2016 11:40:52 PM
    Powerful natural voice recognition is becoming widespread, says Cooley. It's going beyond a novelty.
  • max.taves 1/6/2016 11:41:29 PM
    We're here to find out how we get out of QWERTY's long shadow, says Cooley.
  • max.taves 1/6/2016 11:41:53 PM
    Wendy Ju, executive director for interaction design research at Stanford, has just taken the stage.
  • max.taves 1/6/2016 11:42:14 PM
    Pattie Maes, the department head at MIT's Media Lab, is here as well.
  • max.taves 1/6/2016 11:43:15 PM
    And Vlad Sejnoha, CTO of Nuance Communications, is speaking now.
  • James Martin 1/6/2016 11:43:18 PM
  • max.taves 1/6/2016 11:43:48 PM
    Marcus Behrendt, head of user experience at BMW, is another panelist.
  • James Martin 1/6/2016 11:44:17 PM
  • max.taves 1/6/2016 11:44:48 PM
    Pattie Maes runs a group at MIT focused on new ways of interacting with our digital devices. "They're with us 24/7. We check them a 100 or more times a day, but the way we interact with them is" still simplistic, she says. "We're tying to come up with totally different ways of interacting with them."
  • James Martin 1/6/2016 11:45:02 PM
  • max.taves 1/6/2016 11:46:05 PM
    Siri just said voice control is the superior form of human-computer interaction. Thanks, Siri.
  • max.taves 1/6/2016 11:46:44 PM
    Find me the closest casino, Tim Stevens tells a car in a video onstage right now.
  • max.taves 1/6/2016 11:47:20 PM
    Can voice get even better? And what are the new applications of voice control? And what comes next? Those are the big questions the panel is looking at now.
  • max.taves 1/6/2016 11:47:38 PM
    Why did it take so long before voice become useable, asks Stevens.
  • max.taves 1/6/2016 11:48:30 PM
    BMW's Behrendt says one reason was computer power, or a lack thereof.
  • James Martin 1/6/2016 11:48:42 PM
  • max.taves 1/6/2016 11:49:10 PM
    Nuance's Sejnoha says processors are powerful enough in cars to allow for voice control to be as good or better as other devices.
  • James Martin 1/6/2016 11:49:30 PM
  • max.taves 1/6/2016 11:49:37 PM
    We've been average a 20% reduction in the error rate for the last 10+ years, says Sejnoha.
  • max.taves 1/6/2016 11:50:15 PM
    Stanford's Ju: Once you have multiple things that use speech recognition it becomes confusing what you're talking to.
  • James Martin 1/6/2016 11:50:40 PM
  • max.taves 1/6/2016 11:51:26 PM
    MIT's Maes': "In addition to the privacy problem, you have the problem that speaking isn't a very efficient way of communicating. Natural language is actually quite ambiguous."
  • James Martin 1/6/2016 11:51:33 PM
  • max.taves 1/6/2016 11:51:47 PM
    That means that speech will be relegated to controlling only certain applications, says MIT's Maes.
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