Volley Co-Founder Says Industry ‘Went Wrong’ by Coupling Voice Control With ‘Imaginary Humans’ (Podcast)

Volley Co-Founder Max Child sees a vast future for voice control in the tech world, but says the industry is “making a mistake” by conflating voice control with “imaginary people,” like Siri. and Alexa.

“We made a little mistake as an industry that tied voice control so tightly to imaginary people and little cylinders sitting on your desk,” Bata said on TheWrap’s “Tech vs Media” podcast with host Richard Wolpert. “I think speech recognition is actually very good, and I think you can do a lot of simple tasks on your computer, on your phone. [and] with these smart home devices you don’t need to have an imaginary person living inside your devices.

As the technology surrounding voice control and AI advances rapidly, Bata identifies Siri and voice control on Apple devices in particular as one aspect that “holds back” the service by “over-promising and not providing” voice control capabilities.

“Once people realize that any voice-controlled interface has to have an imaginary human AI assistant, I think you open yourself up to like, ‘Well, this person has to be able to respond. to any question that a human can answer,’ which is a pretty broad range of things,” explained Child, adding that the human component can encourage users to ask follow- up question that AI is not programmed to answer.

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On the other hand, Bata sees Siri on Apple TV as a “better experience,” because the format limits users’ expectations of AI to just volume control and programming — similar to Alexa’s playback function. and music.

Child, whose company Volley creates voice-controlled games such as “Song Quiz” and “Yes Sir,” predicts that voice control will become part of every “computing device in [users’] live in five to 10 years” — including virtual reality.

“When we enter an AR, VR mirror universe, it’s crazy not to think that you can talk to devices and do a lot of things… using your voice,” said Bata, adding that even cars will adopt voice control features. “The market for me is like all computing devices – that doesn’t mean we’ll be successful in all computing devices – but I think the penetration is real ubiquity.”

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For the co-founder, adopting voice control is an intuitive step for tech because “speaking is still the most natural way to kind of communicate anything … to show your beliefs or your worldly desires.”

“Computers have evolved to fit humans to be more intuitive to humans,” he said. “It seems pretty straightforward that we use voice to interact with our computing devices. It’s just about how you get the software and the voice recognition to work well, in a way where it’s easy to use [and] it’s as easy to use as a touchscreen.”

Listen to the full episode below.

Episode highlights:

  • Max Child breaks down Volley’s goal to be “the homepage for voice control games, on all kinds of devices”

  • Max Child walks through the accessibility that comes with voice control programs

  • Max Child examines how voice control and the game’s creative AI features can interact

  • Max Child predicted that Alexa could be driving sales for Amazon Music

  • Max Child explains why he thinks Siri on Apple TV is a “better experience” than Siri on iPhone

  • Max Child acknowledges that the industry is going through a transition from “deterministic programming to AI and machine learning driven programming”

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About “Tech vs Media”

In each episode of “Tech vs Media,” host Richard Wolpert – who has decades of technology and media experience as an executive, founder of tech companies, venture capitalist and philanthropist – and one of his most respected guests will reveal enlightening lessons and provide their insightful perspective on the movers, creators, disruptors and innovators shaping the future of media and technology and how these industries will intertwine with each other. .

New episodes of “Tech vs Media” drop weekly. Click here for all episodes.

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