Sunday, June 17, 2012

Art meet technology and wins! by Keikichi Honna

If my memory is correct, it was several years after "talking" ATM machines instructing customers with automated voice, complete with crude animation of a female bank teller bowing and saying "thank you for your business" had became ubiquitous, when a camera company started marketing a new product - a talking camera.  I was young and still ignorant of the pain of wearing eyeglasses all the time, so I didn't see the point.  My only thought was why it's always same old automated female voice.  Since they were only a handful of simple instructions, it should've been easy to implement different voices which users could select - male or female celebrities, or deep soothing voice of a veteran anchorman from NHK telling "say cheese" when pressing the shutter would be nice.  (It's still not too late for camera/toy campanies to implement voice of Justin Bieber, or Elmo in cameras.  I think they can sell)

Fast forward to 21st century comes SIRI.  As long as TV ads go, it seems possessing rudimentary conversational skills.  Considering its accessibility to a vast database, it may even pass Turing test sometime soon.  I'm sure right now someone mesmerized by "her" quick wit and intelligence is in love with Siri, and within a few years there will be, though just symbolic, a first ever wedding ceremony between a human and an i-phone.  (married life of a man and i-phone will be strictly Platonic, unless considering some form of phone sex, if it's even possible.  On the other hand relationship between a female and i-phone can be...)

I'm not interested in wasting time with cellphone for now, however when Siri is no longer Siri, but called Emily, Audry, or Tracy,
and implement the voice of impossibly adorable Zooey Deschanel, then, I may switch to a smartphone.  And I may even profess my unconditional affection toward said handheld device.  (Or Siri being Mikey with deep soothing voice of Mike Rowe, and I'll have some philosophical conversation with "him."  Voice of Elmo on Siri would cause sirious violence)

That wont happen.  I can't bear the thought of repeated rejection of my advance, or more precisely constantly denied access.
"Sorry Keikichi, what did you say?"  Or "Sorry, I can't understand."

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