Next generation Google voice search


Being a CEO on the go, I use Google search quite a bit. I love that “she” (Google voice search) talks back to me with the answer which allows me to continue to focus on my task at hand. The ideal search is one that is almost like conversing with a human. AI is getting to the point where it understands what we need and want to search for.

Currently, if I want to know something that Google hasn’t found a definitive answer for, I get silence. This is when I know that I have asked for information that I will need to stop, put on my glasses and read the many web entries. Everything was going great until……silence. The relationship just broke down. In any relationship, silence isn’t always golden, and when it comes to Google Voice Search, silence means “she” is broken. Google, talk to me, but no, I get the silent treatment.

Progress towards real AI would be so that Google would continue the conversation. Here is an example.

Me: “Google, how can I make a music video?”
Google: Silence
Instead, let’s keep the conversation going.

Me: “Google, how can I make a music video?”
Google: “What kind of music video do you want to make?”¬† (Google just asks predefined questions: “What kind?” “Where?” “How?” “Why?”)
Me: “I want to make a Latin music video.”
Google: “Would you like me to change our conversation to Spanish?”
Me: “No, just tell me where to go to make a music video.”
Google: “Do you want to make a music video here or somewhere else?”
Me: “I want to make one here.”
Google: “Why do you want to make one here?”
Me: “Because I just do.”
Google: “Do you want a list of recording companies?”
Me: “No, I want to use YouTube.”
Google: “Ok, let me search for some YouTube music video how to sites.” (Google is simply taking my answers and forcing me to give “her” more defined answers.)
Me: “Great, can you email me the list.”
Google: “Sure, Gill (add name of the Google account holder), do you want me to send it now?”
Me: “Yes, send it now.”
Google: “Ok, I will send it, Do you want to talk some more, or are we done?” (personal and almost real)
Me: “We are done.”
Google: “Ok, goodbye, let me know if you need anything else.” (again, personal and almost like an assistant)

What we want to do, is to keep the user engaged. As we all know, images are very powerful, but now an actual voice is even more powerful; it is conversational. In this era of virtual everything, we desire that our virtual relationships take on an almost human interaction. AI can be friendly. It can be inquisitive, simply mirroring our questions like a good therapist. The therapist doesn’t need to have the answers, they simply need to learn how to rephrase our own questions so that it make us think and solve our own problems. The beauty is, we don’t even realize it.

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