Why weird internet genius Nicole He is bullish on voice technology - Technical.ly Brooklyn


Nov. 10, 2017 12:44 pm

Why weird internet genius Nicole He is bullish on voice technology

“We’re in what I’m going to call The 1996 Web Design Era of voice technology,” said He. She’s behind a new game that toys with the creative side of Google Home.

"Mystery Animal" is a game for Google Home.

(Screenshot via YouTube)

We’re not even in the GeoCities era of voice technology yet, says Google technologist Nicole He.

He and cocreator Nick Jonas (no) just released a fun and open source game called Mystery Animal, which is a bit like 20 questions for the AI and can be played on Google Home. It seems like a cool game, but what’s most interesting, according to He, is the idea that voice technology and artificial intelligence can be used for weird, fun stuff rather than just efficiencies.

In Mystery Animal, the computer picks an animal and you ask it questions to guess what it is.

“We’re in what I’m going to call The 1996 Web Design Era of voice technology. The web was created for something practical (sharing information between scientists), but it didn’t take very long for people to come up with strange and creative things to do with it,” He wrote on a post on Medium. “The rules haven’t totally been written, and it’s kind of a mess. But this isn’t a bad thing. Like with all new technologies that came before, the messiness means that there is space for creative programmers and artists to come in and make interesting things with voice interaction.”

Creative technology is He’s specialty. Previously a graduate student at NYU’s ITP program, she’s created a bunch of cool computer stuff, including a computer that surveys the universe and creates an art project for its human to execute and an unfamiliar cat petting simulator.

Her whole post is worth a read.

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