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How A Designer's 3-Year-Old Daughter Is Humanizing Google
By: Fast Company
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Whether you use OK Google, Siri, Alexa, or Cortana, you reach a point, sooner or later, when your voice assistant doesn't know what to do.

Sometimes, that's because you've phrased your command in an unexpected way: "Alexa, I could really go for some Van Halen right around now," instead of "Alexa, play Van Halen," for example. Other times, it's because you've asked the computer to do something it just doesn't have the capability to do. Either way, the user ends up going away thwarted, and the computer doesn't learn anything. For both user and computer, it's just a fail state, not a learning experience.

As design lead for all of Google's search products, Hector Ouilhet looks to his three-year-old daughter, Anna Julia, for inspiration on how Google can help solve this kind of problem.

Hector and Anna Julia don't always understand each other—Anna Julia is at an age when she likes to make up new words, and even a gesture as simple as pointing at the floor can have four or five different contextual meanings. Likewise, Anna Julia doesn't always understand what Hector expects of her. But Hector and Anna Julia figure out how to adapt to each other's needs.

The question that fills Hector's days is simple: How can Google be more like Anna Julia? Not just in the way Google responds to a user's request but in training users to view Google as an intelligent, learning, evolving entity. Just like a three-year-old.



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About the Author
This article was published on Fast Company. A link to the original piece appears after the post. www.fastcompany.com
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