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My parents bought a new car

Yesterday, my mom, my little brother and I, went on a trip from Paris to Brussels . My mom was excited to show off our new car “It’s even got heated seats”! Fine, the car was well equipped for the  long journey, but we started having problems very soon. When we tried to do little things like defog the windscreen, everyone was very confused!

Everything can be controlled through a touch screen. This is an evolution, after the dashboard with all those buttons. But the screen isn’t really either natural or instinctive. Yes, they have removed  the multitude of buttons and the “one button, one action” system, but they’ve added the complexity of understanding the interface. Now you have to remember the path to find your button,  use the right pressure on the screen to get what you want and all of this when you’re driving.

SAP Conversational AI - car dashboard

So when my mom wanted to defog the windscreen, she needed my little brother to help. He had read the whole manual the day before. After a few attempts at navigating the interface, he  finally managed to  trigger the air in the right place.

I don’t blame the graphic interface or the touch screen, it was no easier with the last car and all its buttons.

But evolution and innovation are supposed to make our lives simpler, right?  And remove daily frustrations between humans and machines.

Machines are complex, but interfaces shouldn’t  be.



The CUI: the first intelligent interface

It’s difficult to imagine a future totally without GUIs (Graphical User Interface), but this will come to an end. With Conversational User Interfaces (CUI), human-machine interaction will be changed forever.

In CUI, conversations means natural conversations, those everyday human exchanges. The CUI is more than just speech recognition, it’s an intelligent interface.

Intelligent”  because it’s a real process with an input, a memorization, a true comprehension and a final decision; it doesn’t  just recognize the words as a text transcription. It’s not like talking slowly to Siri, or another app, it’s about talking to the interface.

This is going to be the next big innovation, for one simple reason: human nature.

CUI will know that when you say, “I would like to see the Doctor tomorrow,” that what you need is to find a doctor, book an appointment and add the event  to your calendar. No more devices, new apps, or keyboards, just natural speech. This will change people’s lives 🙂

With these interfaces we won’t have to adapt to the machine anymore. Machines will learn and understand our natural language, they will adapt to us.

Nothing to install, nothing to configure—just flow. Conversational apps are therefore organized around the way I organize my life, rather than the way the app maker might dictate.

Chris Messina2016 will be the year of conversational commerce


My parents’ next car

conversational user interface SAP Conversational AI - car

So, let’s just imagine my Mom’s next car with its conversational user interface.

No time consuming manual reading. No frustration when she’ll need to defog or turn the heater on.

She will just ask her car, and the car will not only do what she wants, it will learn and remember her preferences.

Driving will be safer, interacting with a screen is like using your phone: dangerous, and ridiculously tempting.

My little brother won’t have to teach my mom how to use tech anymore, it will be “natural”. She will interact with her car like all other devices, her phone, her watch, her home.

Tomorrow we will have more time to spend on more creative things.

See you there!

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