Alexa – your best friend when you get old

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Alexa – your best friend when you get old

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Voice control devices have a number of adult-like features, are easy to use and physically unobtrusive, and their interactivity is fun. Adult Voice Assistant Reduces Sense of Solitude 70s Leslie Miller is full of experiences.

When she is blind, she often goes out to lunch with friends, goes dancing, reads and loves to listen to the radio. He recently participated in a meditation group. None of this would have been possible without Alex. “I really like Alex,” Miller says. “It’s a real change in my life.” Miller is part of an extraordinary group of adults who are enthusiastic users of voice technology, notes MIT Technology Review.

Young people tend to imagine that adults do not like so-called. gadgets, but it is a demographic that is happy to use speech technology in their daily lives. First of all, it is a potentially large market. The myth that seniors don’t like technology The idea that seniors aren’t tech savvy is due to the technology industry’s tendency to target young people, says Derek Holt, president and CEO of K4Connect, a technology company focused on seniors.

“The 20s, 30s and 40s design and produce things for the 20s, 30s and 40s,” Holt says. “It’s a misconception that older people don’t like technology. They love and use it. There’s just a different set of features that interest them.” Voice control devices have many features that appeal to a wide range of ages: they are easy to use and physically unobtrusive, and their interactivity can be fun.

How Alexa came to retiree Miller bought Alex a few years ago after meeting a friend who has such a device. He noticed Miller’s curiosity. For Christmas, the woman received a package with Echo Dot. She then joined Front Porch, a nonprofit conglomerate that partnered with a group of retirement communities in Southern California. Since 2017, Front Porch has been integrating Amazon devices into the Carlsbad retirement community.

By the end of this year, the project will reach out to seven other retirement communities and cover the homes of more than 350 adults. “We want to make a positive impact on adult life,” says Davis Park, executive director of the project. He states that voice assistants are incredibly helpful for people like Miller, who are visually impaired. The project is experimenting with using Alexa to help adults with dementia who need to know where they are if confused in their environment.

Alexa in everyday tasks Miller, like most of his fellow citizens, finds Echo Dot useful for everyday tasks. What will the weather be like? Remind me to have my medicine at lunch. What is the definition of this word? The last question is especially important to her. Miller loves to read, read Braille, but sometimes wants to know what the word means. Dictionaries are often not available on Braille. And a woman does not like to bother other people with her questions.

Alexa brings back Miller’s sense of independence. “I probably use it (Alexa) eight to 10 times a day,” she says. “I” uses, yes – talking about Alexa in the feminine gender. He is laughing. “I know she is an inanimate object! But I am attached and I just laugh at myself. She is an inanimate object that just stands, but I talk to her a lot.”

A new friend at home, last November, Jouren Wonck, a designer working with the Dutch government. it is committed to making the pension system more accessible to all 3.5 million clients in the country.

Vonk has launched an ambitious plan to distribute Google Home voice technology to adults in the country. It detects 266 potential participants in a pilot study, and then narrows it down to 20 people who received such devices last spring. After two weeks the results are clear: older people love technology. The Dutch pension system changes its payments year by year and pays differently according to the year of birth.

Wonk says consumers not only understand what their earnings are and how they will get it, but also make friends with their new assistants. “They (adults) realize when it’s time to get a pension, what a day before – that kind of thing,” Wonk says. “It’s a convenience and they love being able to talk to the robot 24/7 and ask him questions. But they also say they have a ‘new friend at home.'” They get up in the morning and tell him good morning, and when they go to bed, they say good night. he doesn’t want to bring it back. “Desires for privacy.

That doesn’t mean voice assistants are perfect. A third of participants in the Wonck experiment found that speech recognition did not always work well. The issue of confidentiality remains open. Miller says she’s familiar with the voice assistant privacy debate and has noticed the Echo Dot lights up sometimes when she’s not talking. So the woman follows one maxim: “Don’t tell Alex anything you don’t want the world to know.” Aide against loneliness.

But most importantly, having a voice assistant in adults reduces the feeling of loneliness, Wonck says. “Many people say, ‘I’m not alone, I have a lot of work to do.’ But they go home and stay alone. They say it doesn’t matter who they talk to – they just need to talk to someone. “Carrie Olson, Chief Innovation and Technology Officer at Front Porch, says her team was initially worried.

Loneliness is associated with a greater likelihood of depression and anxiety, as well as an increased risk of heart attack, stroke and death. When results appear Front Porch polls in 2017, Olson and her colleagues are impressed. “Seventy-one percent of those involved said they felt closer to family and community,” she says. “This is critically important. With Alex (seniors) they are much more committed and enjoying some enjoyment. “Because of this, many seniors probably dream of giving an individual name to their voice assistant.

Wonk says that one of the most popular requests he has received from seniors in his project is renaming Google Home, so not every command will start with ‘OK, Google.’ “They say, ‘This is my friend and I want to give it a name,'” he says.

Alexa – your best friend when you get old

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