Talk to me

There’s an explosion of speech interfaces for computers, smartphones, and other devices. None of them would pass the Turing Test, a classic test for determining whether a computer is thinking and responding as a human would. However, developers around the world are enhancing conversational user interfaces (CUIs) to mimic human response.

Text by Don DePalma


Image: ©AH68/

Billions of people around the world would benefit from a human-machine interface that requires no training, specialized hardware, or skills beyond being able to talk and listen. The mission: To enable conversational interactions with machines like those we’ve seen for decades in Star Trek or Star Wars.

Computers underpin the modern world, adding intelligence to everything from the most mundane household appliances to sophisticated power grids. The nature of computers is changing. Embedded in smartphones and activity trackers, they enable communications with others and monitor our movements and rest. As the cost, size, and complexity of computer chips continue to shrink, computer-powered devices will find their way into even more applications as the Internet of Things (IoT) expands to help us control, compute, connect, and even care for us throughout every aspect of our daily lives.

Wha ...