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Video: Implications of a Speech UI

Learn more about VUI design at the next SpeechTEK conference.

Watch Diana Deibel's complete presentation from SpeechTEK 2019, C204. Say the Right Thing: VUI Design Ethics, in the SpeechTEK Video Portal.

Read the complete transcript of this clip:

Diana Deibel: Because we're in this forefront of creating these products, it's really important for us to ask the question: "Just because we can build something, should we? Do we really need to make this thing? What is it gonna look like if we do?"

When you have a speech UI, it's embedded with all of this humanity, speech and conversation are innately human. So we have to be cognizant of that. There's a lot that goes into that, which is awesome. Like it makes for all these great solutions to things like loneliness, addiction, all these really tough-to-handle topics but we also have to think about the reverse of that then.

What do we have to supply as designers, as creators of these products to uphold that relationship and that level of of humanity? If we're not ready to do that yet then we might not want to make that product. So a good sort of set of questions you can ask yourself, "Am I making the users' life better or just making the business more efficient?"

That's not to say that you can't do both. But it's always a good line to ask yourself. "Am I displacing someone's livelihood? Is that for the better and for whom? Is the outcome something that matches my values or is it against them?" That is, I think, probably the most important one because, obviously, like the ones above it have an opinion--the one about matching your values--you have to really figure it out, "Where is my, what's my right, what's my wrong? And am I willing to stand for this?"

If this were to go like, "If I were the creator of any number of the Facebook mishaps that have happened. Would I be willing to stand by that and say, 'Well no, here's why I did this. This was, the intent was here, I saw the outcomes, I knew this could go wrong but here's where I tried to stop it, here's the primers I put in place for that.'"

Think about the worst-case scenario. Are you willing to defend it? If you're not then you probably need to have a bigger conversation around that.

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