In our homes, in our cars, and in our workplaces, everywhere we look conversational user interfaces (CUIs) are infiltrating our daily lives. CUIs have the ability to track patterns of behavior, detect changes in conversations, and reveal our innermost thoughts simply by looking into our eyes. And we can’t get enough. As we barrel our way towards a future of dependency, we should start asking ourselves to what end. How far will we go? Will we rely on CUIs to assist us in all decision making and interaction? Will we allow this technology to help us at every turn, and if we do so, will we forget how to make sound decisions on our own?
I ask these questions because I don’t want to see this technology remove us from a place of authenticity. One where we forget ourselves in the process. Where we become more detached from our inner compass, our intuition. That feeling that allows us to react in realtime to people and to our surroundings. I don’t want us to become numb to the world and miss out on all the things it’s trying to teach us.
As a designer, I see my role as a gatekeeper. I have the opportunity to put the human pieces back into these technologies and set standards for how we interact with CUIs in the future. Hopefully, I’ll get my chance.