It’s still early days in voice (or “the Wild West”, as Jon Myers phrased it) and a lot of use cases are just being explored and developed. One such use case, or rather field, is education, or ‘the sleeping giant’ as I heard it being called at Amazon.
So, I hope I can trigger a bit of discussion here around how voice technology can be used to educate, and neighboring topics such as:
- What business models are possible around education and voice?
- Which technological capabilities are still missing?
- Which fields of education can benefit in particular from voice technology?
- Which existing use cases of conversational interfaces can inspire voice apps?
Two things that come to my mind are
Voice interfaces for knowledge bases
For example, there’s a ‘Simpleclub’ Skill in the German Alexa Skill store that lets users access a rich collection of educational videos on a wealth of topics especially in STEM courses.
Such a Skill would allow users to ask questions, provide answers and probably connect to other learners and/or subject matter experts. I’m not aware of a successful example of such a Skill, but my friend Dominik Bleilevens has developed a prototype of such a Skill, named ‘Sir Albert’.
Conversational language learning
This idea is very intuitive to me: Use a voice assistant to train oral communication, both in expression and comprehension. I’ve heard about this with conversational chatbots (or ‘socialbot’ as they are sometimes called) like Mitsuku, but obviously this is more about written communication. For oral comprehension you could imagine hearing a text in a voice app and then answering questions about it (‘Tricky Genie’ by Amy Stapleton), but it’s dfficult to image how it could work for expression, especially on an intent-based language model like with DialogFlow and Alexa.
So… Looking forward to hear your thoughts on this!