Conclusion

How can humans and AI collaborate to help each other reach their full potentials?

Voice assistant technology is very young. It's understandable why we resort to anthropomorphising it - metaphors are how we process the world. Before flat design was a thing, skeuomorphism ruled the screen. What does flat design for voice assistants look and sound like?

Voice assistants are arguably the most human way we interact with AI. However, to apply human properties to voice assistants is a one-two punch to societal and technological progress: it minimises the richness of the human experience, as well as trivialises the immense potential of AI.

In the brief time I had to investigate the topic, two things stood out;

Firstly, that a lot of the difficulties people were facing with voice assistants were presumed to be technical shortcomings that would be solved over time. But it seems near impossible for it to be the case for everyone. A decentralised approach might be the more realistic way to go. 

Secondly, technology shapes society. I feel it is our responsibility as creators to embed forward-thinking values in the work we put out. I'd like to create the TARS of voice assistants rather than JOI. The difference is clear to me - TARS knows it's a robot, never pretends to be 'human' and aids in human discovery and learning.

If we go that route, the future of humans and voice assistants looks bright.