Humanization of Tech: It's About What Users Want and How They Work - HotHardware
Humanization of Tech: It's About What Users Want and How They Work

Humanization of Tech: It's About What Users Want and How They Work

Everyone's been kvelling over Siri since the iPhone 4GS was released a month ago. But Apple's "virtual personal assistant" is just the natural evolution of technology being built around our needs, wants and desires.

That's exactly why so much popular science fiction has been written around the idea that one day robots will tire of being our slaves and will rise up and rebel. "Terminator," "I, Robot," "Battlestar Galactica" (the new version) all show us what happens. So don't be surprised when Siri starts trying to boss you around.

It's interesting, though, because early technology was primarily introduced in an effort to get more work out of us. By making us more productive, more could get done. The printing press, the Industrial Revolution, computers - all developed to get things done faster and more efficiently than could be done by humans alone.

In the past 40 or 50 years, however, more and more technology has been created to cater to the needs of the individual.

Video games, cellular phones, smartphones, social networks - these all enable us to do things we want, moreso than what we need, to do. And technology is increasingly designed around how we do things, rather than making us learn how to do something entirely new.

This infographic from SocialCast takes a look at the inevitable march toward domination by our robot overloards. We already have Siri, robot-assisted surgeries, GPS that occasionally gives accurate directions, Pandora's music genome project and driverless cars. And even though driverless cars aren't in use yet, can they really do any worse than half the drivers on the road today?


  Source: SocialCast
0
+ -

"The chart is basically a page out of Steve Jobs manual for Apple's products. This is why they been so successful with the Ipad and the Iphone along with the help of technology evolving the way it has. Its not just cloning a device and slapping an OS to it. There is a lot of research and development going behind every product and best of all, is the people that have that drive and impulse that make things happen."

"@Amy , my point of view from this chart is not about Robot uprising and domination, rather how technology will keep simplifying the common things we do everyday and how companies will keep creating products that many wont need but cant live without because thats how the whole world will keep evolving"

"For example, a I'm a young man with a good amount of Tech knowledge and I rely on my smart phones, computers and social network to aid in my job and personal life. Without those, I would feel out of place and disconnected to the world. In contrast, for example , you have my Dad, who doesn't know how to use his phone to its full potential, he doesn't, know how send a text message, use the camera and take photos and video, and does not own a personal computer."

"Why, because for so many people its frustrating and intimidating to go through the learning curve to get the device to help them do the desire task. Thats why I understand Apple is the company that has it right. The Ipad is so simple to use with its touch interface and large icons. Turn it on and its ready to go.."

"Now, as for Siri , I get mad when people call it a simple gimmick. For example, in one episode of two and a half Geeks, where they took 10 minutes to bash Apple and the Iphone 4S, in the part where they brought up Siri, Marco talks about how some hackers in the Android community did a similar interface to Siri in like 8 hours. I was like laughing at that really. Thats like a slap to the face to the people that put in thousand of hours in effort to make Siri work as refined and simple as it does. 8 hours, really? I don't believe it one bit, they probably jacked a voice recognition program that was already out there and tweaked it to try and imitate as best as possible Siri, they even named it Iris."

"That right there is an example as to why Apple is a leader and will remain the leader and go to company for others to follow and clone unsuccessfully the user friendly experience that comes in their products. I repeat, its not about simply making a similar device and slapping an OS to it, its the simplistic and well laid out interface that people can immediately get used to, and re use again without any hassle. Want one more example, the Kindle Fire, more than a million pre orders, without any reviews or hands on experience. People want it easy."

0
+ -

Prime, thats a lot of words in the defense of apple. Siri is cool and all, but i for one dont really see a use it. yes android has been having voice commands for a while, but apple took it and made it a little more usable. The only time i actually see people using siri is when they are messing around with it with their friends.

Yes, people may want it easy, but what to you give up if you want everything easy? The easier a program or software is, you give up power of actually getting to do what you want with it. For example with iMovie, its a great program that is easy to use, but for actually trying to do a real project with it, say for school for on a pro level, its a horrible program. It takes forever to render anything, and you can even crossfade clips together ( i could be wrong, but everytime i have tried it has failed). My point? if everyone wants everything so easy, what does that say about our willingness to learn? Is our willingness to learn being put off by how easy we want everything? Just a thought.

What this chart really outlines is the birth of skynet :)

0
+ -

I don't have anything useful to add, I just wanted to thk you LLeCompte for making me smile!

("What this chart really outlines is the birth of skynet :)") lol

0
+ -

I just looked at the entire chart and I somewhat agree with what SocialCast is saying... I mean just imagine in the distant past when we had to learn how to use tools and didn't have any electronics of any kind... I mean surgery must of been hard since we had no idea of knowing what a persons heart pulse is or how we really knew if what we were cutting was actually going to do anything... People had to rely on their wits and their hands to get them through; and everybody knows that the human hands aren't the most precise thing...

People invented gears and people found inventive ways to use gears to make things such as the clock; people then slowly learned how to craft electronics out of silicon, learned how to broadcast radio waves, learned how to make typewriters and the stuff that is the predecessor to what we have today... Sure, Apple may be the one making the technology that people wants right now but it if weren't for companies like RCA and GE and Zenith back then then we wouldn't have the basis for most of Apple's products in the first place, and those companies and many others will innovate in things that we'll never expect they do... Let's not forget that Apple itself takes the products with concepts and expands them to make it usable; so technically Apple is a popularizer, not an innovator... (I mean before the iPhone, Smartphones had clunky interfaces and was more business orientated then social orientated.)

Let's not forget that there is other stuff beyond computers that can prove piratical. Stuff such as the refining of processes to be more efficient. I mean processor companies are trying hard to make everything smaller and produce less heat. Hence the need to shrink the processors every few years; it'll prove to be impossible when things get so small that you can't shrink them further but hey, the best people managed to invent stuff using what they had, and we didn't have computers or easy-to-use interfaces in the 1950's (heck, Color TV was a dream back then wrangled in competition and initial failed applications.). This need to streamline everything will lead to further advances and then further things that we have not though about, stuff that dreamers dream about and talk about when they're asked about the future... Point is, the smartest people will always create the greatest technology we've never thought of, no one company can come up with what you like, that's why multiple companies exist; to give consumers their version of what they think they want... and with that comes the ultimate refined version of what we do want...

Also it's admirable to defend Apple but you have to consider it's flaws as well... Easy to use does not translate into total freedom; as you can't even remove the battery of your iPhone... Did anybody who didn't know how to use a phone break it because they touched the battery? Have a little more faith in the in your customers Apple, we're not all blind dogs here...

0
+ -

Surgery for healing purposes (rather than the rather haphazard battlefield amputation of shattered limbs, usually followed by fatal infections) came only after decades of dissection of human corpses (often in direct violation of the law). The nonsense of "we had no idea of knowing what a persons heart pulse is" is a blast of ignorance which would appear t come straight out of the Texas Public School system. Physicians have known what a normal pulse rate is, and more-or-less what the heart does, for millenia, since at least the Golden Age of Greece.

Electronically scanned color TV was first demonstrated in 1940. Color TV was transmitted in 1928, and broadcast in 1938.

I suggest you learn more about your topics before you attempt to present them as arguments to support whatever position you're attempting to prove.

On the other hand, Apple has very carefully aimed their products at the ignorant consumer; the person who would rather pay 200 percent more for a product so that he or she doesn't have to know anything to use it. It would be interesting to compare traffic accident rates between iPhone users and other cellphone users; I fancy that iPhone users don't really know how to drive all that well, either.

0
+ -

RTietjens:

Electronically scanned color TV was first demonstrated in 1940. Color TV was transmitted in 1928, and broadcast in 1938.

I suggest you learn more about your topics before you attempt to present them as arguments to support whatever position you're attempting to prove.

I did... The general public did not get a taste of color until the 1950's when CBS released it's ill-fated field-sequential color system, that only lasted a few years before CBS was forced to suspend it due to less then general interest from the public and the wild incompatibility with NTSC. Later on in the 1950's RCA was the only one with a color compatible system and NBC was rocking it whereever it could. CBS and ABC didn't go fully color for different reasons; CBS didn't want to fill the pockets of RCA and ABC was financially strapped at the time and couldn't afford to go mostly color; though I did hear some stuff that they too didn't want to fill the pockets of RCA, I have nothing to confirm that...

Later on in the 1960's. All of the major TV networks at the time went full color following NBC's transition to a full color schedule; granted this forced CBS and ABC to go color to keep up with trends, despite their objections...

Also if the technology is not being used in an prominent industry or a public usage then it mostly doesn't count... I mean you can have tons of prototypes, show it off to the public but if it's not being used at all and only being restricted to being used inside of the companies HQ's then what's the point of even including it; they develop the technology and the ones that do make it out becomes a part of history as a whole, it also influences future technology and so on...

Also the FCC when they gave their first television licenses said that Color TV was still far away... and even in the 1950's, it was still far away because NBC was the one fully knocking it while the others were still broadcasting in Black & White. (Though some local stations were broadcasting some local content in color.)

I may not know how to present my content properly but I do know about the content, I'm not ignorant you know.

0
+ -

@RTietjens I think you've been here long enough to know that sharing your opinion here is welcome, but when it starts sounding like a personal attack, it most certainly is not. Just a friendly reminder :)

0
+ -

It's OK Manduh. RTietjens is the contrary type. This user almost always posts something derogatory at the author of whatever article he/she is reading here and there's a slight whiff of anti-Apple going on as well. Strangely, though RT seems annoyed by most content here, he/she keeps coming back... Hmmm.... :-D

0
+ -

Lol, alright Dave. Maybe he/she has a love/hate relationship with HH content?!! :p

0
+ -

Prime why have you become such an Apple fanboy and as far as Siri goes it is a run of the mill app that has actually been around for a while just not in association with Apple. I have it on my Android phone (of course it is called Iris but it does the exact same thing and does it better than Siri) but that is also beyond the point. Apple basically has not innovated a thing as speaking/listening rapid response assistant programs have been around for many years on various equipment. Your essay on the coolness of Apple is kind of verbose really. You have also been around and know how annoying fanboy essays are. I personally would be embarrassed but to each his own I guess. I am not saying those because I am an Apple hater or a Android fanboy either. That is just what I use right now my next smart phone may very well be ann iPhone5, a Blackberry, or even a WebOS device or maybe even something we have not yet heard of or a Windows phone 7,8,9. I buy hardware because of the best available for my use and on the provider I want. The Sensation happened to be that when I bought.

0
+ -

rapid1:

 (of course it is called Iris but it does the exact same thing and does it better than Siri)

I-R-I-S <> S-I-R-I   umm is that where apple got the name?? lol

 

0
+ -

Actually, wasn't Siri out before Iris? So maybe the other way around I guess

0
+ -

Yes Manduh; and it's not cool because it is not on an, iPhone the backwards name was on purpose. This is the great thing though guess how long it took to develop, a whole 8 hours, and it operates better in general than Siri. Oh and it is named Iris on purpose because it is Siri backwards!

Oh and here is a headline you will see in a minute or a day elsewhere "Ready for today's grain of salt? We just got handed imagery and specs of a possible HTC device in the works codenamed the Zeta. It's a quad-core handset, much like the Edge that was leaked last week, but it has a much faster 2.5GHz APQ8064 CPU along with 1GB of RAM running the show, on a 4.5-inch 720p HD display."

0
+ -

Oh THAT app is IRIS... I did read about the app that was made in 8hrs which does what SIRI does but didn't realize it was IRIS.. Sometimes I'm a little slow to catch on LOL

0
+ -

"@LLeCompte I have worked at several department stores in the past and for a short period of time, I was receiving hands on training in sales, in the electronic division of the store. It saw that it was very common for buyers to return items just for the fact they did not fully understand it and they didn't bother to fully read the manual. VCR's were very high on the list, and many complain about how difficult it is to set them to schedule record a program ."

 "The fact of the matter is, that buyers would be willing to pay extra for a device that makes it easy to do something they require. Its also common to hear them talk about their hard earn money and how they would like to invest in a product that will last them years and not cause them any trouble. So in response to your question about people's willingness to learn and how they want it so easy, well, life is complicated as it is, I can't blame them wanting it that way, especially in this economy."

LLeCompte:
What this chart really outlines is the birth of skynet :)

"Funny you mentioned it, cause I immediately thought of two people: Steve Jobs and Miles Dyson (Terminator 2), unfortunately, they both suffered the same fate."

"@Taylor, the non user replaceable battery issue is something that's exaggerated . If the issue is that bad than why do people keep on purchasing Iphones? I'm sure customers well aware of it and its a good Idea to have it that way so people don't mess around and the wrong person doesn't fiddle with it. And how many people carry or purchase an extra battery for long term use? I see this complaint very often but how many put that in practice. Again, exaggerated." 

@RTietjens, I wouldn't say ignorant. Nobody puts a gun to their head so that they purchase an Apple product. People these days are pretty informed of the products they buy, just look a Best Buy closing brick and mortars stores in the UK, what does that tell you? That shoppers who buy electronics are buying mostly from online retailers and you bet they do their research before they pull the trigger, not to mention word of mouth, online reviews and hands on experience at a local Apples store. Case and point, if like something and works in favor, at your convenience , you will buy it regardless of what anyone else thinks."

 

0
+ -

OptimusPrimeTime:
I have worked at several department stores in the past and for a short period of time, I was receiving hands on training in sales, in the electronic division of the store.

Yeah... You've never mentioned this before and you had mentioned previous jobs so I'm taking your words with a heavy grain of salt...

OptimusPrimeTime:
It saw that it was very common for buyers to return items just for the fact they did not fully understand it and they didn't bother to fully read the manual. VCR's were very high on the list, and many complain about how difficult it is to set them to schedule record a program ."

Well... You've been helping people recently in the forums, surely you offered your help to people to learn how to set their VCR's right? I mean at the department stores you probably been at there's no policy against you not voluntarily helping people with their products...

OptimusPrimeTime:
 "The fact of the matter is, that buyers would be willing to pay extra for a device that makes it easy to do something they require.

The Amazon Kindle that you often mention and recently released is easy to use and guess what... cheap. Even Windows 8 will manage to be cheaper then Apple products; so I don't get the type of argument you're trying to make or the position you're trying to take when you mentioned that both of those things are blowing up. Irony my friend, irony.

OptimusPrimeTime:
Its also common to hear them talk about their hard earn money and how they would like to invest in a product that will last them years and not cause them any trouble.

I thought about buying an Apple computer in 2008, an iMac specifically... I noticed that the top of the line model had an 8800GS and a Intel Core 2 Duo while the newer computers had the Core i7s and the GTX 280. Sure, the Mac Pro contains the power but the average consumer can't afford that. Point is, if technology advances at a fast pace and all of these newer, faster, more efficient technologies come along then what happens to our iMacs and our iPhones... We can barely upgrade these things as it is, we can't upgrade the graphics, we can't upgrade the essential parts. All we can upgrade is the CPU and the memory until that becomes an end of line product... The iPhone also suffers due to newer phones adopting newer technology; the iPhone 4 was the most powerful phone at the time, that is until newer phones managed to refine what the iPhone did but better; causing Apple to release the iPhone 4S and causing most people to sell their iPhone 4's for the iPhone 4S.

So... If a product wants to last them for years, why do most Apple people upgrade their product when the newer one comes out huh? The iPhone 4S may be powerful but with the newer processors from NVIDIA and the ever refining of the technology that goes into the competitor's smartphones, it's only going to be a matter of time before the iPhone 4S is obsolete... And if that doesn't convince you. Look at the iPhone, iPhone 3G and iPhone 3GS; those are selling for way less then they did back then... See what I mean?

OptimusPrimeTime:
the non user replaceable battery issue is something that's exaggerated . If the issue is that bad than why do people keep on purchasing Iphones?

Because the advertisement tells them that they must have it... I mean the media focuses on the Apple conferences, Steve Jobs manages to sell the iPhone by hyping the major points of it and he even manages to make a feature that's commonplace an Apple patented innovation. That energy rubs off on the public and the public who didn't watch Steve Jobs or felt indifferent eventually warms up due to the pressure being placed on them by the people who have iPhones; therefore a cycle is born. Tim Cook introduces new Apple product; people with first hands on the Apple product talk highly on it, people pimp the Apple product in public, public who don't have Apple products have pressure put on them by Apple product owners, people get product; rinse and repeat with newer product; profit.

OptimusPrimeTime:
I'm sure customers well aware of it and its a good Idea to have it that way so people don't mess around and the wrong person doesn't fiddle with it. And how many people carry or purchase an extra battery for long term use?

How the hell can people mess around with it when the only thing that can be taken out is the battery... I mean it's not like you can access the damn phone by just using the removable battery cover. What can you do once the battery cover is open, only replace the battery of course... Apple can easily make the rest of the iPhone hard to take off, I mean did you know that you require special screws just to remove the damn case and get to the components... I don't see why Apple can't do it; I mean it's possible, really possible...

The MacBook Pro used to have a replaceable battery but then they removed that for their own reasons. Now I want you to remember if there were any MacBook Pros broken because "someone messed around with the battery"... I find your argument against replaceable batteries bullhocky, even if you were thinking like Apple (which I'm guessing you are, because you are ignorant.)

Also you don't have to have the specific situation of carrying around an extra battery or purchasing a battery for long time use. When the battery finally dies (as in can't be recharged anymore) or dies suddenly due to a quirk then you are faced with the option of sending the phone to Apple and waiting weeks for the phone to come back with a brand new replaced battery. When with a replaceable battery, you can just buy a new one; place it in your iPhone and be good to go. Note, it does take weeks to ship the product to Apple, unless you were really desperate to pay for 1-day shipping that is.

OptimusPrimeTime:
I see this complaint very often but how many put that in practice.

Some... The most just buy into the Apple brand. They trust Apple enough to believe anything they say, including that the battery lasts a long time... And they are willing to disregard the fact that it doesn't have a battery to have the hottest phone around. There is a lot of bad stuff surrounding Apple but the brand is just too strong. Note: they're the ones who manage to convert anybody into a potential iPhone user... Anybody... Just through the power of it's ever expanding reality distortion field; powered by TV commercials, the mass media and the mass userbase of iTunes who'd want an iDevice to go along with it.

OptimusPrimeTime:
I wouldn't say ignorant. Nobody puts a gun to their head so that they purchase an Apple product.

They're not being forced but they are being pressured by the people who do have Apple products; just look at the commercials for the products they air every 5 minutes or so when they have a new product out there. I remember seeing tons of ads for the iPhone on all of the major networks during the summer; seriously it was that relentless. "You can do all kinds of stuff with the iPhone, and the magic can be made on an iPhone."

OptimusPrimeTime:
People these days are pretty informed of the products they buy, just look a Best Buy closing brick and mortars stores in the UK, what does that tell you?

It tells me that Best Buy had a very terrible business model, very terrible customer support and brand recognition and they're paying the price for it... I mean sure, Best Buy is still popular but most of the stores are ghost towns most of the time with only tens of people in it at one time... It's not just the fact that people buy from an online store; customer reception has everything to do with whether or not a business is successful. I mean I've seen people shopping at Target and the Micro Center, and those people are more numerous then the people at the Best Buy at any given time... I've even seen a Sears store more populated then a Best Buy... While companies like Wal-Mart have at least done some stuff to improve their image, Best Buy has not and remains the same when it comes to people visiting their stores...

As I said before in another thread, the only reason anybody visits them is to check out the new stuff; nothing more, nothing less. Their prices are jack expensive and their service is terrible!

OptimusPrimeTime:
That shoppers who buy electronics are buying mostly from online retailers and you bet they do their research before they pull the trigger, not to mention word of mouth, online reviews and hands on experience at a local Apples store.

Note to everybody. Word of mouth can be very, very subjective and biased, so are the online reviews that aren't detailed and only describe a various user's experience with the product... A critical review and a hands on experience matters more then those "word of mouth" and "reviews" on sites like BestBuy.com. Those type of reviews are good because the guy mostly knows what he's doing, knows what he's talking about and knows how to structure the points and his in-depth experience with the device so that the potential consumer reading this knows what he thinks and what type of stuff he may of found wrong with the device that other people might find wrong at well... Yes, reviews are subjective but critical reviews have more worth and if more people used critical reviews then "word of mouth" or "fake online reviews..."

Also when a "hands on" experience is not available. (keep in mind that Apple stores are not everywhere, some are even in a Best Buy, the very stores being closed down in the UK... though in a smaller form.) The potential consumer has only reviews and potential information to go by... And it worries me because they don't do enough researching... I mean we don't see people proclaiming that they bought a device because they read the review on HotHardware and some other sources do we? If they really did their research then it would show in their purchasing decision; as in more people would be buying different kinds of phones then an Apple phone... I'm not knocking the people that do their research what is stated is not exactly 100% accurate...

OptimusPrimeTime:
Case and point, if like something and works in favor, at your convenience , you will buy it regardless of what anyone else thinks."

Wait... I thought this was about how people online were making informed decisions based on research and other factors. No matter, the same thing can be applied to products that are faulty and or defective and if it suddenly breaks down on you while you're using it, now where will you be. That logic does not work 100% for everything you know... There have been many horrible products that people bought because they "liked them and worked in their favor".

OptimusPrimeTime:
"Funny you mentioned it, cause I immediately thought of two people: Steve Jobs and Miles Dyson (Terminator 2), unfortunately, they both suffered the same fate."

Miles Dyson died of gunshot wounds and then died in a blaze of fire trying to prevent something he thought was wrong and went out in a blaze of glory doing something he thought was right and something he thought would matter. Sure, he believed what he was doing is revolutionary but he wasn't a *** about it.

Steve Jobs on the other hand, developed revolutionary technology but was a ***, acted like a crazy person despite his idea that people who lived the rich life became bizarro versions of themselves and died of easily preventable prostate cancer... You may disagree but I respect that but I still find the entire way he died ridiculous. I mean I'm going to die of natural causes, even when I become famous. I'm not going to declare that I'm not going to get an operation to fix my prostate cancer, try to hide my health from the public and then make a big deal about my death so that the media has something to report about... (Everybody was aware of the way the major networks interrupted regular programming to give us the "tragic news", that's how big he was and how big he wanted his death to be.) Sure, he may of revolutionized the world with his products but the way he managed the business (high prices, somewhat outdated technology, the way he treated his employees, the way he closed the world off to everybody for reasons that were not logical. I mean how can they break the OS? The user is likely to be aware of the risks of messing around with their phones, the people making the apps to allow them to mess with their phones put up disclaimers telling them that doing this will likely mess up their phones. People are aware of the consequences, so why are we making it so that people need to have walls put up I mean come on, we're smarter than that you know!) gave me a bad taste of Apple... I'm not totally against Apple but there are things that cannot be ignored.

If I'm going to buy an iPhone 4S in the near future, I'm going to wait until there's a jailbreak available. I don't care if it voids my warranty, I want total access over the phone and the technology inside it that I bought.

Login or Register to Comment
Post a Comment
Username:   Password: