Indistinguishable Experiences

RW Patel
2 min readMay 13, 2018

This week tech giants showcased a bold set of demonstrations involving drones, vision I/O and AI capability with many sentiments unsaid about the human interaction. Google’s Assistant made an eerie call to book an appointment at a hair salon. A near perfect livestream broadcast a pitch perfect, gender and age appropriate AI swiftly and successfully booking this appointment with an endearing and rather personal interaction with the unsuspecting receiver who was comfortable with the like-sounding caller.

The AI-aware conference audience at Google roared with delight.

The receiver never knew they were interacting with a computer and left perfectly satisfied and engaged in the easy interaction. There was no lag on the call, no foreign accent or recording to signal the systems communication and no additional audio prompts requesting a more patient and deliberate response from the receiver.

While the usefulness of the order taking is clear there was a strange uncertainty in the capability foreshadowing questions on this unsuspecting un-named receiver who never once knew they were interacting with a computer.

Microsoft’s Satya Nadella opened the Build conference with a discourse around privacy protection as a human right stating new principles around the design for privacy and tools to debias the handling of user data and intellectual property to protect intended use.

Rockwell Automation was one of the companies profiled for its cloud research efforts for the connected enterprise.

Nadella reasoned that technology would fuse together experiences of our future but that the user experience should solve for this reasoning now. The Assistant fused together experiences of easily booking this appointment, simple enough. It raises the question for what is reasonable.



RW Patel

Helping teams find digital relevancy through user experience and data-driven insights.