Parenting in the Robot Age Alexa and I had a really good thing going. She sat between our kitchen and living room, and as for many working parents, she was a hands-free godsend. She was the sister wife I always wanted, someone to share our marriage’s emotional labor but not the sex. She freed up … Continue reading My kids use Alexa to constantly troll me
How do I get started building a bot? What tool do you recommend? These are two of the most common questions we get, and for a long time, we didn’t have a solid answer. What Quartz has built until now has been completely custom, which is both a great luxury, and also hands-down the most … Continue reading We found the best tool for building chat bots
On the Echo, nobody knows you're a dog. Yesterday afternoon, I enabled Amazon's "drop-in" feature, allowing my mom to connect to the Echo that sits on our kitchen counter. Unlike a call that I'd have to answer, "drop in" automatically connects the two devices. She hears what's going on in my kitchen; we hear her … Continue reading My dog uses Amazon’s new “drop-in” feature when I’m not home
Low-stakes experiments are so important to the start of a project. And by low, I mean tests you can reject, delete, or literally throw away without tears or hurt feelings. For apps, websites, or any visual medium, one option has always ruled—paper. Draw it out and have people pretend to swipe, stab at buttons, or … Continue reading (Relatively) Rapid Prototyping for Voice
In the spirit of confessionals, I'll offer this one: In any given week, I probably spend more time chatting with bots than I do humans. (At least on Facebook Messenger.) As we consider where to take our bots, we here in the Bot Studio are working hard to better understand the bounds and opportunities of the major platforms, as … Continue reading I talked to lots of bots. Here’s what made some better than others.