This week, Dustin and I are joined by journalist and author, James Vlahos, to discuss the details of his book Talk to Me: How voice computing will transform the way we live, work and think.
Where to listen
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About Talk to Me
James Vlahos writes for the likes of WIRED, New York Times Magazine, Popular Science and GQ. His new book Talk to Me chronicles how the world’s biggest tech companies are battling to dominate voice—Siri, Alexa, Cortana, and the Assistant—the biggest technological paradigm shift since mobile phones. The book tracks the strange scientific quest—from humanoid talking contraptions of the 19th century to the latest AIs—that has resulted in our being able to say something to a voice assistant and receive an intelligible reply. And it explores voice computing’s potential to upend control of knowledge; to befriend, advise, and surveil; and to preserve memories of lost loved ones, as with James’ Dadbot project.
“Voice computing will profoundly reshape the way humans relate to machines, and Talk to Me is a brilliant and essential guide to what’s coming. James Vlahos understands how the technology works and all the complex things it will bring into the world—and he’s a superb writer too. You’ll find insights and meaning on every page, and you’ll keep turning them. This book is dynamite.” — Nicholas Thompson, editor in chief, Wired
“Conversational AI is a genuine paradigm shift in our experience with technology. Vlahos brings the whole story to life, from big-picture historical context to the impact on our intimate personal lives. A thoughtful and enjoyable read.” — Tom Gruber, cocreator of Siri
“James Vlahos has written an excellent book on how voice computing has become more and more of a growing presence in our everyday world. In Talk to Me, he provides the promise and peril of this development.” — Ray Kurzweil, inventor, author, and futurist
“The baton of disruption has been passed from the smartphone to voice, and Vlahos helps make sense of this tectonic shift.” — Scott Galloway, author of the bestseller The Four: The Hidden DNA of Amazon, Apple, Facebook, and Google
Ask Alexa to open the voice computing book