Welcome to The RoundUp, a curated quick peek at the best—and most interesting—news, views, and opinions about content on the web. Let us know what you think.
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Emoji Does It!
Google is notorious for having some of the worst emoji on the planet. Now it’s righting its wrongs–and taking on gender stereotypes, too. The effort aims to highlight the diversity of women’s careers and empower young girls.
In their popular podcast, It’s Nice That founders, Alex Bec and Will Hudson, discuss whether using emojis is a lazy alternative to the written word. Lazy or not, emoji are popping up in user interfaces and product documentation. Capitalizing on the ubiquity of ideograms, Sony Pictures will release the first animated movie about emoji this Summer. Patrick Stewart will play poop.Meanwhile, the folks at Emojipedia rank the most popular emoji and track the recently updated Emoji 5.0 standard, which now includes new emojis from Unicode 10.0, as well as 183 emoji sequences used to represent gender and skin tone variants.
Want to create a custom emoji set? The Makemoji SDK allows you to craft your own.
Wordsmiths will appreciate this article, in which Matthew Kassell asks the question that is undoubtedly on your mind: “What Is the Plural of Emoji?”
Designing Content for Voice Interfaces
Voice is the new black—One day soon, we might talk to our devices the way we talk to our friends. Not in commands (like we do currently), but in conversational language. Our devices will talk back to us—and they’ll sound like people we want to speak to.
Future voice interfaces will fundamentally change our relationship with technology and dramatically transform how we write content for customers. Perhaps that’s why IKEA wants to know, “Do You Speak Human?”
It’s definitely one reason our upcoming conference, Information Development World (November 28-30, 2017), will focus on helping you learn to craft dialog for chatbots and voice interfaces. Writing content for voice and chatbot interfaces will require us to develop new skills and ways of thinking about content. Visit the event website and sign up to be alerted when the roster of presenters goes live.
“Conversations are the new interface,” says artificial intelligence expert, Joe Armstrong. “Conversation designers are the new UX designers.”
The new tags allow Alexa to do things like whisper, pause, bleep out expletives, and vary the speed, volume, emphasis, and pitch of its speech. This means Alexa and other digital assistants might soon sound less robotic and more human. But, until then, you’ll need to speak to Alexa using commands she understands.
Enabling access to the web using the spoken word involves preparing content in compliance with several content standards, one of which is Speech Synthesis Markup Language (SSML).
Understanding Artificial Intelligence
Computers do a lot for us these days and can sometimes seem intelligent like a person. But really, they’re more like calculators. Most only do what we program them to do and nothing more. But this is changing—and quickly—thanks to neurosynaptic chips and other advances in computing technology that enable machine learning.
Researchers are working on artificial intelligence which has the goal of making computers seem to be as intelligent as humans. Take a look at what’s possible today. Then, ask yourself, “How might artificial intelligence affect my job?”
Hanson Robotics provides a preview of the future with their most recent creation, Sophia. Watch her awaken. Artificial intelligence is no longer the stuff of science fiction. Today, it’s science fact.
That’s it for this week.
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April 26, 2017. Jimmy Fallon interviews Sophia. Learn more.