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A Tale of Three Sisters

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The future of AI voice assistants – told as a children’s story.

Vineet Prasad

Once upon a time, three sisters lived in a small village and served as oracles to give the local people advice.

The eldest, Siri, was beautiful and well put-together. Siri’s exquisite aesthetic sense enraptured the village’s wealthiest citizens. They eagerly sought out her advice, heedless of the exorbitant prices she charged. They also enjoyed the prestige associated with walking out of Siri’s fancy shop. But unbeknownst to these wealthy villagers, Siri was less knowledgeable than her sisters in many domains…

The middle sister, Alexa, was wicked-smart and incredibly ambitious. She sought to absolutely dominate the advice-giving market. Alexa grew her customer base relentlessly, even setting up small shops in neighboring villages. As her empire grew, she put more and more local oracles out of business. Most villagers didn’t mind this however, as Alexa gave excellent advice at a reasonable price. But at times it felt like Alexa’s real goal was less about giving advice and more about up-selling the wares she sold out of her shops…

The youngest sister didn’t even have a name. People called her “Hey Google” or Heyg for short. Heyg’s mission wasn’t impressing people or total domination. She simply wanted to solve problems and serve everyone she could. So she didn’t even charge for her advice! Despite her apparent simplicity, Heyg was the brightest of the three sisters and often gave the best advice. Heyg did have an odd quirk though. Before she gave people advice, she would ask them for lots of personal information and kept a record of that information in her secret journal. None of the villagers knew why Heyg did this, and over time people started to feel uncomfortable about Heyg’s vast journal…

As the role of the oracles grew in the village, and eventually the nearby communities, many villagers wondered…which sister would eventually win out? And what would that mean for the future?

Author’s Note: During breakfast a few weeks ago, I was thinking about the future of voice assistants. I formulated my thoughts into a short “children’s story” for fun. Hope you enjoyed it!



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