Silver Society and VOICE-as-UI
"The models for voice usage should be created, tested and improved now - because when the majority of the population articulates the need, it will be far too late to consider first steps."
The world in change: Every year at the beginning of the year, the digital industry discusses which technologies, trends and developments are (or must be) at the top of the digital agenda. But which trends have a lasting impact on the digitally networked society, which hype must be included in the corporate strategy?
Up to now, drones could be controlled manually with visual guidance, video cameras, global positioning satellites and a laser-based radar, known as LIDAR (abbreviation for "light detection and ranging"), which is a radar-related method for optical distance and speed measurement and for remote measurement of atmospheric parameters. Recent drone projects add another navigation level, sound. With the help of this extension, drones should be able to observe and avoid obstacles. This requires at least four microphones and a loudspeaker. Together they generate an echo to measure the relative distance from other objects. The processing of the information is based on the well-known concept of measuring distance by generating an echo. An algorithm, based on commutative algebra, which performs "echo sorting", determines the distances of relevant objects. Particularly in situations where LIDAR and satellite systems are unreliable, i.e. in fog or dusty conditions, in buildings or tunnels, drones with autopilots that use echolocation to steer away from obstacles are helpful. The drones would thus not depend so much on cameras and GPS and could navigate safely and autonomously even in darkness.
This development is also useful with regard to unmanned aerial vehicles such as air taxis, which depend on safe and autonomous movement through airspace. With a proven system, useful conclusions can also be drawn for autonomous driving. A novel echo-sounder navigation system for drones can be a promising addition to existing technologies, especially for night flights. Obvious applications could be search and rescue operations, night patrols and other missions where darkness prevails.
It is well known that our society is aging; in the next ten years, the first generation with a strong digital influence will reach an age where physical limitations make it difficult to use media. For example, the use of screens and even keyboards will become more difficult at an advanced age. However, this generation expects digital services and solutions for everyday tasks.
Well, not right away in 2020, but it is absolutely advisable to start looking at the topic of Voice-as-UI today, the way in which language can be used for human-machine communication, how interactions in a voice context are controlled. For this purpose, it is necessary to provide context-dependent content and data so that this content can be retrieved via voice and used audibly. The models for voice usage should be created, tested and improved now - because when the majority of the population articulates the need, it will be far too late to consider first steps.
What effects does today's (new) complexity have on future generations? What do these diverse impressions do with young, growing people? Digital media are a self-evident omnipresent part of children's life and everyday world. More and more forms and places of communication and action are permeated by media and have an influence on the personality development of children and, at the same time, on the way families are formed and family life. Even small children control Alexa, swiping on mobile phones, streaming on Netflix, taking pictures with digital cameras and know that at Amazon all wishes are fulfilled.
However, we have to take our social responsibility to put the health of children first. Digital media can have serious negative effects on children. They can damage their perceptive faculties and motor skills. In addition to an increased addiction potential, e.g. due to likes on social media, the children's psyche is also strongly influenced by nomophobia ("No-Mobile-Phone-Phobia") and FoMo ("Fear of missing out"). When digital media take control of all areas of life, cyber stress, loss of empathy, depression, and sleep and attention disorders can be consequences of digital over-consumption. Children lose important skills and often also their connection to the analogue world through the excessive consumption of digital media, and are also exposed to new dangers due to the new health hazards. Despite the potential and benefits that digital media bring in terms of economic and social development, the dangers to children's bodies and minds should be made aware, particularly because of the serious consequences.
Furthermore, their role model function is an important part of media education. If parents themselves are too much at the smartphone, they suggest to their children that the technical devices are more important than the child itself. Children are no longer perceived, heard and encouraged to a sufficient degree. A vicious circle, because with this negative example, children lose all connection to reality far away from digital media. Education now also means "digital education", education now also means "media education" and the teaching of social skills now also includes social skills in connection with the Internet.
Frequency, intensity and purpose of use play a decisive role in the use of digital media. Parents should pay particular attention to ensuring that discovery, learning, curiosity, creativity, movement, social contacts, social-emotional and linguistic development as well as the sensory perception of reality remain meaningful and that children are not appropriated by digital media.
Schools and educators also play a decisive role in the teaching of media skills. Using digital media too early robs children of valuable time for discovery and is therefore clearly counterproductive. Ultimately, the balancing act between "not confronting children with digital media too early" and "teaching children comprehensive media competence at an early age" must be resolved. The Internet and new technologies offer a wide range of possibilities and can also bring benefits, but they also bring with them dangers in connection with child development and addiction potential.
We at diconium stand for a more conscious use of digital media, especially with regard to our future generations. Digital innovations create new opportunities, but also risks. In any case, the same applies here: everything in moderation and in sensible use. The most reflective possible handling of digital media is also essential due to their addictive potential. Build up a comprehensive digital competence suitable for children and set a good example. Encourage children to develop self-confidence and self-determined actions and thinking and give them the attention, care and recognition that are so important for children and that are necessary for their development. If digital media are already firmly anchored in your everyday life, then media-free days or media fasting could be an introduction to a more controlled use of digital media. Last but not least, get out - take a deep breath - feel and enjoy nature.
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