Unfamiliarly Convenient: Giving New Voice to Voice Assistants

Vytautas Jankauskas

How could we reimagine and expand our interactions and relationships with voice-enabled devices? Artificially synthesized voice introduced personal devices beyond push buttons, twisting and swiping. Nonetheless, while mediating notions of service, facilitated access to knowledge, and digital companionship, currently voice assistants are often reduced to trivial, task-oriented power plays: order me this, turn on that, play these, entertain. The course will aim to reconsider voice assistants as subjects rather than objects and attempt to create more holistic relationships with them through speculative and critical design methods in unison with some programming and machine-learning.