Alexa Is a Revelation for the Blind

A personal story by Ian Bogost about how voice user interfaces can be literally life-changing for people who have been left behind by technological progress.

I let the idea roll around in my head and realize what I’ve gotten wrong. I was thinking of the Echo as a tool for exchanging information. That explains why I’m sometimes frustrated with the results. But for Dad, the Echo doesn’t carry information so much as it facilitates independence of connection—to me, to Ron, to the fast-moving facts and responses that smartphone and Google users have had at their fingertips for years, or decades.

And a good lesson to us all that there are an infinity of contexts where chat and voice interfaces have something to say.

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