Last week I attended The Alexa Conference, an independent event sponsored by Score Publishing. I offered a presentation on the future of storytelling. Specifically, I spoke about the new opportunities that interactive voice technologies offer to both authors and readers.
The term “reader” may soon need to be replaced. If you think about it, the act of reading is a fairly recent phenomenon in the evolution of human history. Johannes Gutenberg invented (or re-invented) the printing press around 1440. (BTW there’s a story in our Fake History skill dedicated to Gutenberg and the mystery of why he died a poor man). Long before moveable type and cheap printed books, humans were telling each other stories.
Enter Alexa, Google Assistant, and other voice assistants. These devices can stream audiobooks, or read a book from our digital library in their monotonous synthesized voices. But they can do something else. They can allow us to participate in the storytelling process.
Smart speakers understand what we say (well, mostly!). This capability offers up a whole new world for the tellers of stories and for those who consume them. These possibilities are fascinating to explore. This is the area that we’re passionate about at Tellables.
It was great sharing ideas at the conference with so many of the pioneers in the voicefirst space. You can read my lengthy write-up of the conference here. Now… back to work!