let Siri listen in

Last weekend I almost destroyed a wood-burning stove because of a communication issue.

I was instructed properly how to use it  – besides one crucial point; whether or not to put more logs on the fire after the initial setup or not. I have so far only used stoves that you just keep putting logs on until its warm. These other types of stoves (“Grundofen” in German) where you only fire one setup twice a day are new to me. For my instructor though it was standard to use such ones and thus didn’t put emphasis on the detail of continuing to put logs on or not.
Well, now it has some new cracks in it, i have burned through the supplies for 2 weeks in one weekend and the room went very very hot – but it could have went (much) worse.

Here’s where “let Siri listen in” comes in (Siri as in a voice recognition system connected to databases and processing power). During an important conversation or a session of conveying instructions (as in my stove-case) you can just let it listen in and have it check mentions of essential points. It might look something like the password-strength-while-you-type window on the Apple ID password change site and has an engine like the Genesis project of CSAIL at MIT.

A strictly causal logic engine that looks at what areas must be covered around a subject. In the case of the stove-instructions for instance it would compute all possible errors that could be made with the current set of instructions. Then you can refine your set of rules until all loopholes are closed and the instruction set is reduced to the most salient set of rules required to exclude all possible errors.

For teaching situations, businesses plan talks and game instructions… in countless situation such an automated  assistant could stand by our side to support our causal and reasonable articulation.

That… and more thoughtful explaining and listening in the first place.

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Benjamin Aaron Degenhart

Currently pursuing a Masters in Computational Science and Engineering at TU Munich.

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