Yanny or Laurel? Future of engineering.
Today's craze is the whether or not you hear Yanni or Laurel? What do you hear?
The great thing about this debate is that they are both correct. Here is another clip that tweaks the sound file so that you can hear both.
Think about the world that we are living in. Natural-language processing will become the norm for human-machine interface (HMI). We see it in our phones, we see it in our cars, we call on Alexa to answer our every whim and wish of profound knowledge like the current weather, sports scores, historical facts, etc.
All of this comes with great excitement. The Yanny or Laurel craze raises an interesting issue. In a time of AI and natural-language processing, how do we monitor and watch unsavory acts. The ingenuity of humans will never cease. From kids using high-pitched ringtones to alert friends of new texts so their teacher can not hear them (High pitched ring tones) to determining a real voice from a fake one (Amazon's Alexa Can't Distinguish A Human Voice, But This Tiny Cambridge Startup Might Teach It How) to using the next Google Human-AI (see below), how do you account for the unintended consequence?
So what does this mean from a product development standpoint? What type of service and information do you want to provide back to a person, a potential imposter, or a bot? How do I discern the intent?
There is no doubt that simulation will play a larger role in determining what, how, and when we provide information. We will need create a set of filters and profiles to categorize speech and patterns and information. We will need have security to validate and authenticate sources or potentially risk espionage.
On the other hand, those that can provide a set of utilities to support these new technologies should be able to reap tremendous benefits:
- lower cost of sales
- lower cost of support
- improved customer experience
- fast resolution of issues
- less downtime
So yes, the Yanny or Laurel may be a craze, but inherently it touches upon our new world or voice-driven instruction:
- Who is delivering it?
- What will you hear (both audible and inaudible)?
- How will you act upon it?