Ken Arakelian’s stories

So you want to make a robot that talks to people. It’s not as simple as you think. It’s hard to imagine the complexity of human language when it comes so naturally to you. Unlike visual design, where it’s pretty easy to self-determine whether or not you have artistic talent and ability (especially if you’re anything […]

Quantum Leap There was a TV show called “Quantum Leap” where Sam Beckett, a scientist, is trapped in a time travel experiment gone wrong and “leaps” into a different person’s body each week. Every episode starts with the moments after he leapt into the next body and he found himself in a funny (or dangerous) situation. Sam had […]

If you went into a barber shop or a salon and said, “I want a haircut, please,” and then someone started cutting your hair – you’d probably walk right out because that person didn’t bother to ask questions and get into the details of what you really want. Similarly, if you told a designer that you’d […]

“The more we know about something, the less able we are to imagine what it feels like to not know it.” –Steven Pinker “And I can’t think of any place where that is more true than with language.” –Elyse Kufeldt (distinguished designer at Nuance) commenting on quote by Steven Pinker. Monday, April 23rd, was English Language Day. This day […]

Everyone knows that kid in class that knew everything. Constantly raising their hand when the teacher asked a question, silently insisting, “I know! I know the answer! Call on me!” If you don’t know this kid – maybe you were this kid. Well, here he is again, in your adult life. The smart speaker. The next […]

walkie talkies are voice technology of the past just as today's smart speakers will fade into the past as well

“Over” was short for “over to you” indicating that it’s your turn to talk on a short wave radio or walkie-talkie (or any half duplex comm tech for you nerds out there). Smart speakers are super cool and a step forward in voice – but they’re still half duplex, klunky, unnatural voice interfaces. We’ll all look […]

Me: “Alexa – what’s the temperature going to be today?” Alexa: “Right now the temperature is 56 degrees today in with cloudy skies.  Today you can expect clouds and showers with a high of 60 degrees and a low of 44 degrees. ” Me: “What about tomorrow?” Alexa: [blank stare] Me:  “Ugh – Alexa – […]

Today’s digitally savvy retail customer calls for convenient, quick and secure omni-channel service.

Technology is a major part of consumers’ everyday lives across the globe. In Australia, smartphone penetration is at 81 percent – making it one of the most connected countries in the world. The increased use of smartphones and other technologies is driving consumers to demand seamless experiences across all touch points. In particular, we are […]

Artificial intelligence and self-service can drive better customer experiences and reduce call center costs

Recently, Andy Mauro wrote that self-service solutions powered by artificial intelligence are bringing humanity back to customer service. Technologies like intelligent virtual assistants and conversational IVRs are creating a new standard for automated customer experiences. The goal is to eliminate consumer frustration with systems that easily recognize, understand and anticipate customer needs, delivering a better […]