Guest Blog: How can you be part of “the next big thing”?

(Originally published on The Software Society)

The Software Society and this blog claim that the “next big thing” driving technology expansion and economic growth will be a tightening connection between people and computers, largely through advances in language understanding technology (speech or text). The expected proliferation of general and specialized “personal assistants” that make us more efficient is one dimension of this trend.

But, if this is the next big thing, where does that impact you personally? You can of course take advantage of the trends by using the results, and you will–if my projections are even partially correct.

Can you go a bit deeper and use the trends to improve your current business or create a new one? Is this technology so specialized that you don’t have a chance without being an expert in language technology or programming skills?

When the Web began to grow, most believed the talent to create a Web site was too specialized for web sites to grow exponentially, but they did. The impetus in part was partly programming tools that eased the job for experts, other tools that allowed creating basic Web sites without programming skills, and the growth of experts in the field who could provide help for hire. Other than developing web sites, services such as Google AdWords allowed the publication of ads for your business online that fit the sites where they were posted with minimal effort (other than the cost).

These same factors are driving the growth of the use of language and mobile technology that will allow an explosion of personal assistants and other intuitive shortcuts to getting results from our tools and devices. Interactive ads (including speech interaction) are one evolution of advertising that will engage customers on mobile devices.

With a growing number of tools and available technical support, creativity and/or expertise in specific areas will be key drivers of growth in this technology revolution. Depending on your position and business, you could consider:

  • Managing or helping to develop a company-specific personal assistant, with either a customer service focus or a marketing focus or both.
  • Preparing voice-interactive mobile or web-based ads for your company or as a service.
  • Developing techniques for presenting your company’s or your web site’s data to personal assistants so that they could answer queries more succinctly.
  • Designing creative content for a voice-interactive interactive application or personal assistant.
  • Creating content for interactive applications or specialized personal assistants, both to deliver entertainment and information.
  • Using text and speech analytics tools to understand “big data” and gain actionable intelligence or to provide concise answers to inquiries from that data.
  • Becoming an expert in the underlying technology to help others do the above.

This is just the beginning. These new technologies will change business communication like social media changed communication before that, and the internet before that, and television and radio before that.


Reproduced with permission.  Thanks to William Meisel, PhD, President, TMA Associates (; Author, The Software Society ( 


Andy, who lives with his family in the UK, is Chief Marketing & Strategy Officer at Artificial Solutions. A regular speaker at industry conferences and events, Andy delivers insight on the rise of AI, the challenges businesses face and the future of intelligent conversational applications.

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