Pros: impressive voice recognition, even with sentences with complex or contingent requests with a lot of modifiers, household-practical across a broad spectrum of tasks.
Cons: voice-activated format tends to give the impression of more conversational functionality than it actually has, could have benefitted from additional reminders to the user what it can and can’t do as part of its “I don’t understand” answers.
But for the purposes of our experiment, I was impressed that she deflects with effective neutrality when questions stray from her intended use.
Her copy is a little more clipped than Siri, and I can tell she likes to keep things professional.
To-do lists first: Conversational tone, not quite as peppy and helpful as say, Slackbot.
I get the feeling that if Ace were a sub I’d have to remind it to stick to “Yes Miss” and other required submissive verbal protocol a lot.
So I decided to see whether the “listening” for props is context-sensitive or just goes off a solitary keyword to try and figure out why it wasn’t working. I quickly ran afoul of issues with the keywords that the bot itself suggested not being effective at communicating my desires or giving me enough information to know what to do with it: Using most bots requires a bit of repetition and back and forth as the user acclimates to the expected commands, but I was thoroughly displeased that I had to work this hard to get through a fairly limited list of functionalities.
The actual verbal copy is as deferential as I’ve come to expect from my preferred kind of service bot, but it seems even Howdy had his hard limits: No worries Howdy team, I’m sure Ben Brown is a fine enough gentleman but I’m a bit more of a discerning dominatrix.
I’ve only set up a few bots myself and I’m by no means an expert, but I do know a lot from kink about designing rules for an interaction, and teaching your submissive the effective vocabulary they should use to to communicate with you.I would also love to see users have more choice in how they wish to interact with a bot, like onboarding questions that can help a user reset the bot’s tone from one that is a little on the sassier side to one that is more submissive and deferential or vice versa.I like the idea of onboarding acting as a kind of negotiation between human and bot, especially because I really don’t need the automated assistant helping me find dinner to start giving me lip when I’m crossing the threshold from hungry to hangry.Rating: 2/5 ballgags Another productivity/office task bot, Ace is pretty upfront about the fact that it can only do expense reports, to-do lists, and polls.The random combinations of what these companies decide is some helpful enough smattering of tasks to justify building and releasing an app is starting to baffle me, but what do I know.