Using artificial intelligence to create invisible UI

Using artificial intelligence to create invisible UI

Using artificial intelligence to create invisible UI

Interaction with the world around us should be as easy as walking into your favorite bar and getting your favorite drink in hand before your butt hits the bar stool. The bartender knows you, knows exactly what drink you like and knows you just walked through the door. That’s a lot of interaction, without any “interaction.”

We’re redefining how we interact with machines and how they interact with us. Advances in AI help make new human-to-machine and machine-to-human interaction possible. Traditional interfaces get simplified, abstracted, hidden — they become ambient, part of everything. The ultimate UI is no UI.

Everyone’s getting in the game, but few have cracked the code. We must fundamentally change the way we think.

Our roles as technologists, UX designers, copywriters and designers have to change. What and how we build — scrolling pages, buttons, taps and clicks — is based on aging concepts. These concepts are familiar, proven and will still remain useful. But we need a new user interaction model for devices that listen, “feel” and talk to us.

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Technologists need to become more like UX designers and vice versa. They must work much closer together and mix their roles, at least until some standards, best practices and new tools are established.

The bartender from the above example is where more of the UI is starting to reside. On one hand, that represents a lot more responsibility to create transparent experiences that tend to be based on hidden rules and algorithms. But on another, this gives us incredible latitude for creating open-ended experiences in which only important and viable information is presented to the user.

For example, to command our AI assistant, “Tell my wife I am going to be late,” the system needs to be smart enough not only to understand the intent, but also to know who the wife is and the best way to contact her. No extraneous information is necessary, no option list, no follow-up questions. We call this Minimum Viable Interaction (MVI).

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We’ve started talking to our machines — not with commands, menus and quirky key combinations — but using our own human language.


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