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Peter Rantaša

Dissolution of the Robot: The Voice of Echo

The appearance and spreading of machines that talk, listen and engage in spoken conversations marks the beginning of the next era in Information Technology. Since Aristotle, voice was a privilege of living beings and the use of voice for articulated language a distinctive faculty of man. This poster addresses the implications of the use of voice as dominant modality for the interaction between humans and machines. As example for a development in which "the very concept of 'device' fades away" (Sundar Pitchai), Amazon's Echo/Alexa brands are described as a distributed social Cyber-Physical System (CPS) that incarnates for the user solely in the voice of the artificial persona Alexa. Building on Aristotle's classical philosophical conceptualization of voice it argues that the shift towards Voice Based User Interfaces alters human-machine-world relations, ie the alterity relation as analyzed in Postphenomenology.