I was listening today to CBC radio’s “Spark” program, and one of the featured stories was looking at the rapidly expanding use of AI personal assistants such as Amazon’s Alexa (Echo) among the blind. I thought this was a great topic to kickoff the coming week’s series of posts which will be about the second of our core values at Better Ways For Seniors–independence. In the program today, blind users were directly comparing their personal assistants to their own seeing eye dogs in terms of how they were revolutionizing their ability to live independently.
I discovered a great website today (Techenhancedlife.com) which has as one of its mandates to provide “insights, tools & technology tips that help postpone the time that growing older gets in the way of living life to the full.” They report that the most common ways in which seniors are using personal assistants are
- Listening to the music and radio
- Turning out the lights/adjusting the thermostat
- Checking the weather
- Checking the news
While some seniors might just choose to access the information directly on a computer, those with visual problems or difficulty typing may find that this kind of a device makes that process a whole lot easier. I’d love to hear from you if you know a senior that is using a personal assistant, what they are using it for, whether they recommend any particular one for ease of use etc.!