Mark Cuban Sounds Off on Voice Tech

May 09, 2019


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I had the chance to sit down with Mark Cuban (businessman, investor and a "shark" on ABC’s Shark Tank) for 45 minutes to discuss voice technology, from Alexa to Google Assistant to Siri and more. He was the guest on the Season Finale of Season 3 of This Week In Voice, a podcast that I host.

Three main takeaways jumped out at me from that conversation that those thinking about digital content and producing digital content can potentially benefit from knowing.

1) He is "All in" on Voice

As someone who made his wealth on the rise of the internet back in the 1990s, Mark Cuban knows the telltale signs of permanent shifts in how we engage with technology. And he is seeing the same thing happen now with voice-first technology.

"We went from five years ago, where there were maybe 100 papers being published a month on voice and AI, to now, where there are literally thousands of papers being published each month," Cuban explained during the show.

My own recent article in Harvard Business Review explains the explosion of usage of voice tech across numerous industries. Indeed, the time for technology has arrived.

2) Content Creation from the Point-of-View of the User is Paramount

On the ”This Week In Voice” podcast, we spoke specifically about opportunities related to hospitality, as Cuban went into detail on how Alexa-enabled and Google Assistant-enabled devices can be equipped to serve renters or hotel guests while staying on site.

"I see the potential to build a business on how to optimize voice for hospitality use cases,” said Cuban. “Use every possible question, which is likely asked over a period of 12 to 18 months, to build an Alexa skill that allows someone staying in certain lodging to get whatever information they need, in real-time."

We also spoke about voice tech in cars.

"I need a new car, and the first thing I looked at is Alexa-enabled cars, Google-enabled cars, voice-enabled cars...you get into habits, and you want those habits extended into your car," Cuban noted.

From a content creation perspective, it is important to realize that voice tech not only brings you new opportunities to distribute and monetize your existing content, but also brings you new opportunities to create content suited for different types of markets entirely.

3) Paranoia About Privacy and Politics Can Be Crippling

Cuban explained that being overly concerned about privacy, as well as politics, these days can lead to poor decision making. Content creators especially should be mindful of this.

"I subscribe to the idea that you have no privacy, so get over it,” Cuban said. “For a long time, someone's been able to go to your mailbox and go through your mail, and find out whatever they want to know about you, and there hasn't been a big move to lock mailboxes. At some point, you have to trust."

If you're so busy thinking about privacy, either in trying to protect your own privacy or worrying about the privacy of others, you're wasting a lot of valuable time. I agree with Cuban—privacy, for most people, doesn't exist; and fortunately, those with the ability to spy on us don't particularly care to spy on us, in most instances.

Yes, there are things you can do—Cuban points out he covers the cameras on his computers and TVs so they can't peer in on him—but worrying too much about privacy concerns not only won't protect you very much but will cause you to miss out on opportunities as well.

The overall theme of the interview is the optimism that exists around voice-first technology. Voice brings with it the opportunity to deliver content more widely than ever before, whether voice-only (e.g. Amazon Echo) or via multi-modal experiences (e.g. Echo Show, Google Home Hub).

Listening to what an accomplished tech veteran like Mark Cuban thinks about the future of this technology will only help you be better prepared to take advantage of it yourself.


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