Expedia chairman flags up voice as next big tech development

Expedia chairman flags up voice as next big tech development

Voice will have a more immediate impact on business and society than artificial intelligence, Expedia chairman Barry Diller said, with the impact of voice-enabled devices being felt in the next five years.

He added: “It’s just the beginning of what its adoption will be and it’s going to affect a load of things.”

Expedia demonstrated its new voice hotel booking application for Amazon’s Alexa, to be launched within the next couple of months.

While Expedia is keeping an eye on developments with Apple’s Siri and Microsoft’s Cortana personal assistants, Alexa and Google Home are the focus of its voice efforts.

Diller said he was optimistic about technology and automation’s long-term impact on jobs and predicted new opportunities would emerge from “creative disruption”.

“You can make all sorts of projections [about jobs] but I believe there will be replacements in all sorts of areas we cannot even conceive of today,” he said.

“We’ve been through these cycles many times before. The industrial revolution meant farmers were no longer needed. There will be a period of destruction before production in the next five, 10, 15 years, which will be disquieting for many people, but out of it will come such bounty in many areas.”

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