Everybody knows them, some even use them regularly and in everyday life they have become omnipresent. Whether at home, in the oﬃce, in the car or on the smartphone, where they are particularly common found – Alexa, Siri and Co. are nowadays well known to everyone. Speech assistants – a software that performs a speech analysis based on speech recognition, interprets it semantically, processes it logically and produces a response by speech synthesis – should be used as practical aid in our daily life. It doesn’t matter whether they are doing very simple tasks like playing music and answering questions about the weather or more complex processes like navigating and completing an online purchase. The main focus of language assistants is to make daily workflows more pleasant and furthermore to save additional effort and time.
The versatile ﬁelds of application in almost every area of life as well as the easy handling makes speech assistents interesting for older people. Especially elderly people who may have problems with their eyes, are immobile or forgetful beneﬁt from the voice control. Also the communication with other family members becomes easier by voice-controlled calls or message writing. The voice-operated devices can be used as memory (for example as a reminder to take medication regularly), radio, alarm clock or provide information but also as companion or entertainer at home. Older people are much more susceptible to have falls, bone fractures and Co – and unfortunately they are usually alone in their apartments. In emergency situations the speech assistant can quickly call for help or completely prevent dangerous situations (such as going to the toilet at night without lights). All these eﬀorts can provide this group of elderly people with more independence and ﬂexibilty in their daily life and even extend the possibility to live at home without feeling increasingly insecure. […]
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