BDSM is after all about architecting an interactive experience, and I think many of its lessons in getting the most from our submissives translate well to things we can improve about bots.I rely on my submissives to give me feedback when the kind of commands I’m giving are unclear, or when I’m crossing a limit for them with pain or exhaustion.So I decided to see whether the “listening” for props is context-sensitive or just goes off a solitary keyword to try and figure out why it wasn’t working. I quickly ran afoul of issues with the keywords that the bot itself suggested not being effective at communicating my desires or giving me enough information to know what to do with it: Using most bots requires a bit of repetition and back and forth as the user acclimates to the expected commands, but I was thoroughly displeased that I had to work this hard to get through a fairly limited list of functionalities.The actual verbal copy is as deferential as I’ve come to expect from my preferred kind of service bot, but it seems even Howdy had his hard limits: No worries Howdy team, I’m sure Ben Brown is a fine enough gentleman but I’m a bit more of a discerning dominatrix.
Then I decided to see if Alexa was practiced in any service submission skills: Me: Alexa, would you like to serve me? Her copy is a little more clipped than Siri, and I can tell she likes to keep things professional.
Bots should be as forthright in providing proactive reminders of how best to interact with them, especially at the point of failure.
Ex: if an unclear command is given, an error or “I did not understand” message is never a bad time to guide the user and remind them of the parameters of your bot and what it is “supposed to” do instead.
Pros: bot copy lists keywords where applicable to help direct the user through requests, good response to variety of input formats for dates, times, etc.
Cons: the suggested keywords barely work, most Howdy functions better served by basic calendaring apps.