11.16.18
Michael Bierut + Jessica Helfand | Audio

Episode 92: Polite Sociopaths


Jessica and Michael explore voice interfaces, from Apple CarPlay to HAL 9000, the talking computer in Stanley Kubrick’s 2001: A Space Odyssey voiced by Douglas Rain, who died shortly after this episode was recorded.

Jessica, who keeps leaving her phone in the car “because I’m doing so much texting I forget I don’t need a phone in my hand anymore,” says that sound design
used to be something that happened in the recording studio. It was about something that happened in the movies, It had to do with your experience as a listener, spectator, audience member in terms of what the auditory experience was.

This, I think is, something different, because this has to do with cognitive understanding of the brain, of expectation of patterns of behavior.
Also mentioned this week: Subscribe to The Observatory on Apple Podcasts or your favorite podcast app, or follow Design Observer on Spotify or Soundcloud.

Posted in: Arts + Culture, Technology, The Observatory


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Michael Bierut + Jessica Helfand Jessica Helfand, a founding editor of Design Observer, is an award-winning graphic designer and writer. A former contributing editor and columnist for Print, Eye and Communications Arts magazine, she is a member of Alliance Graphique Internationale and a recent laureate of the Art Director’s Hall of Fame. Jessica received both her BA and MFA from Yale University where she has taught since 1994. In 2013, she won the AIGA medal.

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