This is such a reality check, Alan. Thanks for this great piece of advice.
The problem are tech companies selling CUIs or VUIs as the silver bullet to ease ANY human-to-computer interaction. What’s worst, people eagerly believe in new technologies that stand for this delusional principle, and are convinced that communication problems will vanish along with current interfaces.
People count tabs or clicks to measure how useful is a CUI compared to a GUI. However, “friction” with an interface may now be measured by the amount of words needed to successfully perform an interaction, or better said, the cognitive load needed to convey a MEANINGFUL voice command.
In any case, this isn’t about polarising points of view about CUIs or VUIs, because these new interfaces can be USEFUL in some situations–Like the mentioned transcript of voicemail messages in the latest iOS.
In my opinion, product people have to be mindful about keeping conversational interactions simple, where ambiguity can be “tamed” with the help of affordances and context. I’ve written a piece about this topic, “Lipstick on a UI. Can we design invisible interfaces to be useful smart products?” — https://uxdesign.cc/lipstick-on-a-ui-eb71d85c4a2f
I invite anyone in this line of thinking to give it a read, and continue this healthy conversation which will surely go on for a little longer.