O.K., I’m sorry. Let me try again. “Laura, knock down that accessibility barrier, please.” Nick Negroponte said someone like you would come along someday to help me get stuff done. I’ve been waiting for your cool efficiency and ass-kick assertiveness for years. I’ve been working without support staff for so long that I forgot my manners. I’ll do better next time. Don’t go passive-aggressive on me, Laura. I’ll send you a sonnet by Petrarch on Virtual Assistants Day.
Who’s Laura? The new VA from Microsoft. Eric Horvitz extolled her virtues this morning on NPR. Since Laura is still in development, let me place my custom order in advance. Booking airline reservations would be nice, but I don’t need to be nagged about blowing off deadlines. I want a virtual assistant who understands my accessibility needs and can hack text and code like an administrative professional killing snakes. Except that’s just a metaphor, in case you don’t do nuanced tonality yet. Really, I like snakes. You’ll have to do a lot of reading to me, so I’d love a voice that purrs like Catherine Deneuve selling the proverbial bath oil. And you can skip the ice-cube persona. I want the passion of Delacroix’s Liberty leading the people over the barricades!