Talking Technology: Sound Human, Be Precise
- On November 27, 2017
“Frankly, there is a creepiness factor of this whole idea of medicine tracking. The thing I tell them first and foremost is there’s nothing to reach out of this technology to pry your mouth open and make you take a pill.”
That’s what a well-known scientist said in a recent New York Times article about ingestible sensors that monitor whether people take their medication.
His candor was appealing, but how exactly would something reach out of technology and pry my mouth open?
I wish the scientist had delivered this attention-getting observation in simple English—something natural-sounding and visually precise, such as, “Frankly, there is something creepy about medicine tracking, but I always tell people there’s nothing in the technology that can pry your mouth open and make you take a pill.”
We need to pay attention to the way we talk about technology—and certainly as it pertains to health care, given how knowledgeable and responsible we all need to be. Language that’s easy to understand and repeat (think of that childhood game called telephone) fosters smarter communication—and behavior.
Now what about an ingestible device that would deliver just the tiniest electric shock when you botch your grammar, mangle your syntax, or don’t sound entirely human?