Let's Tech Communicate

April 2018 Grant Mackenzie

This month we consider Guardian Smarticles, BBC Bots, and product content in the brave new world of cognitive technology . Marcia Riefer Johnston explains that You know you’re a technical communicator when… And finally, Kathleen Ann Hurley’s PhD dissertation lances that suppurating sore of academia – the limited attention given to humour in technical communication study.

Putting the tech in tech writer…

Is the recent frenzy around cognitive technologies – deep learning, agentive technology, bots, and AI – something technical communicators need to be concerned about? According to Andrea L Ames, it is Same problems, different day… huge opportunity.

Speaking of bots, the BBC has been experimenting with in-article chat bots to introduce readers to complex topics .

As if that were not enough, The Guardian newspaper is developing Smarticles. These are online articles in a new format – one that knows what you know!

On the lighter side…

For some light relief, Marcia Riefer Johnston tells us that You know you’re a technical communicator when

Last but not least, we all know the extraordinary range of humorous aspects of technical communication. If Marcia Riefer Johnston is the light relief, Kathleen Ann Hurley is the heavy version. Here is her PhD thesis Humor and technical communication: the culture, the texts, the implications .