Implications of new speech based technology

There have been some recent and new developments in the field of voice as the medium that we can use to connect with technology. Whilst speech recognition has been around for a long-time now (Bell Labs first experiments were conducted in the 1950s), its now improved and beginning to find its way into popular consumer devices.

For brands, the implications are huge.

Firstly there is the need to integrate with popular voice products (Siri, Cortana, Alexa) so that a pizza can be ordered, an Uber booked, or a text message sent all by voice.

Secondly brands may need to develop smart consumer devices or channels that can respond to voice commands. No longer will I need to answer questions very carefully on automated call centre systems, I’ll just be able to say exactly what I need. A context aware system can then go and deal with that action whether it’s booking cinema tickets to compiling presentations.

When we consider that 40% of brands are still struggling to personalise in digital channels, there’s a long way to go before brands are going to be personalising in the speech channel. AI and Machine Learning will have a big part to play in making this happen.

Peter Diamandis said the following about the future applications of this technology:

“Artificial intelligence research will make strides in the next decade. If you think Siri is useful now, the next decade’s generation of Siri will be much more like JARVIS from Iron Man, with expanded capabilities to understand and answer. Companies like IBM Watson, DeepMind and Vicarious continue to hunker down and develop next-generation AI systems. In a decade, it will be normal for you to give your AI access to listen to all of your conversations, read your emails and scan your biometric data because the upside and convenience will be so immense.”

Here are a couple of videos that demonstrate what’s happening in this space.

Amazon Echo Dot

Cortana for Excel

I’d be interested in hearing about any other cool applications of speech technology. Please share anything else in the comments below or get in contact directly.

David Sealey is a trusted adviser to senior executives on getting the most from their investment in digital and data. David created Storm81 as a place to share his passion for business, digital technologies, multichannel marketing and everything else around these topics.

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