Are you part of the 90 estimated million users that have used a voice assistant last month? More and more people are using voice commands within their daily routine, so it’s becoming common place for users, especially those under 50.
As more devices become voice-enabled, this number will just increase. This makes sense since speaking is so natural for humans as a form of communication, much more natural than trying to communicate to a computer through code. With new developments in natural language software, computers are improving at understanding and interpreting the human voice.
Take for example Pepper. Pepper the robot was developed by SoftBank Robotics in 2014 and is designed to read and understand human emotions. You can find Pepper in many places around the world, like helping buy tickets for trains in France, serve adult social services patients in the UK, and sell coffee in Japan.
The Future of Human and Machine: Taking Communications to the Next Level
Voice technology has developed considerably over the past few years. No longer does the voice sound monotone and robotic. With more human-like qualities – like expressive speech, inflection, and emotional response – the interaction feels more natural to the user.
Not only that, but the quality of the interactions is improving. Responses are more accurate and relevant to the user. Being able to interact with machines as if they were humans could have huge implications, not only for consumers but businesses as well.
We interviewed Philippe Vinci who is in charge of Strategy, Transformation Management, and Business Development at Voxygen to hear his thoughts about the voice capabilities in the market and what he sees for the future of human and machine. Voxygen provides multilingual speech synthesis solutions with expressive voices for the web, mobile apps, and phone services.
Q: How has voice technology developed recently?
A: 2017 has been a pivotal year for voice technologies. The recent progress in speech recognition, Natural Language Processing, and AI has contributed to a complete revival of voice solutions. Voice-activated devices and Apps now become ubiquitous in many locations. Speech synthesis also has a decisive impact: high-quality and multi-expressive voices lead to a richer, more relevant and more personalized interaction between humans and machines.
Q: What are popular applications of voice technology in the market today?
A: Transforming and delivering a richer and personalized customer experience, at each interaction, is strategic for any company. Applications that are being “revitalized” with high emotional value messages and dynamic content will delight more customers in many service solutions such as natural language SVI’s, voicebots, conversational assistants, and of course humanoid robots, created to improve our everyday life.
Q: What are the reasons that voice becoming the new UI?
A: Voice has never stopped being the most widely used channel for customers despite poor experiences and outdated SVI and CRM solutions. Voice, as the oldest form of communication, is naturally more intuitive and pleasant, easier and faster. Voice is also the only interface capable of establishing an emotional connection, thus creating a deeper impact on the perception of the brand. Brands that are embracing voice as part of their business strategy will be able to capture the attention of their customers compared to their competitors.
Q: How does voice complement other technologies, like Natural Language Generation?
A: Speech recognition and Natural Language Understanding are a must-have but are not at all differentiating. To the contrary, Natural Language Generation and Multi-Expressive Voices are strategic and a key competitive advantage for companies; they complement each other and help brands in controlling efficiently customers’ perception of what is said and how it is said – with the right words, tone, prosody, emotion, and personality. Voice is becoming your digital brand.