What You Need to Know Right Now About Voice Technology

Voice technology has been around for quite some time, and has been integrated into various products such as smart speakers and hands-free automobile systems. However, its application has extended beyond these conventional settings, as companies are now leveraging this technology to facilitate new use cases that make use of voice commands and a more intuitive way of obtaining computer-based information. This seamless interaction between humans and machines has resulted in heightened efficiency, trust, and decision-making capabilities – all of which are secondary benefits driven by its primary objective.

Thanks to advanced vocal biometrics and speech recognition technologies, businesses can now benefit from cutting-edge capabilities like intent and sentiment analysis, speaker identification, statistical demographics and more. Forbes Technology Council has recently published an article highlighting these speech technology breakthroughs, and exploring their potential impact for businesses in the foreseeable future.

To learn more about these advances in speech technology, and how they can shape the future of the business landscape, you can refer to the Forbes Technology Council article.

Customised Creation of Digital Voices

Similar to a logo or typography, a company’s digital voice can be just as identifiable and influential in shaping the customer experience (for instance, think of Apple’s Siri). It can be employed across multiple touchpoints to guarantee a consistent, cohesive user experience. Utilising the same digital voice throughout these channels helps maintain a unified, seamless interaction for customers engaging with a brand.

The progress made in Natural Language Understanding (NLU), Conversational Artificial Intelligence (AI) and Neural Text-to-Speech (TTS) has enabled computer-generated voices to sound increasingly authentic and natural.

Approaches to Data Analysis

Similar to other data types, voice data has tremendous potential for diverse applications once it is processed. At present, only a small fraction of customer service conversations are analysed, making it a relatively unexplored area of opportunity. By gathering demographic data such as age, gender, location, and emotions, businesses can better comprehend customers’ interests, motivations, and concerns. Such analyses could be immensely valuable for making smarter decisions related to product and service development, marketing, and customer service. To learn more about potential communication challenges in software development caused by language barriers, you can check out this Works blog post.

Improving Flexibility

As per a recent article from Forbes Technologies Council, businesses can now opt for a unified API standard that enables them to broaden the utilisation of speech technology. This standard encompasses the following capabilities:

  • To enable verbal communication through various mediums such as telephone, web, and mobile devices
  • To aid in interpreting the consumer’s intentions
  • Advancements in Internet of Things (IoT) technology and cybersecurity protocols that include anti-spoofing and user authentication mechanisms

Enhanced Understanding

Recent technological developments have made robots more closely resemble humans, while enabling them to comprehend inputs of varying lengths and complexities more effectively. Natural Language Understanding (NLU) is utilised to decode instructions ranging from straightforward commands to elaborate news articles. AI is frequently used together with NLU to facilitate translation and other forms of voice recognition. By incorporating Text-To-Speech (TTS) capabilities, voice-powered systems are now able to provide responses to customer queries in a more nuanced and organic manner.

Enhancing Safety

According to recent studies, the use of voice-based technology, including precise voice recognition, may contribute to enhancing online safety. A piece published on TechRepublic contended that speech recognition systems may be employed to identify individuals using features like pitch, pace, and timbre, since each person’s speech has a distinctive feature that could be recognised discreetly, for instance, in a customer service centre.

As this technology grows more prevalent, passwords and other biometric data could be replaced or augmented for validating customer identification. Financial establishments may utilise it to safeguard their customers’ investments, while doctors may use it in telemedicine to guarantee that they are interacting with the intended patient.

Recent advancements in remote working have created a new avenue for employing speech technology in security. IT experts may use voice recognition to safeguard corporate data, especially when working from home where security protocols may be less stringent.

Speech-to-Text Conversion

Instead of jotting down notes or typing out drafts, you may utilise voice recognition software. If you require a record of a conversation, interview, meeting or any other critical voice-based interaction, automated transcription may be beneficial. These functions are now available in various software packages.

Both emerging technologies are still in the developmental stage, possessing their own distinct advantages and disadvantages. For instance, software may make errors in complex scenarios where humans exhibit expertise in identifying patterns. This is particularly relevant when considering specialised domains such as medicine. However, in general, software can complete tasks much faster than humans can.

Diverse Applications in Different Industries

Voice technology has numerous applications.

  • Several colleges and universities now offer access to their library catalogue and other services using voice recognition software.
  • Healthcare:

    One application is motivating patients to adopt behavioural changes in domains such as food, exercise, and medication usage through interactive communication.
  • Owing to its conversational abilities, speech technology is presently being utilised by customer service teams to comprehend and address customers’ fundamental needs.
  • Innovative technologies on buses and trains allow commuters to ask for directions.
  • Advancements in voice technology have enabled groundbreaking techniques of advertising and selling goods, like speech-assisted search engine optimisation. The following video highlights the significance of having a search bar.

Planning for Implementation Should Commence Without Delay

The incorporation of these supplementary features will unveil a variety of applications, both current ones and potential future ones. This includes providing administrative support, enabling hands-free work, and augmenting human customer service representatives. Companies must begin contemplating how speech technology and a ‘no touch’ approach can be integrated across all aspects of their operations, from procurement to production to customer service.

As usual, these choices should be grounded on the requirements of the company, not necessarily the newest technological breakthroughs. However, given the diverse range of alternatives available with these fascinating advancements, many companies are likely to discover an appropriate solution to their predicaments through voice-based solutions.

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