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Powering Intelligent Conversations: The Future of AI-Powered Voice Technology

AI-powered voice technology is all the rage right now. With the emergence of audio-based apps like Clubhouse and Twitter Spaces, the use of voice commands in Roku and Spotify, and the $17 billion acquisition Microsoft made of Nuance, major companies are embracing the auditory arms race. Voice is the new frontier as both an input for our devices, and also as a dataset. Furthermore, the potential benefits — like improved efficiency, convenience, and productivity — are endless.

The voice technology gold rush has inspired several astounding developments. Restaurants and drive-throughs are implementing automated speech recognition (ASR) technology to take orders, recognize accents and regional dialects, and even upsell customers. Voice chat in video games transcribes conversations so gamers can keep their eyes on the prize and their thumb on the joystick. Speech recognition tech enables doctors to dictate and transcribe notes, so they spend less time typing on a computer and more time with patients.

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The best part?

We’re only scratching the surface of the limitless benefits that will stem from AI-powered voice technology. The question is, how will voice technology evolve in the coming years and how will it revolutionize the future of work?

IMPROVING CUSTOMER EXPERIENCES

Modern transcription tools use ASR and natural language processing (NLP) to capture conversations, generate call transcriptions, and take meeting notes. They gauge sentiment and tone while accumulating and analyzing massive amounts of data. Don’t recall the general tone of your sales call two weeks ago? AI-powered communication is here to help you fill in the missing pieces so you never miss a moment.

Leveraging AI in contact centers can help track competitor mentions and share action items from customer conversations. These functions improve productivity, customer service, and cut downtime spent on administrative tasks.

In the near future, AI will be able to help predict and quantify customer satisfaction on a call and identify intent. By analyzing different factors during a call like tone, sentiment, and questions asked, AI-driven analytics will paint a deeper picture of a customer’s satisfaction with the company. Not only will the data identify pain points and missed opportunities in the call process, but it can also be extrapolated to create a road map used to continually improve the call center experience — without the caller having to submit a customer satisfaction survey.

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Ultimately, AI has the potential to drastically improve customer experiences. Brands that can parse customer satisfaction and behavior in real-time will be able to adjust in near real-time to accommodate their needs. AI communication is the future of customer interactions.

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DIGITAL ASSISTANTS

Digital assistants are another channel through which AI-powered voice technology will revolutionize the workplace. Everyone is used to Siri, Alexa, and “Okay Google,” but still, enterprise-focused digital assistants are just getting started.

In the future, omnipresent digital assistants will be available at the click of a button, or at the sound of your voice, to accomplish many tasks. Need to dig through call notes? Ask your digital assistant to do it. Need to do some quick math? Ask your digital assistant to do it. Want to find a proposal buried in a sea of documents? Ask your digital assistant to do it.

The AI-powered assistant will be constantly striving to get better and faster, and will be able to anticipate your needs and ask questions in real-time. For example, if you’re on a call, the assistant can find information without you even having to ask it (“It sounds like you’re discussing last week’s presentation. Shall I pull up my summary and takeaways for your reference?”). It would simply listen to the call and pull information as needed.  As our systems and data become more integrated, there is a tremendous opportunity to leverage voice as the input to find, retrieve, and present the necessary information in the moment it’s being discussed.

EVOLUTION OF VOICE SEARCH

Another way AI-powered voice technology is evolving is through automated speech recognition (ASR) which enables people to search for keywords and terms within video/audio recordings. In short, you can pinpoint the moment within a podcast or video where someone is talking about the topic that you are interested in.

For example, when you search YouTube today, you type in keywords and the platform searches for a video with a matching title or label that the content creator has attached. In the near future, every video and podcast will be accompanied by a near real-time transcription. You’ll then be able to search the transcribed content to find the desired topic or information that you are seeking, improving the accuracy and usefulness of the search as a whole.

In the coming years, this technology will be used for live events, webinars, and more. Every webinar will have live transcripts that will allow you to catch up on what you missed, or pinpoint specific information. This development in voice technology will greatly increase the efficiency with which people can both find and share information.

TAKEAWAY

AI-powered voice technology is going to continuously integrate with and improve countless aspects of work. Whether it’s improving contact centers and customer experiences, powering communication platforms, or ubiquitous digital assistants and voice search, AI-powered voice intelligence is the way of the future — just ask Siri.

[To share your insights with us, please write to sghosh@martechseries.com]

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