Voice tech is evolving rapidly. Here are the top trends in voice tech to watch for
- The number of
voice shoppersin India is predicted to reach a whopping 168 million by the end of this year.
- Brands will continue to focus on conversation-first strategies to improve customer experience in the digital era.
- Natural language understanding, conversational artificial intelligence, and neural text-to-speech (TTS) have helped make great advances in voice.
India has emerged as an important innovation hub and a key market for voice technologies in a short span of time. The number of voice shoppers in India is predicted to reach a whopping 168 million by the end of this year, according to WATConsult, Dentsu India’s digital agency.
Voice-search queries in India are growing at 270% per year, according to MMA and Isobar Report published last year. Increase in use of voice searches, virtual assistants and conversational AI is compelling businesses to take a relook at the way they interact with customers. About 99% of the companies view voice-enabled experiences as a critical part of their future enterprise strategy. Brands are therefore focusing on ‘conversation-first’ strategies to analyse and improve customer experience in the digital-only era.
Voice is thus set to become the most preferred method for customers to interact with technology as it is simple, personal and intuitive.
What’s next for
Voice technology has evolved a great deal since its introduction about 70 years ago. Advanced technologies like Natural Language Understanding (NLU), conversational artificial intelligence (AI), and neural text-to-speech (TTS) have helped push voice tech to the next level. Today, an Amazon Alexa, an Apple Siri or a Google Assistant has become integral to our lives.
How does voice tech evolve from here? Here then, are some of the promising new technologies that are likely to push voice to new frontiers in the coming years.
Voice cloning: Voice cloning may have sounded like science fiction a few years ago, but not anymore. Neural networks and machine learning can synthetically create voices that sound natural and human-like. This artificial simulation of a person’s voice is disrupting many industries already. Like Deepfake, or AI that digitally alters a person’s image/video, voice cloning has already run into controversy. The documentary ‘Roadrunner’, which used voice cloning software to create words that were not actually spoken by the late chef Anthony Bourdain, spurred discussions around synthetic media ethics.
Nevertheless, its ethical use cases hold great potential to transform customer and audience experiences.
Personalisation: Personalization is no longer just a ‘nice-to-have’ after thought for brands while offering services. With low-code/no-code solutions, machine learning, NLP and sentiment analysis, businesses will take personalization to the next level in the coming days. Voice-enabled services of the future will be equipped to understand customer intent and requests in a much better way and deliver interactions that are tailor-made for an individual’s unique needs.
Democratising voice tech: In markets like India, a vast majority of new internet users prefer to interact with brands in their mother tongue. Voice is increasingly becoming an alternative to typing among these users. AI-powered vernacular voice technologies are rapidly going mainstream. Expanding voice-driven experiences to local languages will be a top priority for brands, enabling them to tap into this huge market.
Voice-enabled chatbots: Voice tech-enabled chatbots are already popular and will continue to become more intelligent, human and efficient in the future. They will be widely used to enhance customer experiences, cut down costs, detect fraud etc. Better functionalities such as payment options, predictive analytics etc. will ensure that chatbots have a direct impact on a brand’s revenue.
Voice tech has already turned much of science fiction into fact. These exciting new innovations in voice tech are capable of opening vast unexplored vistas of opportunities for organisations while also vastly improving the consumer experience. These are interesting times for voice tech.
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