Most of us are familiar with the Amazon Echo, released in the UK last year and available considerably earlier to US buyers who were members of Amazon’s Prime Service. A voice controlled device with some pretty intuitive digital assistant capabilities, it’s aimed towards the domestic market, with steady, ongoing improvements to its AI.
With a natural curiosity for all things tech, we recently bought an Amazon Echo for use in the office. After much playing with it, we’ve thought about it could have an increasingly important role here at Riselabs HQ and how the emergence of voice recognition technology might be leveraged in interesting ways by businesses in the not too distant future.
Voice AI for Business?
Voice AI is becoming increasingly prevalent and sought after. With that, there has been an increase in the services that can be tapped into. The ‘Skills’ part of Amazon Echo is a place where things are becoming really interesting for domestic users – not only is machine learning improving through increasingly becoming attuned to user preferences and voice recognition, but the Echo can be leveraged to access and communicate with external applications directly.
With the simple domestic access, this hasn’t gone unnoticed by business who are looking to streamline their processes. Many companies are releasing features that integrate with Echo. The other option that has been explored in tech is to embed Amazon Echo into their own devices to take business integration and capability to the next level.
Whilst voice AI is in its infancy, Amazon’s step into this arena has created a true opportunity for acceleration of what’s possible. Competitors are on board and with all parties trying to stay ahead of the curve, us consumers are able to see the potential of this stuff a whole lot faster.
How will Voice AI tools compete in the business world? Well, we imagine that there will of course be early adopters of this technology once it becomes viable, such as stock reordering for specific departments, or perhaps setting reminders, much like a Personal Assistant would. In an a more advanced scenario, more intuitive processes could start to take place should there be enough big data for machine learning to really take hold for specific business looking to really utilise Voice AI.
Conclusively, there is a point in the not too distant future when Voice AI tools are likely become more commonplace in some business sectors. Should this become a fully-operational part of many businesses moving forward, quite what technology it will supplant or subsequent innovation it will pave the way for is not yet clear.
However, if you imagine Voice AI as less of a ‘nice to have’ toy and much more a concrete piece of technology that is valued by businesses to support autonomy, then you won’t be far from what companies will be looking to integrate.