Voice AI – Enabling the Transformation From a Quiet Library to Quite a Library

November 5, 2019 Swami Sekar

line graph voice recording
From high school students to working professionals to home makers – having information at your fingertips provides a deep sense of pride and satisfaction. Thanks to digitization, the millennial literally gathers information with his fingertips by simply swiping, tapping or touching. Then, along came voice technology which has added a new dimension to information search. No typing or swiping or tapping – just talking can get you information on any topic under the sun.

“Your voice is my command” – this is the way top voice assistants like Siri, Cortana, Alexa, and Google Home are redefining the way we search and access information. Most information resources are being digitized, and search and access pathways are getting more sophisticated by the minute.

Conventional information resources like libraries are evolving into spaces/services that provide much more than access to information. The dynamic nature of millennial user behavior requires libraries to embrace the latest digital trends in search and discovery of information. 

What Is Voice AI and Voice Search?

Simply put, Voice AI enables users to ‘talk” to an application or program to get information or give instructions to perform tasks. Voice recognition and natural language processing is at the core of Voice AI technology.

Voice search allows users to perform a search verbally by asking a question in a natural language on a smart phone or smart device or a computer. The query is answered by a search engine or a digital assistant.

Info-graphic displaying how voice AI works

(Image caption: How Voice AI works)

The artificial intelligence part of voice technology triggers the voice assistant to process the query or command by sifting through the web for information that matches the keywords in the command. Once a match is found, the voice assistant provides the user with relevant information. Voice AI technology is continually evolving rapidly to understand and process new languages and voice patterns to fetch more accurate results during voice searches.

The Rising Popularity of Voice AI

Bar graph showing rising popularity of voice assistants

 Rising popularity of Voice assistants. Source: Business Insider

The functionality of voice assistants is also rapidly progressing, whether they’re used in smart phones, tablets or as stand-alone beacons (e.g. Amazon Echo), these personal AI assistants are here to stay. From weekly weather forecasts, to ordering a pizza, to turning on the lights in the living room –applications of Voice AI technology are seemingly endless. Popularity of voice search is growing exponentially every year and is used by people of all ages. Voice-enabled search apps on Android phones provide quick and easy access to information on restaurants, salons, ATMs nearby, as well as facts and statistics on a variety of topics.

Voice AI technology is becoming the key to driving safely. A driver can get information on the route, weather or nearby restaurants through voice commands without taking their eyes off the road.

Redefining Information Search with Voice AI

Voice search is revolutionizing the way people search and access information. Its popularity has risen manifold mainly due to ease of use and lightning speed responses. It is predicted that by 2020, 50% of the online searches will be Voice AI powered.

Some reasons for the rising popularity of Voice AI include:

  • Useful when hands and vision are tied up with other tasks
  • Voice AI yields search results more quickly
  • It saves the user from the effort required to type long phrases

Business Innovation with Voice AI Technology

“It’s not good enough to create something just because it doesn’t exist yet. You have to be answering a real human insight.” And you have to consider why and how a person might turn to voice technology to meet specific needs." – says Abbey Klaassen, the 360i New York President. Several companies are innovating with voice search technology across industries. According to Global Market Insights, the smart speaker market is expected to exceed 30 billion USD by 2024.

Leading tech giants like Apple, Amazon, Google, and Microsoft have launched their voice-based conversational AI across multiple industries, ranging from healthcare to marketing and finance. American Express has integrated Amazon’s Echo into their customer service system to enable customers to check their balances, make transactions, and discover the latest offers.

The Garanti Bank has also started offering voice-activated banking services to their customers.

Winimy AI, a leading   AI company, has developed customer-centric AI solutions for businesses across diverse industries. In partnership with Domino’s, Winimy created a dynamic voice skill for ordering pizza through Alexa. This voice AI innovation helped Domino’s reach out to thousands of Alexa users in the comfort of their homes. Winimy also developed a Voice AI solution that automated hotel recommendations and bookings.

 

Voice AI in Higher Education

According to Dr. Tony Bates, a distinguished visiting professor at the G. Raymond Chang School of Continuing Education, Ryerson University - “Instructors at the Higher Education level are required to do things very differently. Senior academic administrators are beginning to realize the need for digital transformation at the higher education level.”

A market insight report published by Gartner, Voice AI in higher education highlights market opportunities for Virtual Personal Assistant (VPA) providers. The report also mentions that higher education institutes are actively engaging students using Voice AIs. Many academic institutions have started using Voice AI devices as student tools in dorms and campuses.

Voice AI Enables the Transformation of Libraries

As Google becomes the most sought-after information resource, conventional information sources like libraries are faced with a challenge of keeping their services relevant and helpful for the millennial user. The millennial wants accurate, updated information at lightning speeds.

Voice technology can assist a reference librarian to provide expert reference services, or activities that mostly revolve around reading materials, staff and the users. Such systems drastically improve the productivity of libraries. The reference and information retrieval process can be greatly enhanced by using voice AI.

The Future of Voice AI

Gartner predicts that by 2020, 30% of web searches will be done without a screen. Voice AI is no longer a futuristic technology but a technology that is fast becoming a part of everyday life. The domains that voice search serves are no longer limited to navigation or questions and answers; it has expanded its scope to email management, shopping, calendar management and many more. Winimy AI believes that Voice AI is the way forward. To learn more about innovative voice AI solutions, reach out to us at versa@winimy.com.

About Swami Sekar

Swami is the founder and CEO of Winimy AI, a multi-award-winning conversational AI solution provider. A technologist at heart, he holds a Masters in Electrical and Computer Engineering and an MBA from Massachusetts Institute of Technology (MIT). He has co-founded/worked at 3 startups and was a VC investor at Intel Capital and VMWare Enterprise Sales. Swami is the orchestrator of the innovativeness that Winimy AI is known for.

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About the Author

Swami Sekar

Founder and CEO, Winimy AI

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