Month: October 2018

Oracle voice assistant and voice in the enterprise

Oracle announced recently the launch of the Oracle Digital Assistant for companies, an AI assistant built to help employees handle things like enterprise resource planning (ERP), customer relationship management (CRM), or human relations needs in a conversational setting.

After the news, Brian Roemmele, tweeted how Oracle joining the voice wagon marked completed the list of big companies he predicted will be in voice by this year. The companies in the list are:

  • Apple
  • Microsoft
  • Google
  • IBM
  • Oracle
  • Salesforce
  • Samsung
  • Sony
  • Facebook

And the prediction said:

The first wave of Voice First devices will likely come from these companies with consumer grade and enterprise grade systems and devices.

And indeed we have come full circle. Brian article was from 2016, only two years ago. It’s has been said that voice is the faster ever growing technology. And I would say that is the faster to enter the enterprise world. Almost all the companies in the mentioned list, except notably for Facebook and Samsung offer enterprise solutions with conversational interfaces. 

You might tell me well it’s not widely adopted yet. True, but the offerings are starting to pop and it’s clear that every big company is betting on voice and some extending the bet to the enterprise. I believe voice technologies, and all the other computing developments we are going to see derived from it are the next frontier in our interaction with computers. And I will continue reporting on it and bringing to you my thoughts on it.

This is VoiceFirst Weekly daily briefing, you can find me on Twitter as @voicefirstlabs and on Instagram as @voicefirstweekly./ You have a great day and I’ll talk to you tomorrow.

Read along with Google Home Mini and Disney’s Little Golden Books

I had to come back with a news related to Disney. I had to. You all know by now that I consulted as a software engineer with Disney while in South America and it was a tremendous experience. Just yesterday Google announced story time experiences: interactive stories in partnership with Disney. TechCrunch article presents the fundamentals:

  • The new story time experiences will work with a selection of Little Golden Books.
  • The titles currently available are Moana, Toy Story 3, Coco, Jack Jack Attack, along with classics like Peter Pan, Cinderella, Alice in Wonderland, The Three Little Pigs, Mickey Mouse and his Spaceship, and Mickey’s Christmas Carol.
  • The stories will be available this week alongside Google Home Mini devices in stores like Walmart, Target and Barnes & Noble.
  • To get started, you say, “Hey Google, let’s read along with Disney.”

Is there a better storytelling company than Disney? Disney is eating the world, and not only the children world. What better way to incentivize users to buy Google Home and Mini devices than relying on a known emotional connection to Disney stories that transcends several generations, just ahead of the holidays?

Two things I want to touch on:

I have talk here how voice tech and smart assistant state now is so complex, for a number of reasons, one being at any time any of the companies (Google, Amazon, Apple, et all) with the smart assistants can release something that take away what startups are doing, in this case this is similar to what Tellables and Novel Effects are offering today. Obviously is not exactly the same, but you get the gist. the can come and eat you for breakfast pretty quickly. No exactly encouraging let’s say.

The second point is how the experience is more “alive”, it has the Little Golden Books, along with the experience in the Home and Home Minis. Which can make it like it’s not about the Assistant at all, but about the story and the parents reading to kids. A very good marketing campaign

Will these points drive sales for Google Assistant Home and Mini this holiday season? We are so close, let’s see. I’m excited with the announcement

I was a guess at This Week in Voice in last week episode number 6 of their 3rd season. I had a great time with Bradley and Kane and Dustin from VUX.World.

In related news VoiceFirst Weekly will be present in the next Alexa Conference to be held in Chattanooga, Tennessee, in January 15-17, 2019. Hope to meet you there and chat about voice technology.

I just wanted to say how much I appreciate when you guys mentioned that you listened to one episode or that something resonated with you. It’s my oxygen to keep this going.This is VoiceFirst Weekly flash briefing and my name is Mari. Have the best Tuesday you can have today and I’ll talk to you tomorrow about the Oracle entering the voice wagon.

Real time translation is coming to all Assistant-optimized headphones and phone

AndroidCentral is reporting that the translate support in Google Pixels page has been updated to reflect:

Google Translate is available on all Assistant-optimized headphones and Android phones.
The feature was previously available on the Pixel Buds only with Pixel phones:

With the assistance of your Google Pixel Buds, you can easily converse with someone who doesn’t speak your language.

With the update, you will need any Assistant-enabled devices, headphones and phones. You now can say “Help me interpret Japanese” or any other language, you can hear translations and respond to them on your headphones while holding on your phone to the person you’re talking to. That person will hear your translations from the phone’s speaker and respond to them through the phone’s microphone.

Real-time translation is available in 40 languages on the Google Buds support page, but only 27 languages are listed under “Talk” for speech translation and bilingual conversation translation on Google Translate.

Google Assistant-enabled devices get a really differentiating point from competitors like Amazon Alexa, Siri and Cortana introducing real time translations available on phones and headphones.

Voice across industries featured in today’s newsletter issue

Every Thursday 9:50 PT we send the weekly issue of the ultimate newsletter in voice technology. We will soon add an audio version of it as well.

AppSheet launched SmartAssistant, an automatic conversational UI for Apps

AppSheet, a service to create mobile apps almost without coding announced last week a new feature that allow creators to add a new user interface that acts like a digital business assistant, enabling voice recognition and natural language processing for any app built on the AppSheet platform. It’s compared to having Siri in your app, where users once they have it enabled can simply type or use voice commands to access data immediately.

Smart Assistant delivers a conversational experience to any app built on our platform. With it, users can directly access information using simple phrases rather than learning or navigating the app interface. We believe this kind of seamless interface will increase user adoption rates as users no longer have to adapt to technology—technology adapts to the user,”

I think I have talked about this before in the show, the convenience of voice is so high because is the first technology that truly promises to take the load from the user to the machines. Pretty exciting. From this announcement I want to point out something else: platforms like AppSheet providing voice activation to apps upfront will be cornerstone for adoption and engagement. The danger is then, in doing it right, according to Lars Knoll, Qt Company CTO, doing voice integration wrong is worse than not doing voice at all.

Before I wrap up this episode, I want to also highlight the dichotomy it might seem voice has: it’s technical and creative. But once the technicalities are at hand like AppSheet is providing, all you have is the creativity and the user experience. It reminds me of Dave Itsbitski at the keynote of Voice summit, the biggest challenge voice has is designing human conversations.

I’m Mari, your host for VoiceFirst Weekly daily briefing, you can find me on Twitter as @voicefirstlabs and on Instagram as @voicefirstweekly./ You have a great day and I’ll talk to you tomorrow.

Links of the coverage of the Portal announcement: