This year’s World Economic Forum (WEF) is already in full-force as the best and brightest technology, political and business leaders gather in Davos, Switzerland to shape a global agenda committed to improving the state of our world. Voice tech has emerged as a pivotal player in WEF’s theme this year: “Creating a Shared Future in a Fractured World.”
While voice tech is being positioned as a pioneering technology for the future, its current applications and impact are just as profound. As you continue to keep an eye on this exciting space, below are the top 5 things you need to know about voice tech now.
The Next Frontier in AI and Automation
A common misconception regarding artificial intelligence (AI) is that it’s a theoretical technology far from coming to fruition. However, take a look at the phone in your hand that you’re probably reading this on, or look over to your bedside table at your home assistant. These voice-activated and controlled devices, powered by virtual assistants like Siri and Alexa, are examples of current AI shaping our everyday lives.
Due to the AI and automation that powers many of these voice-controlled devices, voice technology has the tremendous ability to speed up and facilitate monotonous tasks, both at home (i.e. playing your favorite playlist on Spotify) and at work (i.e. scheduling meetings in your calendar). Everything from adjusting the temperature in a room to managing data can be achieved through a simple voice command using these devices – that is the current power of voice tech.
Context Is Key
The functionality of voice tech is very much contingent on context. As digital voice assistants start to acquire more contextual information, their ability and capacity to better respond and serve people will increase. Additionally, the growing use cases of voice tech will significantly hinge on a person’s location and what they are doing at the time, making contextual research even more vital. Voice tech will truly evolve into its full potential once it can cut out superfluous background noise, better respond to contextual information and, ultimately, achieve voice identification.
No Generational Gap
In most cases, new technology faces an uphill battle when it comes to people of a certain age adopting it. That’s not the case with voice tech. In fact, voice tech has completely contradicted the usual pattern of generational adoption, as people both young and old have embraced these devices almost instantaneously. This is most likely due to a relatively small learning curve, as voice tech devices operate thanks to a natural, built-in interface (aka our voices). Without this generational gap, voice tech is primed to reshape the lives of many more people at a much quicker rate than most emerging technologies.
Public Usage Remains Faux Pas
Voice tech is dominant in the home and in other private, confined venues like a car where people can ask for assistance without judgmental looks from others. However, voice interfaces are still culturally restricted when it comes to public spaces. In order for voice tech to overcome this faux pas and for conversing with technology in public to become the cultural norm, connectivity is key. This is largely dependent on the Internet of Things – as IoT takes off and more connected devices spread into public spheres, voice tech usage will become more unavoidable and commonplace.
A Hands-Free, Shared Future
We’re entering into a new era because of voice tech. As this technology continues to transition us from a screen-dominated paradigm into one that is hands-free, more and more people will become empowered thanks to their own voices – literally! As this technology becomes more integrated into our everyday society, and that connectivity spreads into all facets of life, the result is a shared future where everyone has a voice.