Hat tip to Ahmed Bouzid and his wonderful “Lingofest” event. Here is a presentation by Emily Banzhaf entitled: “Sound and Emotion: Why sound affects people and how to use it effectively.”
Category Archives: Types of Use
This voicebot.ai article talks about something awesome! Leveraging Alexa as a social tool to connect with family & friends by sharing songs. Wild.
Here is an excerpt from the piece:
Alexa users listening to a song on an Echo smart speaker or their smartphone can ask the voice assistant to share the music with any contact who owns an Echo or has the Alexa mobile app. The recipient will get a notification, and Alexa will ask if they want to hear the song and what device they want to play the song on and allowing them to send a reaction back to the sender.
The music will play on the recipient’s default music streaming service if the song is available there, or use another streaming service if not. Alexa can tap an enormous playlist across Amazon Music, Apple Music, iheartradio, TuneIn, and Radio.com, but in case none of those have the song being shared, Alexa will offer to play a music station that might be relevant to the song title or artist.
Here is a note from the “Rain” agency:
Voice is a natural channel for conveying our emotions and feelings. However, voice technology is still trying to crack analyzing sentiment and how these data points can inform the creation of emotionally intelligent voice experiences and assistants. We have seen voice assistants like Amazon Alexa and Google Assistant expand their speaking styles to include different emotions in certain responses, reflecting more humanlike interactions.
However, monitoring emotions on the consumer side is still a nascent technology. Amazon has made some steps toward realizing this with its health and wellness wearable Halo, which tracks users’ tone through their voices to make them more aware of their communication styles. This week, we’ve seen a new update in emotion recognition with Spotify’s patent approval of technology that analyzes listeners’ moods. Even though the patent only points to a small amount of features and a targeted use case, we are beginning to see how voice technology might leverage sentiment to provide more relevant recommendations and experiences for consumers in many contexts.
Here’s the intro from this voicebot.ai article: “Twitter has expanded the beta for its Spaces social audio platform to Android devices. The social media giant had previously limited Spaces to iOS devices, but people using Android can now apply to try out Spaces as Twitter pushes to refine the platform for wide release.”
Here’s some commentary from the “Rain” agency:
Digital conversations with friends and colleagues have traditionally revolved around text – typing on our keyboards or phones to communicate messages. Although the pandemic has created new demand for video conferencing, screen fatigue has started setting in, leaving space for a new kind of communication platform driven by voice. Several companies have started to populate this new audio ecosystem, trying to leverage voice conversations for personal and professional use.
From Discord to Clubhouse, these kinds of voice-driven platforms are becoming more common, and now we’re seeing mainstream platforms like Twitter recognizing value here as well. As many of us continue to work remotely, audio chat is emerging as a unique way to maintain human connection and rapport.
Here’s the intro from this article from “The Verge”:
Twitter plans to take on Clubhouse, the invite-only social platform where users congregate in voice chat rooms, with a way for people to create “spaces” for voice-based conversations right on Twitter. In theory, these spaces could provide another avenue for users to have conversations on the platform — but without harassment and abuse from trolls or bad actors, thanks to tools that let creators of these spaces better control the conversation.
The company plans to start testing the feature this year, but notably, Twitter will be giving first access to some of the people who are most affected by abuse and harassment on the platform: women and people from marginalized backgrounds, the company says.
In one of these conversation spaces, you’ll be able to see who is a part of the room and who is talking at any given time. The person who makes the space will have moderation controls and can determine who can actually participate, too. Twitter says it will experiment with how these spaces are discovered on the platform, including ways to invite participants via direct messages or right from a public tweet.
Hat tip to the “Rain” agency for pointing me to this article that describes how employees heading back into the office can touch as few services as possible. Here’s the intro to that article:
Logitech Solutions for Zoom Rooms will integrate with Alexa for Business as a move to make meeting rooms contactless. Alexa for Business is a service that enables businesses to schedule meetings, reserve rooms and start video calls easily. Amid the COVID-19 pandemic, there’s a need to reduce the need to touch conference room surfaces as employees head back to the office in hybrid remote work arrangements.
One area that I like to ponder is how voice assistants will eventually be used in the workplace. This article from “Small Biz Trends” has some ideas – here’s an excerpt:
Voice assistants like Cortana and Siri can be very helpful in analyzing data. Businesses can use voice assistants for task tracking, as well as time management. You can use voice commands to build analytical queries over large data stores helping you to easily crunch data thus saving you valuable time.
For example, Siri can help you analyze data by using voice commands. You can help build analytical queries over large data trove, dividing data by date ranges or functions by simply using your voice. Voice assistants also help you not only interpret the data but also provide visualization as well.
“One way we use Voice AI specifically at Beyond Key is through automatically recorded Zoom meetings. These recordings are then transcribed, speakers identified, minutes tagged, and keywords flagged. The entire transcription becomes searchable, so you can find any action items”, added Goel on the tasks voice assistants are already making.
Advanced voice assistants are also changing the way we do business. They can now help employees use voice commands to make service requests. They are then transformed into service tickets that are addressed by support staff. This helps expedites the processing of requests and putting job orders in the system with little effort. It can be handy for businesses working in food and beverages, supplies, cleaning or maintenance.
This press release claims that voice biometrics will be mainstream by 2026, driven by the need to protect our accounts and thwart hackers. Of course, voice biometrics has already started – this Voicebot.ai article notes how Google Assistant allows you to make some purchases by using your voice with its “Voice Match” service…
On an unrelated note, Google has made the completed the branding transition from “Google Home” to “Google Nest”…
This NY Times article describes the many uses of smart speakers that often aren’t taken advantage of – here’s an excerpt:
All the major smart speakers can connect to your phone and be used as a speakerphone. Even in the most well-wired offices, it’s often hard to be heard and understood on conference calls, and your smart speaker may be able to help. Using a HomePod, Google Home speaker, or Echo device as a speakerphone has two main advantages: It likely has a louder speaker than your smartphone and, often, an array of multiple microphones designed to pick up hard-to-hear speech from different angles of a room.
Each manufacturer has instructions on how to turn its smart speaker into a speakerphone (here they are for Apple’s HomePod, Google Home and Amazon’s Echo devices). Each device has its own way of connecting to your phone and contacts. Amazon Echo and Google Home speakers connect through their apps, while Apple iPhones can connect to HomePods over AirPlay or automatically just by holding it near the top of the speaker.
This might not be ideal in a large corporate setting, but for smaller offices or remote settings, having a multipurpose speaker that can be used for music and other tasks, as well as a conference call speakerphone other times might be just the ticket to beat the bad call quality that comes with other speakerphones.