A layperson’s exploration of all things voice

February 14, 2020

How “Voice” Isn’t Anywhere Near Ready to Be “Conversations”

In this podcast, Voicebot.ai’s Bret Kinsella talks with John Kelvie from Bespoken about how “domains” will replace voice apps. It’s an interesting discussion – albeit a little hard to follow at times – so I recommend reading John’s blog about this concept before you listen to the podcast. Here’s an excerpt from the blog:

If you want to talk to someone, call your Mom. If you want to build a voice experience:

– One-shot is preferred
– Where one-shot is impossible, quick, contextual follow-ups are the next best option
– As a last resort, attempt an extended multi-turn dialog

Is this to say that extended interactions are a complete failure? Absolutely not! But describing them as conversations misses the point. How are they not conversations?

– They are not open-ended
– They lack important context – such as body language, intonation, emphasis, and past interactions
– They have very poor understanding – both in terms of speech and intent recognition

All of these things are likely to improve radically over a five to ten-year time horizon. But 12-18 months? Not so much. Almost certainly not enough to change what is feasible for most implementers.