A layperson’s exploration of all things voice

Monthly Archives: December 2019

December 19, 2019

Big Holiday Sales for Voice Will Continue for Years…

This VoiceFirst.fm podcast hosted by Bradley Metrock includes NPR’s Noelle (LaCharite) Silver (she left Microsoft a few months ago) and Pitch Publicity’s Amy Summers. Here are a few nuggets:

1. Noelle explained how Amazon started off with the sale of its smart speakers as a way to get the word out about the possibilities of voice, not really looking to make profits. But that now, the number of sales inevitably leads to greater profits. She explained that she sees this trend of big holiday sales continuing because many people are discovering voice for the first time each year. That is likely to continue. And even seasoned voice users will buy new devices as their functionalities evolve.

2. Noelle told the story about the early days of Alexa and how if someone used the term “please” during an inquiry, the experience would be “broken” – so an Amazon engineer went back in and reconfigured all the code so that being nice to a smart speaker wouldn’t be a bad thing.

3. Amy had a great skill idea – the “Santa Fact Checker” – so that you don’t have to lie to your kids, you let Alexa do that for you. And yes, Google has added the “Santa Tracker” to its assistant.

December 17, 2019

A Glossary of “Voice” Terms

The folks over at Witlingo have created this evolving “glossary of terms” for those that want to get up-to-speed in voice. Check it out!

December 13, 2019

Law Firms: Using Voice to Track Billables

Being a lawyer, the first “grand” idea I mustered when thinking about voice is how convenient it would be as a tool to keep track of billables. Law firm lawyers typically despise having to fill out time sheets. So much so that some lawyers need to be constantly hounded to do so. Anyway, I wasn’t surprised to find that I wasn’t the first to have this idea – and that in fact, more than one legal vendor is offering this type of thing, including Tali, Thomson Reuters Elite and Case.one per this blog.

The one sticking point for me was the privacy one – no law firm (nor client) wants the outside world to know this type of information. So security issues would have to be addressed…

December 10, 2019

Famous Talking Robots From Over the Years…

I’ve been blogging a lot about this free 48-page playbook by “360i” about what you should know about voice from a marketing perspective. Today I focus on the chapter on page 70 that provides a historical look at TV and movie robots that have talked to us over the years – from “Robbie the Robot” and “R2-D2” to “WALL-E” and “Westworld”…

December 2, 2019

We the People Prefer Human to Synthetic Voices

I’m so excited to see this first study about what consumers want out of voice design – a joint study conducted by voicebot.ai, Voice.com and Pulse Labs. I’ll be blogging about a few of the results – the first one being this excerpt:

It will surprise no one that our user panel expressed a preference for human voices over synthetic voices. Observers have long suspected that users preferred to hear humans. In our testing, human voices received an overall rating of 3.86 on a scale of 1.00-5.00 com-pared to 2.25 for synthetic voices generated by artificial intelligence. That difference re-flects a 71.6% higher rating for human voices over the synthetic alternative.