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Mangrove Capital Partners released the Voice: Welcoming the next generation of disruptors report on Voice Tech for 2019, and while many of these type of reports are commissioned by specific companies(who are of course mentioned within) we found this different as it makes some good arguments and... predictions. For example they predict that by making humans smarter and more effective, voice-based SaaS offerings look set to become the most valuable generation of business software (yet); or that brands will soon be instantly recognisable through their ‘sonic identity’ and product search will change forever; while reiterating the voice community's expectations, from Apple, for a SiriOS release for its developer community at WWDC 2020 which would accelerate innovation and adoption.

They believe voice will be one of the defining themes of the next decade. As well as impacting every business with a digital presence, it will spawn a new generation of technology companies in every category. We agree as the opportunities, we see, are endless. Voice startups have raised $786m already this year, significantly exceeding the $581m raised in 2018 and $298m raised in 2017. This rise in funding reflects a growing belief that voice technology will be transformative. The size of fundraisings has also increased markedly–with an average of $30m so far in 2019 versus $18m in 2018 and $17.5m in 2017.

Read the whole report here >


Voice Reveals More About Your Emotions

Alex Potamianos, CTO at Behavioral Signals, talks about emotions in voice and how the human ability to capture subtle nuances in speech can be emulated for machines: AI systems are currently being programmed to start recognizing human emotion and responding in kind. Humans are often trying to “hide” or skew their emotions. In his book What Every Body is Saying, Joe Navarro explains that "...our face is the least truthful part of our body when it comes to emotional honesty...". In particular, we now know that voice is much more difficult to fake than facial expressions, and in general, both are difficult to fake for long periods of time. Read more >

Smart Cities World Forum

Emotionally-Savvy AI & the Role of Voice Technology

During MWC Shanghai 2019, Telecom Review carried out an interview with Rana Gujral, CEO of Behavioral Signals. Rana explains how "...our core focus has been around delivering a platform that deduces emotions and behaviours. We’ve also built some very specialized intent prediction engines. or example, we’re working with a client who is a leading player in the speech analytics business and they operate heavily in the debt collection market. We worked on building a prediction engine where just by simply analyzing 10-15 minute voice conversations. We can predict with over 82% accuracy if the debt holder is going to pay their debt or not. It is almost essentially predicting what will happen in the future based on processing that voice conversation and that’s been a ground-breaking capability that we’re bringing to the market."  Read more >

Ready for Amazon to Read Human Emotions?

Tina Arnoldi interviewed several stakeholders in AI on whether technology will be able to understand human emotions, in the future. Javid Muhammedali, VP of AI at Bullhorn believes it is possible to discern emotion and tone in a conversation and take an action based on that evaluation. He notes “the key to responsibly using this type of information in human resources could be to coach people on how to respond and provide helpful suggestions. This could help interviewers discern nervousness in a job candidate and perhaps offer tips for how people with disabilities can respond to a recruiter’s question.” While, our Rana Gujral, is optimistic about the potential of emotion recognition but notes that we need to make sure the technology we create is emotionally intelligent. “As robotics and AI evolve, we can safely bet on two things,” said Gujral. “Machines will become more and more intelligent and we will rely on these machines increasingly so. With these two truths, we need to make sure that we’re preparing these intelligent machines to be emotionally intelligent and morally sound. We do not want to create a machine that is the definition of a psychopath, in a human context. Emotionally intelligent entities make morally and ethically sound decisions that will make our lives safer and easier.” Read more >



Voice-Assisted Shopping – Improving Customer Experience in Retail

A recent report by OC&C Strategy Consultants predicts that voice-assisted shopping will grow to $40 billion by 2022 (a 2000% increase from 2018’s total) in the US and UK alone. Estimates as recently as two years ago were much smaller, but adoption rates of smart speakers have accelerated rapidly in 2017 and it’s becoming a more pervasive technology through which shopping becomes a viable opportunity.

As adoption rates climb, technology improves, and the user experience becomes more fluid, voice-assisted shopping is set to become the next evolution of online commerce .

Read more >


CBMI 2019

CBMI 2019 aims at bringing together the various communities involved in all aspects of content-based multimedia indexing for retrieval, browsing, management, visualization and analytics. As active members of this community, our Senior Engineers will be there to showcase a demo on ‘Using Oliver API for emotion-aware movie content characterization’ on Wednesday, 04/Sep, 3:30pm – 5:30pm at Poster & Demo Rooms. Be there and don’t miss it!
Date: Sep 4th, 2019
Location: Ireland

All Events here >
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