Voice Based Conversational Applications

1       Background

Courtesy path breaking developments in Artificial Intelligence , use of Machine Learning in Natural Language Processing and Sentiment Analysis, we now have a new breed of applications, Voice Based.

Voice applications are here to stay and will get more intelligent and human like as time and technology move forward. This has come beyond typical IVR based applications launched in early 2000.

Microsoft CEO Satya Nadella thinks chat-based interfaces will replace apps as the primary way people use the internet and is investing big on this vision of the future.

Unlike typical IVR system, with mobile devices there is option to have a visual component, this can be a big advantage to the user in confirming and helping the user know when it’s their turn to speak. Both using voice and screen, is an example of multi modal interface.

Chatbots often stumble over anything beyond basic requests. To build a truly human-like conversational experience, the AI algorithms powering a chatbot must process a massive amount of data and interactions.

2       UseCases

Voice/text based help can be added to web, mobile-based applications, which can monitor a users interaction, can automatically prompt & guide a user. This can be a more effective alternative to explicit help option.

We can have a voice-activated search for example books, movies, hotels etc.

Mobile Apps like Google Assistant, Siri, Hound and Cortana to Voice only like Amazon Echo and Google Home are here to ease life of humans in getting things done.

Voice communication has distinct advantage over text messages:

  • Speed: Dictating messages are faster then typing.
  • Hands-free: While driving or cooking or even when you are far away from your device, speaking is practical and faster.
  • Empathy: Voice, which includes tone, volume and rate of speech, conveys great deal of information.

Devices with small screens like watches and no screens, like Amazon Echo and Google Home are more popular and voice is preferred to interact with them.

It’s time for project/product owners to seriously review this aspect. Architects can explore and play with frameworks available and its suitability.

3       Frameworks Available

With integration using IoT, its now possible to control your devices like Lights, A/C, Micro waves by voice using mobile phones. It’s simple for hardware manufacturer to integrate its device with Alex/Home.

The best part is its extremely easy; frameworks by big giants like Google/Amazon/Microsoft, have made life of a developer simple. Only a bare minimum coding/configuration is required.

To test this aspect, I developed an illustrative Amazon’s Lex conversational Voice / Text based conversational chatbot in few hours. It was a fun experience.

Please feel free to contact me for further details or clarifications.

4       References

Here are some references to get started:

Amazon’s Conversational Bot: https://aws.amazon.com/lex/

Google’s Dialogflow: https://dialogflow.com

Good Article illustrating Use of Chatbots: https://www.techemergence.com/7-chatbot-use-cases-that-actually-work/

2 thoughts on “Voice Based Conversational Applications”

  1. Dear Asheesh – Good One. This is need of the industry now. Keep Writing, will get you connected with some of the institute where your services are required.

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