3 – VUI Applications

VUI applications are becoming more and more common place. There are a few reasons driving this. First of all voice is natural for humans. It’s effortless for us to converse by voice compared to reading and typing. And secondly, it turns out it’s also fast. Speaking into a text transcriber is three times faster than typing. In addition there are times when it is just too distracting to look at a visual interface like when you’re walking or driving. With the advent of better and more accessible speech recognition and speech synthesis technologies a number of applications have flourished. For example voice interfaces can be found in cars, drivers can initiate and answer phone calls given receive navigation commands and even receive texts and e-mail without ever taking their eyes off the road. Other applications in web and mobile have been around for a few years now but are getting better and better. Dictation applications, Leverage speech recognition technologies to make putting thoughts into words a snap. Translation applications, Leverage speech recognition and speech synthesis as well as some reasoning logic in between to convert speech in one language to speech in another. If you’ve tried any of these you know it’s not quite a universal translator but it’s pretty amazing to be able to communicate through one of these apps with someone you couldn’t even speak to before. One of the most exciting innovations in VUI today is conversational AI technology. We can now carry on a conversation with a cloud based system that incorporates well-tuned speech recognition, some functionality and speech synthesis into one system or device. Examples include Apple’s Siri, Microsoft’s Cortana, Google home and Amazon’s Alexa on Eco. Conversational AI really captures our imaginations because it seems to be an early step toward the more general AI we’ve seen in science fiction movies. The Home Assistant devices in this category are quite flexible. In addition to running a search or giving you the weather these devices can interface with other devices on the internet linked with your accounts if you want, fetching save data, the list goes on. Even better, development with these technologies is accessible to all of us. You really only need your computer to get started creating your own application in conversational AI. The heavy lifting of speech recognition and speech synthesis have been done for you and turned into a cloud based APIs. The field is new and just waiting for smart developers to imagine and implement the next big thing. There’s a lot of opportunity out there to come up with any voice and able application you can think of.

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