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BizReport : Internet : September 01, 2017


Challenges to adding voice activated assistants to your business

While voice assistants are growing rapidly in homes, in offices, there can be drawbacks to their use. One expert explains the problems, and potential for voice assistants to help advertisers and publishers.

by Kristina Knight

Kristina: We're seeing strong growth in the voice assistant space. How to you expect this trend to impact the workplace?

Ryan Duguid, SVP Technology Strategy, Nintex: Voice technology is great. But because of office layouts and proximity of desks it isn't always the best option. The reality and nature of a modern office is the open space, which is excellent for collaboration, but disastrous for voice technology. Imagine everyone talking to their voice-activated assistant at the same time. The first problem with this is obvious: the noise level would rise significantly, which would lead to the voice-activated system not being able to pick up the correct commands.

The second and probably biggest concern for any business is the lack of security and privacy. The beauty of computer screen is that it's personal, while noises are easily picked up by just about anyone standing nearby enough. Unless each user has their own headset or private office, voice technology wouldn't be practical.

Kristina: In the future, do you think voice tech could have a great impact on the workplace?

Ryan: Voice-recognition technology would be an interesting office assistant if we could overcome all of these challenges. But even at that point, it still wouldn't replace keyboards completely. Keyboard shortcuts or mouse clicks are still faster than the speed of human speech, which means users would at most use voice technology in conjunction with nonverbal command. The multitasking at that point could decrease productivity.

Kristina: What potential is there for voice tech?

Ryan: Voice-recognition technology would be an interesting office assistant if we could overcome all of these challenges. But even at that point, it still wouldn't replace keyboards completely. Keyboard shortcuts or mouse clicks are still faster than the speed of human speech, which means users would at most use voice technology in conjunction with nonverbal command. The multitasking at that point could decrease productivity.

However, we can't discount the fact that voice technology is an incredible advancement, and could be very crucial in certain settings. People who work in mobility-restricted environments, like drivers or surgeons who would constantly have their eyes and hands occupied, could benefit a lot from voice commands. The current voice technology is also getting very advanced in natural speech recognition and intent analysis, which is a great way to give commands that require conversational exchanges. This function can be very beneficial in the advertising and publishing industry.

Kristina: Is there a stepping stone between what could be in voice tech and what is now?

Ryan: In fact, there are major values in conversational exchanges in any office setting. The most common way to go through an office process is through forms, which involves data inputting and outputting, choosing from options, requesting signatures, confirmation, etc. - and while all of that is working fine, we can definitely take that process to another level by formulating those actions into conversations. Before we can successfully and smoothly achieve that with voice technology, chatbots offer a good stepping stone, as they can assist with office processes without having to run into the kinks of voice technology.

Tags: ecommerce, internet trends, mobile business, mobile marketing, Nintex, voice activated assistant










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