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📚Open Voice #163: back to work with free audiobooks for the blind on Alexa, impressive agent interoperability demos, 2 events and 1 mega investment round for Voiceflow

📚Open Voice #163: back to work with free audiobooks for the blind on Alexa, impressive agent interoperability demos, 2 events and 1 mega investment round for Voiceflow
By Maarten Lens-FitzGerald • Issue #163 • View online
Hello {{first_name}},
I am Maarten Lens-FitzGerald, I assemble the Open Voice Newsletter to help us understand, develop and use the emerging domain of conversational agents, voice, and assistants.
After a month of vacation⛱, it’s back to work and back to the newsletter. Taking a step back gave me the following observations:
  • Agent interoperability is becoming more tangible as the demos below show. It also is very early in its development stage so don’t expect too much yet. Personally, I want it now to initiate Google Assitant through Siri to check my bank account.
  • Voice investments are growing, not just Voiceflow, but many more.
  • Dutch Voice Assistant use is lagging when compared to German and UK usage. The main reason may be the lack of a competitive general assistant market. No Alexa in short. The result of this is the low adoption rate of general voice apps and a larger focus on customer care applications.
It makes me think of the development path of the automobile. There were many innovations we now forgot we had back then. Electronic cars for instance. Did you know the first one was made in 1838? Also, there were many brands we now don’t remember. Duryea Motor Wagon Company was the first in America. And the Rambler used to be the top seller. Neither name rings a bell, right? In 50 years we may not remember Alexa or Siri.
Voice as a platform, a channel, and an application is walking its own path. Just like the automobile. And it’s on us to generate the value and create the innovations. Are you ready?
🎪 The Conversational Conference and the Emerce Voice Masterclass 🎪
The first IRL keynotes requests are coming in. YES! And until then join me online with the cream of the Dutch conversational ‘crop’ at the Conversational Conference, on Thursday, September 23rd.
The closing keynote will be by me and before that Hans van Dam of the Conversation Design Institute, Marike van der Klomp of Vattenfall, Phoebe Ohayon of Whoozy Agency, and Annemieke Bakker of Centraal Beheer, and many others will share the experience and insights.
A week later you and your colleague have the opportunity to lay the foundation of your Voice knowledge in the Emerce Masterclass Voice. Online from 9:30 till 13:00 on September 30th you will learn the basics: voice history, players, and usage types. The application: in usage, cases, models, and how to deal with privacy. The future: with trends such as voice interoperability, edge computing, and technological sovereignty. And lastly the action: create your own agent.
🌮 VoiceLunchNL: starting next week 🥪
VoicelunchNL on August 18th, 12:00-13:00 (Amsterdam time) via Zoom. Join us 15 mins earlier to chat.
Guest to be announced.

Multi-Agent Device Experience Demos by Partners
Multi-Agent Device Experience Demos by Partners
Above here a video with seven demos of multi-agent experiences involving Alexa and other voice agents.  Note the following:
  • The number of non-US partners
  • The use of English and other languages
  • The diversity of apps and content
  • The variety of endpoint devices
That’s it for this week, I’ll be back next Monday with a new edition of the Open Voice newsletter.
Cheers,
— Maarten Lens-FitzGerald
PS My book ‘Voice - de spraakrevolutie: inzichten en kansen, is avalible in audio format. YES IN VOICE! It was great fun to work on together with Phoebe and Maikel of Whoozy Agency. Get it one BOL or Storytel.
Need help designing and rolling out your Voice Strategy or want to start with an energizing keynote or workshop? Let me know: 0646333308
Did you enjoy this issue?
Maarten Lens-FitzGerald

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