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1000 Echos per second 😱? No way! The year of voice - Issue #30

This week, without a doubt, the smashing hit is Amazon Echo sales for Amazon. Brian Roemmele tweeted
1000 Echos per second 😱? No way! The year of voice - Issue #30
By Mari from VoiceFirst Weekly • Issue #30 • View online
This week, without a doubt, the smashing hit is Amazon Echo sales for Amazon. Brian Roemmele tweeted that at some point 1000 units were bought by second! That’s not a small feat. I don’t have data about Google Home/Home Mini sales, but I’m going to go with impressive as well, considering the deals Walmart was promoting. Question is: how much more could have Google sell if they were in Amazon.com? We’ll never know.  This is truly the year where voice technology is shifting to a more pervasive interface. And we are not even at Christmas yet! Much ❤️.

The ultimate resource in voice technology.
The ultimate resource in voice technology.
African languages are being left behind when it comes to voice recognition innovation
…research by the early-stage accelerator Digital Financial Services Lab and research consultancy Caribou Digital shows developers are focusing much of their efforts on improving English language capabilities and less on languages from developing nations in Africa and Asia.
If voice technology is going to be the next interface to bring the next billion to the internet, it has to be inclusive. This article explores the result of a report about the language divide. As opposed to the digital divide the language divide is an emerging divide that relegates low-income populations and less widely-spoken languages to the background.
One of the factors influencing the divide is profit.
By multiplying the number of speakers of a language by the gross domestic product per capita, the authors found the top 100 languages cover approximately 96% of global GDP. Yet these 100 languages comprised less than 60% of all populations, highlighting a fundamental tension between the commercial and social value of languages.
There is the problem of lack of data to train the systems in African languages, considering the multilingual nature of modern Africans.
Worth read to ponder on the challenges voice technology has to enter emerging markets.
Winning the smart speaker vote is the next digital frontier
Next cycle’s campaigns ignore voice search at their peril.
If I still don’t have your attention with the above, here’s more:
As our adoption and dependency on voice search increase, they could have a huge effect on voters’ perceptions of candidates. Folks are beginning to innately trust Alexa’s voice as a subject matter expert… A smart speaker’s answer to a voter’s question could make or break a candidacy in a tight 2020 race.
Smart speakers influencing elections? Will the next (digital) election scandal come from Alexa or Google Home?
Relevant if you live in the US, and for those that don’t another evidence of the reach of voice assistants and the role they are playing in social decision making.
A safe smart speaker for children to use technology
Narta (the National Associated Retail Traders of Australia) has reportedly signed on ‘Birde’ – manufacturer of the world’s first smart media player for kids – as its preferred national supplier.
With no access to the internet [or advertising], children over 1 years can independently use Birde to listen to music, audiobooks, or play video when synced to a connected smart device (e.g. TV).
Content is stored on hexagonal disks (‘Birde Seeds’), with material specifically developed for young children. Content partners include ABC Kids, StoryBots and Dinosnores with more to come ($11.95 per pack).
The novel part of Birde is the choice of allowing children to use technology in a safe way.
Digital voice banking trends
Voice banking is not about Alexa or Google Home; it’s about everything from cars to watches, televisions, hotel rooms and homes.
In the news
Quote of the week
It’s not voice or screen. It’s both working seamlessly together to create convenience for the customer.
Chuck Moore, Vice President of Alexa Shopping
Did you enjoy this issue?
Mari from VoiceFirst Weekly

The ultimate resource in #VoiceFirst. Weekly digest of the most relevant news in the #VoiceFirst ecosystem. Everything from voice assistants to bots including conversational AI and published audio.

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