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It's time to start thinking in natural speech for search - Issue #16

A couple of weeks back I said I was in the search of the Voice Summit presentations, and I was tracki
It's time to start thinking in natural speech for search - Issue #16
By Mari from VoiceFirst Weekly • Issue #16 • View online
A couple of weeks back I said I was in the search of the Voice Summit presentations, and I was tracking the conference slack channel down for them. Luckily for all of us I didn’t have to finish that task, since Modev made available the videos of the talks, all 115. Excellent work by Modev team 👏.
In last Saturday daily briefing we did a very soft launch of VoiceFirst Weekly Voice Job Board which is very much in progress. As happens often, that launch had some last minute issues and it was not available in the website, but I promise we will back to it with a proper launch.
And finally as a reminder, the Alexa Conference will take place January 15-17, in Chattanooga, TN. If you are working with Alexa, you shouldn’t miss it. You are still in time to Register.

Amazon Alexa keeps expanding their API
In a huge release for skills developers Amazon announced this week the availability of the Alexa Settings API. The new feature will allow developers to reference the customer preferred timezone and thus improve customization of their applications. As Amazon continues to release new features the ability to build more personalized voice applications for Alexa keeps growing. Memo Doring made an example app on NodeJS on how to use it.
Hey Google, how do I optimize for Voice Search
This is a question that will matter more and more, as well as position zero. It’s time to start thinking in natural speech.
Conversational question answering challenge
The heavy read of the week: A paper by University of Cornell featuring a dataset for building Conversational Question Answering systems. The questions are conversational and the dataset has 127k questions with answers. The dataset is publicly available and licensed Apache 2.0. It might be helpful for voice apps design and research. Enjoy!
Aloha, Facebook voice
Facebook seems to be testing voice capabilities in Messenger and Instagram, which might hint to more development in the area by the company. Facebook has had a year amid privacy concerns for which reportedly has delayed their smart device announcement. The race is heating up fast for smart assistants. I’m here for it.
Try the Moodies Emotions Analytics app
Try the Mood emotion analytics app for Android users (Unfortunately, I couldn’t find it in the App Store). The app by Beyond Verbal listens to you for 20 seconds and then deduce your mood from the speech. The good thing is the app records what you said and shows in what part of the speech identified what emotion. Pretty interesting.
Quote of the week
Sound is dynamic. Speech is dynamic — it is action. 
Ursula LeGuin
Women in voice community has a website, check it out, and follow their account on Twitter.
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Mari from VoiceFirst Weekly

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