The future of voice: the hyperlink for voice or inter-skill communication - Issue #46





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The future of voice: the hyperlink for voice or inter-skill communication - Issue #46
By Mari from VoiceFirst Weekly • Issue #46 • View online
It’s Thursday again, each week we publish a new issue. But that’s hasn’t been true for the last two weeks Mari? I hear you telling me in indifferent tone. I feel you.
Last week I had the pleasure of moderating The Future of Voice panel at the SuperBot 2019 conference with amazing folks from Google, NBA, Viacom and Earplay. If you didn’t notice on Twitter, it pick up interest. The panel explored future mediums and content types, where voice might be going in the future and the car was named as the next landmark for voice and audio innovations to break in.
Staying in the conference track, this week was Voice of the car conference, to which I couldn’t attend, but gauging from the reaction in social media it delivered to its promise. I’ll gather main takeaways from voice enthusiasts and practitioners I know that were there to talk about next week. One of the major announcements was, a new initiative by Score Publishing, same company that organizes VoiceFirst events like Alexa Conference and Voice of the car.
Finally, did you learn about the Bloomberg article of Amazon Alexa workers listening to what we tell Alexa? What are your thoughts? I’m not surprised in the slightest but it’s interesting to learn how other people see this.
As always, much ❤️ in your lives, work and families.

Healthcare skills in Alexa
Today, we’re excited to announce that the Alexa Skills Kit now enables select Covered Entities and their Business Associates, subject to the U.S. Health Insurance Portability and Accountability Act of 1996 (HIPAA), to build Alexa skills that transmit and receive protected health information as part of an invite-only program. Six new Alexa healthcare skills from industry-leading healthcare providers, payors, pharmacy benefit managers, and digital health coaching companies are now operating in our HIPAA-eligible environment. In the future, we expect to enable additional developers to take advantage of this capability.
Voice as the Next Frontier for Conveniently Accessing Healthcare Services
In case you haven’t heard the news, you can now create healthcare skills for Alexa. This is on one side expected and on the other, breaking news, a major development for the healthcare industry in the US. Amazon has been hinting its interest in the healthcare industry for some time now, and the questions will change for an industry where voice can be so fundamental. We are approaching that exact moment in time where companies will no be able to ignore voice without major consequences, even bigger than the costs of missed opportunity of the mobile era. Pretty exciting to watch.
Google ML kit adds smart reply language identification API.
ML Kit allow mobile app developers on both iOS and Android to benefit from the real-world uses of ML without needing to understand how the algorithm works. Google’s Firebase SDK for Machine Learning began with five APIs, namely, for text recognition, face detection, barcode scanning, image labeling and landmark recognition. And now, Google has announced that the API is expanding into Natural Language Processing (NLP) to include Language Identification and Smart Reply.
Alexa will start rolling out long-form news briefings in the US
Surveys have previously suggested that while almost half of smart speaker owners in the UK and the US use their devices for the news, far fewer see it as their speaker’s most important piece of functionality. However, now that Amazon has built the functionality into the core Alexa service that could change. Previously the likes of NPR and The New York Times have needed to use optional Alexa skills to offer more detailed news coverage.
Interesting development for news consumption in Alexa, we talked about news consumption study a few months back, and the lack of skip and the very short formats were considered issues by surveyed users. This change address precisely that, let’s see to what extend it start changing behaviors, particularly for Alexa in the car.
In the news
Alexa now available in Brazil, Amazon is also entering emerging markets with full force. The next battle ground is those markets.
Food for thought
A car can generate about 25 gigabytes of data every hour and as much as 4,000 gigabytes a day. The data trove in the hands of car makers could be worth as much as $750 billion by 2030.
Quote of the week
We don’t have the “hyperlink” yet for voice. We enter in and out of voice experiences but are yet to think of building a continued, multi modal experience.
Jon Myers
Did you enjoy this issue?
Mari from VoiceFirst Weekly

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