Remember the good old days of using Command Prompt? You type commands and syntaxes and magic happens! Over the last three decades, the way we interact with computers has rapidly evolved, and technology has come a long way from command prompt, point & click interface, touch screen interface to present day’s voice interface.
With the advent of voice assistants like Alexa and Siri, voice AI has penetrated almost every household and has become an integral part of our personal lives. With this mass adoption of AI assistants, the focus now is driven toward voice AI in transforming the way businesses operate.
Voice AI is a part of conversational AI that interprets and responds to voice inputs. With this technology, devices can interpret directives and react to humans in natural language.
According to a study by Pew Research Center, around 55% of AI users prefer using applications that offer voice interface as they provide hands-free operation of devices. With the current trend of massive adoption, the Voice AI market is expected to grow up to USD 24 billion by 2024.
Most AI voice assistants like Amazon’s Alexa, Apple’s Siri, and Google’s Assistant serve our everyday needs like creating grocery lists, playing music, reading audiobooks, and much more. Similarly, in the business context, voice assistants have multiple use cases and can prove to be an excellent economic tool where businesses can deploy it and improve productivity in the workplace, cut costs, and more.
With the help of voice AI, customers today can interact with businesses in a fast, convenient, and hands-free manner across multiple platforms. Voice assistants can provide superior filtering functionality for consumers so they don’t get lost in a sea of unrelated suggestions, place orders, compare products and services, and resolve queries in no time.
Apart from offering better CX, voice AI can help solve constraints in business processes by seamlessly integrating with in-house databases and providing data-driven solutions in a fraction of the time of current processes all through voice interactions. From manufacturing to healthcare, voice AI, with the help of Natural Language Processing (NLP), enables frontline employees to complete workflows and capture observations in real-time. Conversational AI can be equipped to learn and understand abbreviations, acronyms, and jargon specific to an industry. This, in turn, enables voice AI to interpret the intent of the user, convert voice to text and instantly capture high-quality records instead of the time-consuming task of manually recording observations.
For example, a doctor prescribing a medicine says ‘Paracetamol 250 mg’, and the AI will understand ‘mg’ as the unit of measurement and records it as ‘milligram’.
The use cases of voice AI in healthcare are many. Voice AI can serve both patients and doctors through instant voice-based interactions. Patients can book appointments, set follow-up reminders, and access their medical records through simple conversations. Furthermore, doctors can access medical records of patients and their previous visits, and record observations and prescriptions through speech without having to record them manually, allowing them to focus on the patient in front of them.
AI-enabled voice assistants play a significant role in streamlining operations in manufacturing. Voice AI can connect to backend manufacturing systems for direct input and retrieval of data instantly and also help synchronize operations by easing communications among various departments. With the help of technologies such as Automatic Speech Recognition (ASR), heavy machinery workers can record by speaking about critical issues and observations, and listen to inputs without having to remove protective gear such as gloves for written documentation. This automation helps the industry to improve production efficiency and ergonomics and cut manufacturing costs.
According to a study by Gartner, 80% of consumer applications will be developed with a ‘voice-first’ philosophy.
Voice AI assistants can handle processes such as payments, transfers, pay alerts, renewal reminders, and so much more for customers while freeing up customer-service teams to focus on more complex issues and enhance productivity.
Apart from this, voice AI can convert recorded calls into structured data and analyze them. In a five-minute call between a customer care agent and a consumer, more than 2000 words are exchanged. With voice assistants, businesses can rapidly analyze call recordings and identify compliance issues, privacy concerns, and other new requirements. This allows businesses to improve customer satisfaction and figure out opportunities for up-selling and cross-selling.
Deloitte surveyed 1,500 C-level executives and found that only 17% understood what conversational AI is and what it means for their businesses but today, the fact that speech recognition has reached an accuracy rate of 95% is proof enough that AI is advancing rapidly.
Some of the obvious ROI gains for businesses from adopting smart AI-enabled assistants include richer data capture, data-driven business intelligence, simplified work management, troubleshooting, and increased access to structured industry knowledge data. As the world moves more and more towards voice technologies, it is evident that voice AI is the future of CX and employee experience in various industries and therefore it is important that businesses take advantage of them as quickly as possible and stay ahead of the curve.
Originally posted: Voice AI: Voice as an Interface