Thoughts on “Beeb”

August 29, 2019

Rectangle Circle

This week’s announcement that the BBC will develop their own voice assistant received mixed reactions, but for us at SoapBox Labs it underlines a number of realities and exciting opportunities for voice assistants and the voice industry as a whole: – Off-the-shelf voice technology still struggles to deliver on fundamentals like high accuracy for diverse accents. – Global brands are increasingly reluctant to trust big tech companies with their data. – Voice is too big and too important to remain a “one (or two) size fits all” ecosystem. Writing about the BBC’s news Dieter Bohn positions the ecosystem expansion opportunity well: “Imagine other worlds .. where AI-enhanced voice interactions are commonplace and not run through algorithms controlled by Amazon or Apple or Google. I can imagine those worlds, but it seems like precious few people are trying to build them”. And Dieter’s right. Companies like ours are still a rare breed, and voice assistants are just one of the myriad of applications we can apply our “precious” expertise to – in accents, in background noise, and in young kids’ voices. The BBC’s “Beeb” may not succeed but it sets the stage for even more exciting times ahead in the voice industry.

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