Voice AI: The Next Major Workforce Productivity Driver
The role of Artificial Intelligence (AI) in handling repetitive tasks has been around for decades, however, voice-driven AI that enables human-like conversations and interactions is still a relatively new approach. In this article we look at how voice-based AI has transformed in recent years, why now is the right time to incorporate it into your business strategy and the positive impact it can have on organisations and workforce productivity.
The rise of voice-based AI
Long before the likes of Siri and Alexa, voice technology first came onto the market in the early 1960s when IBM introduced the first digital speech recognition tool IBM Shoebox, which recognised 16 words and 9 digits. By the 1970s, Carnegie Mellon had developed its Harpy Program, which was able to comprehend 1,011 words. The next major breakthrough wasn’t until the ‘90s, when Dragon Dictate came onto the market as the first speech recognition system available to consumers. Each of these paved the way for the smart speaker revolution in the ‘00s, where voice assistants started being introduced into the market, with Siri and Google Now leading the way. Since then, we have seen the likes of Alexa and Cortana also become huge players in the industry.
By making voice-driven AI accessible for millions of people and giving researchers and engineers huge amounts of data to learn from, these programs all played a part in the technological advancements we have seen today, where tech companies continue to develop smart voice-driven AI tools at a quicker pace than ever seen before.
We are living in a world where technology is everywhere, giving us convenience, accessibility and information that is available almost instantly, and the demand for getting things done in a quicker and easier fashion continues to rise. According to Statista, the number of digital voice assistants is likely to reach 8.4 billion units by 2024, which is more than the world’s population! This shows that the demand continues to grow and therefore businesses need to be looking at adopting voice-based AI if they want to keep up.
Innovation is crucial for business success
If technology has taught us anything over the past decade, it is that innovation is crucial for business success. A recent survey by Opus Research showed that 46% of business leaders across industries are still unsure about the role and benefits of voice technology. With so many business benefits on offer, we have explored these further and highlighted some of the key reasons to consider voice-based solutions below.
Heavy workload and slow productivity is a major challenge in many companies. Voice AI can automate operations to free up valuable time for employees to focus on other important tasks. Let’s take field work for example. Whilst on the job, it’s very common that workers’ hands are busy operating equipment, yet logging information is critical for the job. Therefore, when they need to log this information, they need to stop the work they’re doing in order to free up their hands to complete forms. Voice-based technology allows your workers to communicate with their voice rather than having to stop and type, enabling them to talk whilst they work, which makes it safer and faster for them to complete the job.
Smart, actionable data
With voice, everything is tracked. Whether it’s a customer support call or an engineer logging a repair they have done, everything can be logged and accessed immediately. It’s also significantly faster to complete reports by speaking rather than typing or writing. Time will be saved from just completing the reports, let alone the time saved from not having to wait around for updates, or chasing people to check existing data is up-to-date and accurate. Having more efficient data logging in place also means there will be less errors, which improves your data for audits and gives you actionable data that can be used to view insights, trends and gaps to improve company-wide decision making.
Happier staff will stick around longer
When you give employees tools to do their jobs better and faster, you will find they are much happier and therefore likely to stay with the business. Happy workers perform better and low turnover means you’ll have better skilled employees in the long run, which benefits the entire organisation.
Voice-based AI benefits the entire organisation, not just one operation
It’s evident that voice-based AI can transform the entire organisation, not just one operation. The Opus Research report also found that 92% of respondents thought widespread use of voice-enabled experiences is less than five years away. That means now is a critical time for organisations to start getting serious about using voice technology in order to get ahead of the competition or they risk falling behind.
At Wluper, we are working on unique voice-based Conversational AI technology, giving you access to powerful voice and language understanding technology on any device. Using advanced NLU, we allow users to speak more naturally than ever before. No scripts or patterns, simply speak as you normally would and our voice-based technology will understand.