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UK Government Digital Service Prospecting Voice Technology on Gov.uk Website

According to the director, "the work on voice is still in the discovery phase but GDS and use cases aren’t terribly clear as to what people are looking for by voice, specifically for government services. We could go and build Alexa or Cortana skills, but we want to look at this at scale for the whole of government.” 
GDS is also looking at popular chat services, as well as those affected by Brexit. 400 possible services have been identified..

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Call Centers Tap Voice-Analysis Software to Monitor Moods

Call Centers Tap Voice-Analysis Software to Monitor Moods | Language Tech Market News | Scoop.it
In addition to nudging call agents to pep up their tone, or respond to distress in a caller’s voice, Cogito’s software listens to the pace and pattern of calls. Agents see a notification if they start speaking more quickly, a caller is silent for a long time, or the caller and agent talk over each other. Humans can notice all those things, but struggle to do so consistently, says Feast. “We’re trying to help someone doing 60 calls a day, and who may be tired,” he says.
LT-Innovate's insight:

What's interesting is the way voice is becoming a data indicator modality for almost anything to do with psychological states, health issues (i.e; voice symptoms pointing to disease), diversity, etc. Next step: correlating words (ie meanings) with voice states to finetune the analytics? 

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Novel Voice Recognition Technology for Interpol's Legal Arsenal

Novel Voice Recognition Technology for Interpol's Legal Arsenal | Language Tech Market News | Scoop.it
The EU-funded SIIP (Speaker Identification Integrated Project) aims to discard these doubts with an innovative probabilistic, language-independent identification system. This system uses a novel Speaker-Identification (SID) engine and a Global Info Sharing Mechanism (GISM) to identify unknown speakers who are captured in lawfully intercepted calls, recorded crime or terror arenas, social media and any other type of speech source.
LT-Innovate's insight:

What you would expect.

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New Tech is Changing Lives for People who Cannot Speak

New Tech is Changing Lives for People who Cannot Speak | Language Tech Market News | Scoop.it
Those who cannot speak are constantly reminded of their “unreality” in the eyes of society. Of the seven voices VocaliD completed in its first year, six were for children or teenagers with cerebral palsy, many of whom complained that strangers tend to either ignore them entirely, directing any questions or conversation to their parents, or speak to them as though they were toddlers.
LT-Innovate's insight:

Long, interesting piece about designing new voices for people who have lost their's due to disease, etc. People tend to adapt to their new voice rather than try and reconstruct their "real" old voice. 

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@Voysis Launches Independent Commerce Platform for Retailers and Brands

@Voysis Launches Independent Commerce Platform for Retailers and Brands | Language Tech Market News | Scoop.it

Voysis (Ireland) has announced its new product, Voysis Commerce, and released the findings of a research report that shows voice commerce and search is at a major inflection point for retailers and brands. The launch of Voysis Commerce comes shortly after the company revealed their breakthrough on WaveNet technology that improves on public demonstrations by Google’s DeepMind team. Voysis Commerce allows any eCommerce company to stand up their own brand-specific, native Voice experience, which can be easily incorporated into their mobile websites, apps and devices.

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Why Investors are Using #NLProc to Seek Competitive Edge

Why Investors are Using #NLProc to Seek Competitive Edge | Language Tech Market News | Scoop.it

Prattle, a US company that uses NLP to systematically scan speeches and papers by Federal Reserve officials — scoring them as hawkish or dovish and in a flash sending the signal to hedge fund subscribers — is now building up an analytical platform for equities as well. Applying its central banking analysis to corporate statements was a next step in its evolution, according to Evan Schnidman, Prattle’s chief executive. “Quantifying things that before were unquantifiable is now becoming common,” he says.

LT-Innovate's insight:

Analysing spoken linguistic behaviour will become commonplace: for training people to achieve empathy, for medical diagnoses,  tracking extreme-situation machine management (planes and cars), criminology and general profile screening.

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How Enhanced HD Voice Radically Improves Call Quality

How Enhanced HD Voice Radically Improves Call Quality | Language Tech Market News | Scoop.it

Enhanced HD Voice technology is designed to improve the bandwidth available for voice, decrease delay jitter, and help prevent packet-loss. What this means for users is better sounding, clearer calls and smoother voice and video conferencing than ever before. The technology works across 4G and WiFi calling connections.

LT-Innovate's insight:

We always tend to forget the importance of the telecom infrastructure in enabling speech and language tech to give its best. Voice quality improvements will help remote interpreting and similar apps, as well as plain old phone conversations - and the data they generate for platform owners.

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New Asia-focused LSP Eyes Voice Market

New Asia-focused LSP Eyes Voice Market | Language Tech Market News | Scoop.it
Beyond the tried-and-tested business of selling translations of written content, Delanty says he sees big opportunities in voice. “A lot of what’s today done in writing will move to voice in the future,” he says, adding that this means companies need to move from translation to corpus building.
LT-Innovate's insight:

All about data, once again.

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Copy Anyone's Voice from 1 minute of Audio?

Copy Anyone's Voice from 1 minute of Audio? | Language Tech Market News | Scoop.it
Montreal-based Lyrebird’s new service. The company says its API will let you synthesize speech in anyone’s voice from just a minute-long recording – which means you could, for instance, generate a clip of President Trump declaring war on Canada.

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Brand Advantages from Cognitive Responses to Voice Technology

Brand Advantages from Cognitive Responses to Voice Technology | Language Tech Market News | Scoop.it
The Speak Easy study, managed by media and marketing firm, Mindshare, and creative think tank, J. Walter Thompson Innovation Group, have released its report outlining how brands should incorporate voice activation and tech into their propositions to build loyal connections.  
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Looking to Listen: Focusing on Who Says What in a Video

Looking to Listen: Focusing on Who Says What in a Video | Language Tech Market News | Scoop.it

In “Looking to Listen at the Cocktail Party”, we present a deep learning audio-visual model for isolating a single speech signal from a mixture of sounds such as other voices and background noise. In this work, we are able to computationally produce videos in which speech of specific people is enhanced while all other sounds are suppressed. Our method works on ordinary videos with a single audio track, and all that is required from the user is to select the face of the person in the video they want to hear, or to have such a person be selected algorithmically based on context. We believe this capability can have a wide range of applications, from speech enhancement and recognition in videos, through video conferencing, to improved hearing aids, especially in situations where there are multiple people speaking.

LT-Innovate's insight:

Classic hearing problem, interesting ML solution. Imagine this integrated into a pair of far-field microphone+glasses that let you focus on a specific individual's speech across a crowded room...Better than lipreading technology?

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Voicery Makes Synthesized Voices Sound More Like Humans

Voicery Makes Synthesized Voices Sound More Like Humans | Language Tech Market News | Scoop.it

A new US startup called Voicery wants to leverage ML advancements to improve speech synthesis. The result is a fast, flexible speech engine that sounds more human — and less like a robot. Its machine voices can then be used anywhere a synthesized voice is needed — including in new applications, like automatically generated audiobooks or podcasts, voice-overs, TV dubs and elsewhere.

LT-Innovate's insight:

It's ironic that the owner of most famous "unhuman" synthesised voice on the planet (Stephen Hawking) has just died, but that his strange voice will theoretically linger on and could produce more content. 

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How Big Data Knowledge of Customers Enables Effective Voice Advertisements

How Big Data Knowledge of Customers Enables Effective Voice Advertisements | Language Tech Market News | Scoop.it

Smply put, voice-activated content sits right at the heart of what consumers want: Control. The information consumers give us to exert that control over content informs our ability to deliver them relevant, engaging advertising. As programmatic options continue to get refined, the ease for lifestyle brands and their agencies to get results increases geometrically.

LT-Innovate's insight:

Voice ads only come linearly, (one at a time) so how to you ensure customers get to hear what they want? Predictive big data of course.

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Report: Identifying Opportunities for a Voice-powered IoT

Report: Identifying Opportunities for a Voice-powered IoT | Language Tech Market News | Scoop.it

According to the latest research from Strategy Analytics, From Alexa to Industry: Opportunities for a Voice-powered Internet of Things (IoT), key reasons for the relevance of Voice in the IoT include

  • Speech being a natural mode of communication for humans.
  • permitting interaction when hands and eyes are occupied.
  • Opening up biometric security options through the unique properties of a human voice.
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@Speechmatics Speeds up Machine Language Learning and Transcription 

@Speechmatics Speeds up Machine Language Learning and Transcription  | Language Tech Market News | Scoop.it

Speech-to-text specialist Speechmatics (UK) has developed Automatic Linguist (AL), which it says drastically improves the speed at which new languages are built for use in speech-to-text transcription. AL has the potential to learn any language in a matter of days, which will help the firm expand its service around the world in to new areas. The system also allows for the rapid iteration, improvement and adaption of existing languages.

LT-Innovate's insight:

Dark horse company, bright future?

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AI Learns How to Pick Out a Single Voice from a Crowd

AI Learns How to Pick Out a Single Voice from a Crowd | Language Tech Market News | Scoop.it

Mitsubishi Electric Research Laboratory in Cambridge, Massachusetts,  has demonstrated AI that is able to separate the voices of multiple speakers in real time. It uses a machine learning technique called “deep clustering” to identifies unique features in the “voiceprint” of multiple speakers. It then groups the distinct features from each speaker’s voice together, allowing it to disentangle multiple voices and then reconstruct what each person was saying. 

LT-Innovate's insight:

No hiding place: voice joins video in spotting individuals.

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Voice and the Uncanny valley of AI

Voice and the Uncanny valley of AI | Language Tech Market News | Scoop.it

A smartphone is not a neutral platform in the way that the desktop web browser (mostly) was - Apple and Google have control over what is possible on the mobile internet in ways that Microsoft did not over the desktop internet. This makes internet companies nervous - it makes Google nervous of Apple (and this is one reason why it bought Android) and Amazon and Facebook nervous of both. They want their own consumer platforms, but don't have them. This is an significant driver behind the Kindle Fire, Alexa, Facebook Messenger bots and all sorts of other projects.

LT-Innovate's insight:

Thoughtful analysis of why Voice is in the forefront of the tech business, and why it cannot play the same role as the old Windows-type visual interface on a computer.

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Speak Easy 2017 Report: Voice is Much More Emotional

Speak Easy 2017 Report: Voice is Much More Emotional | Language Tech Market News | Scoop.it

Mindshare and J. Walter Thompson Innovation Group have launched Speak Easy – a report identifying how brands must adapt and evolve to the rise of a voice activated world. Key findings of the report show that consumers have a stronger emotional connection to brands when using voice technology. In fact, the research, which includes a neuroscience study carried out by Neuro Insight, a leading neuroscience research agency, showed that emotional activity was twice as high when consumers voiced a brand question rather than type it. It also revealed that 50% less brain activity occurs when processing an answer delivered by voice, meaning people find it much easier to use.

LT-Innovate's insight:

From sentiment to emotion, text to voice. What will they be selling us next? 

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UK Voice Searches for Hotels up 343% YoY

UK Voice Searches for Hotels up 343% YoY | Language Tech Market News | Scoop.it

In 2016, Bing had a 20.5% share, which has now risen to 25% with 30 million unique searchers and 900 million monthly searches. There has been a threefold annual rise in UK consumers using voice to search for hotels and flights. Searches via Cortana for hotels has risen 343% YoY, and flights by 277%.
Interestingly, nearly all (95%) of searches for hotels and flights were found to be driven by brand.

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