The Webby Awards is Including 10 New Categories for Voice
The Webby Awards have been honoring excellence on the internet for 12 years and this year, the Webby Awards will also be recognizing the prominence of voice technology by adding ten new categories for voice applications. Five nominees were selected for each category, and voting closes today. The winners will be announced on April 23rd. The categories are split into general voice categories and voice features. General voice categories are:
Voice features are:
Inclusion Indicates Importance of Voice Applications
This move is significant because it is an opportunity for companies who are pioneering the use of voice to get national recognition from their peers. The inclusion also indicates the growing shift of the voice industry to be a part of the mainstream and highlights the wide-ranging use-cases voice applications have. The Webby Awards website states,
For The Webby Awards’ 23rd season, and in response to the proliferation of groundbreaking capabilities for voice-enabled devices and smart assistants, we’re thrilled to launch a new dedicated suite of honors just for Voice.
The Webby Awards is also bringing on-board five different expert judges to review work across Voice categories this year, including
- Voice technology veteran Cathy Pearl, who heads Conversation Design Outreach at Google
- Amazon’s CTO Werner Vogels
- Anna Patterson, Founder and Managing Partner at Gradient Ventures at Google
- 360i President Abbey Klaassen
- VP & Chief AI Scientist at Facebook, Yann LeCun
There is an opportunity for applications to win in two ways. The first way is that the judges choose a winner, and the second way has internet users voting on the Webby Awards People’s Voice. A post on the Webby Awards website covers “the best of this year’s voice experiences,” which include Westworld: The Maze by 360i, the Gorillaz #FreeMurdoc chatbot by Warner Bros Records, and Novel Effect by Novel Effect. With smart speaker ownership rising 40% in 2018 to reach 66.4 million and the total number of smart speakers in use rising to 133 million according to Voicebot data, the addition of voice application categories to the Webby Awards is an exciting development for the voice industry.