Voice Day 3

Three Things We Learned About at Voice19 Day 3

VOICE19 ended on a high note Thursday. The conference never lacked energy, despite the fatigue of a week full of panels and talks, not to mention the celebration of the VOICE19, Alexa Cup, and Samsung Bixby awards last night. Here are a few of our highlights from today, and be sure to come back to read our story on the conference as a whole tomorrow. 

Voice For Every Industry

Voice technology is often thought of as an unruly space, but even the most regulated industries are starting to dive into experimenting with it. Voicebot’s own Bret Kinsella moderated a panel taking a look at how finance and voice tech are interacting. Insights from leaders at Visa, TD Ameritrade, and Prudential Financial all shared how their companies are starting to use voice technology, and the lessons they have learned in adding it to their industry.

Organizing Voices for Harmony

Kinsella also moderated a second panel where executives from Nestle, Royal Bank of Canada (RBC), and The American Red Cross discussed their organizational models for delivering voice and conversational AI solutions. Nestle and RBC both employ an innovation lab approach where they help build initial capabilities and even deploy solutions to demonstrate the technology’s capabilities. However, the expectation is that the company divisions will take over the programs and start new ones after an initial project. 

The Red Cross is building more of a center of excellence model where they both focus on strategy and employ partners to deliver and sustain voice and conversational capabilities. Each of the panelists, Josh Baillon of Nestle, Ryan Mattews of RBC, and Michelle Mullenax of The American Red Cross, affirmed how important it is for their organizations to establish early projects to learn about the technology while in use in addition to targeting concrete goals.

Accessible Power

The intersection of accessibility and new technology is an important issue that is often a secondary consideration or ignored altogether. It wasn’t ignored at VOICE 19, however. Open Style Lab founder Christina Mallon spoke in the morning about her ALS and the importance of voice technology to her as her arms weakened. Now, her company creates accessible fashion and is working on a voice-activated tie. Accessibility came up frequently throughout the day, including an appearance by students from the local school for the deaf, and a closing keynote by Thomas Chappell, a senior associate for Infra Sysdev, who gave his entire talk in sign language.

“If you can design for me, you can design for anyone,” Chappell said.

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