How Alan AI Gives Enterprise Apps a Voice
As voice technology matures, developers are finding new ways of integrating it into existing enterprises. Alan AI created an eponymous platform to do just that for businesses by adding voice capabilities to applications they rely on to connect and coordinate sometimes far-flung teams.
A Voice to Connect Enterprises
“We let anyone add voice to their application and interact with existing functions of their applications automatically,” Alan AI senior product manager James Shelburne told Voicebot in an interview. “We put an Alan button in the application and it can complete any task the app would do.”
Businesses that operate across a wide area of geography with field teams are increasingly likely to have a mobile app. The app may record details of the work, map out locations to travel to, and otherwise bind the field agent with the central database at their office. While mobile apps are great for eliminating the need to constantly call or report back in person, the need to tap out information and examine a screen makes them far from frictionless. On top of that, every employee needs to be trained to use the app, including updates and new features. That’s where Alan AI offers to ease the burden.
“Mobile apps can be hard to learn and hard to change, but they’re a requirement for many employees,” Shelburne said. “Enterprise apps are becoming part of how a lot of businesses function. When they push the Alan button, it’s like talking to someone to do the work for them, instead of having to work out the steps in the app. It saves time too because they don’t have to tap through, it’s hands-free and they can even use while they’re driving.”
Alan was founded in 2017 in Sunnyvale, California by long-time veterans of the voice tech industry Ramu Sunkara and Andrey Ryabov. Sunkara previously founded Qik, the voice messaging platform eventually acquired by Skype. Alan applies some of the lessons he and Ryabov learned about artificial intelligence and voice, but in a new direction. The AI, like the company, was named for Alan Turing, one of the fathers of the science of artificial intelligence.
Alan’s design creates a machine learning platform that offers a conversational experience but is capable of learning as well. With all of its clients, Alan teaches the AI all of the technical terms and shorthand that a user might employ. The result is a much more personalized vocabulary suited for the mobile apps of different industries.
Most recently, Alan made a deal with Murphy Oil, an energy company based in Arkansas. Murphy sends oil workers all over the world to explore and manage energy extraction and those employees use the company’s mobile app regularly as part of their job. Starting this month, they will have the Alan AI button available to handle some of the tasks that normally require them to type on their device.
“This is the kind of enterprise that Alan is designed for,” Shelburne said. “Number one we support the domain language model, meaning we support the technical names and phrases. It’s not really something Alexa or Google Assistant would be able to understand. If you were to try on Alexa or Google, all of these different technical terms would be competing with standard language and it wouldn’t work.”