Top Podcasts of 2020

Top Podcasts of 2020 Included UX Design, Healthcare, Custom Assistants, and More

Fifty-six episodes of Voicebot Podcast were published in 2020 and the most downloaded episode was recorded onsite at Project Voice in Chattanooga, Tennesee. Cathy Pearl of Google and Adva Levin from Pretzel Labs discussed how voice UX had changed over the previous three years and where we were headed. Voice UX is not static and Pearl and Levin offered some interesting insights on how practices are evolving.

Episode 136 – Cathy Pearl and Adva Levin on Voice UX


Of course, no one knew could predict the rise of and reaction to the global pandemic that shaped everyone’s 2020. Maybe it’s not surprising that two other interviews also recorded onsite at Project Voice related to healthcare were also among the most listened-to of the year. Nate Treloar of Orbita and Dr. Teri Fisher of Voice in Canada, Voicefirst Health, Voice Den, et al. discussed how voice AI was beginning to permeate multiple areas of healthcare. What they couldn’t foresee was the rapid acceleration adoption spurred by necessity in the wake of the coronavirus pandemic.

Also popular was my interview with Dr. Sandhya Pruthi and Joyce Even of Mayo Clinic (N.B. named a Top 25 Brand in Voice for 2020). The world-famous hospital system had already embraced voice assistant technology like few others in healthcare before 2020 began. We get that perspective from two healthcare leaders before the world changed.

And, we had a roundtable with journalists and analysts discussing the rise of coronavirus and the impact on the voice industry just as the pandemic lockdowns in March were ramping up. Rani Molla of Recode, Ben Fox Rubin of CNET, and David Watkins of Strategy Analytics helped everyone make sense of the unprecedented events unfolding around us.

Episode 135 – Voice Assistants in Healthcare with Nate Treloar and Dr. Teri Fisher

Episode 133 – Mayo Clinic with Dr. Sandhya Pruthi and Joyce Even

Episode 142 – Coronavirus, Tech, and Voice

Custom Assistants

The other big theme of 2020 for Voicebot Podcast was custom assistants. We ran more than 15 episodes shining a spotlight on the rise of custom assistants that are not dependent on Amazon or Google for distribution. The most popular of these was my interview with Andy Webb of BBC. We haven’t seen much of Beeb yet but it is in beta and is likely to be more widely available in 2021. Andy broke down BBC’s journey and shared a bunch of numbers. It was a very illuminating look into the adoption of voice assistant technology by a leading global media brand.

Another custom assistant pioneer has been Deutsche Telekom. Reghu Thanumalayan joined me to discuss the telecom and media giant’s foray into building both a custom voice assistant and smart speaker. We reviewed the objectives, technology stack, and more in a wide-ranging interview that offers the most in-depth look into the rise of the Magenta voice assistant available publicly.

And, we also had one of the leading tooling providers that is enabling the proliferation of custom voice assistants. Alan Nichol is CTO and co-founder of Rasa, the leading open source software for building chatbots and voice assistants. He discussed how enterprises are employing Rasa to build custom assistants for customer engagement, customer support, and embedding them into products. Also in the open source arena, Dr. Monica Lam sat down to talk about the Almond voice assistant and her efforts to provide alternatives to the big tech voice assistants.

Episode 153 – Andy Webb of BBC

Episode 148 – Reghu Thanumalayan of Deutsche Telekom

Episode 157 – Alan Nichol of Rasa

Episode 175 – Dr. Monica Lam of Stanford

More From Voicebot Podcast

There were many more great interviews in 2020 that we don’t have time to list here. I was honored to interview everyone from AI luminaries Dr. Ben Goertzel of SingularityNET and Cerence CEO Sanjay Dhawan and industry innovators such as Jeanine Heck of Comcast and Richard Weeks of U.S. Bank. We are looking forward to another great year on the Voicebot Podcast in 2021 and I am proud of the back catalog we built chronicling the industry in 2020. If you would like to check out more episodes and browse a bit, click here.

3 Memorable Voice AI Trends of 2020

The Top 25 Brand Innovators in Voice for 2020

Voice AI in Europe Year-in-Review 2020 with 169 Labs, Soapbox Labs, and Voxalyze – Voicebot Podcast Ep 185

Voice Developer Year in Review 2020 with Michael Myers, Carl Robinson, and Steve Tingiris – Voicebot Podcast Ep 184