SoundHound Widens Voice AI Options for On-Device and Cloud Processing
SoundHound has released a new lineup of tools for companies looking to embed a voice assistant in their products. The new range of tools is designed around how much of the operations happen in the cloud versus within a device, or on-edge. That way, manufacturers can embed voice AI to match the level of power and privacy best suited for their products as on-edge processing skips the need to communicate with distant servers.
Edge to Cloud
SoundHound’s Edge model offers to keep all of the voice AI systems within a device. Natural language understanding and task completion happen without the need of the internet, which can appeal to those who value data privacy more. The commands and wake word can be customized to suit the device, so it does require hitting a minimum amount of memory and processing power. The new EdgeLite model does the same but is specifically set for products that don’t need a lot of memory or processing power to run and includes a built-in wake word. Think of independent, smart home devices with just an on and off switch, for instance. For businesses who want a voice AI for devices that don’t require the benefits of edge processing, there’s the Cloud-Only model that keeps all of the data and processing power in the cloud, meaning the device’s capabilities are irrelevant for offering voice features.
In between are the new hybrid systems that use both edge and cloud services. The EdgeLite+Cloud option is essentially the same as EdgeLite, but includes the capability of connecting to the cloud for when that might be necessary to answer questions or send upgrades to the device and the voice AI over the air. There’s also an Edge+Cloud that ups the power requirements to match the Edge model. SoundHound first debuted the hybrid models when it extended its deal to provide voice AI systems for Hyundai cars earlier this year. Notably, the hybrid systems use SoundHound’s Active Arbitration, a feature unveiled when SoundHound signed a deal with car manufacturing giant Stellantis that searches the cloud and the device for answers simultaneously. The answers come back faster than the traditional system of searching one than the other.
“Increasingly, consumers are using their voices to interact with products and devices, and yet many brands are still struggling to settle on the best path when it comes to adopting voice AI,” SoundHound CEO Keyvan Mohajers said. “We’re providing this range of solutions to help any company meet customer expectations of speed and accuracy, with results delivered in the style of natural conversation. And with the right technology in place, voice quickly becomes a new channel to strengthen a brand’s relationship with its customers.”