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The Voicebot Podcast
89 minutes | 3 days ago
Nuance Acquired by Microsoft: Breaking Down the $20B Deal - Voicebot Podcast Ep 205
Microsoft announced a $20 billion acquisition of Nuance this past week and Voicebot invited four experts in the field to help break down why the deal makes sense and what it means for the industry. Kavita Reddi is co-founder of Voxta, a provider of automated speech recognition technology for call centers and embedded products. Tom Hebner is vice president of Nueraflash and previously spent a dozen years as head of innovation for voice and AI technology at Nuance. Nate Treloar is co-founder and president of Orbita a leading provider of conversational AI technologies to healthcare providers. Paul Sweeney is co-founder and EVP of product at Webio a conversational AI middleware provider for contacts centers in financial services and collections.
50 minutes | 9 days ago
File Progress Voice Games with Doppio, Drive.fm, Matchbox.io, and Volley - Voicebot Podcast Ep 204
Today, we talk voice-first games, other interactive audio content, and creating voice experiences for the smart speaker, smartphone, and in the car. Our guests have many years of successful game development for voice and on other platforms. Sarah Andrew Wilson is Chief Content Officer of Matchbox.io which is better known for its popular games voice games such as Question of the Day, Guess My Name, and Kids Quiz. Matchbox began building games as Alexa Skills and now also has a mobile app and podcast. We discuss that migration in today's discussion. Max Child is CEO and co-founder of Volley, a game maker that began with conversational experiences for messaging apps that went all-in on Alexa skill games and now also has a mobile app for its games and podcasts. Some of its well-known games include Song Quiz, Yes Sire, and Popcorn Tycoon. Doppio Games co-founder and CEO Jeferson Valadares has a long history in the gaming industry for mobile, console, and desktop that included executive roles at EA and Bandai Namco. Doppio is known for its Amazon Alexa and Google Assistant games The Vortex, The 3% Challenge, and Pac-Man Waka Waka. Rounding out our speaker roster is Niko Vuori, CEO of Drive.fm. The Drive.fm mobile app is built for commuters and offers a wide range of entertainment options including interactive quizzes such as the Drivetime show, Jeopardy which includes voice tracks from Alex Trebeck, and other audio entertainment. Niko is another games industry veteran having co-founded Rocket Games and holding past executive roles at ToyTalk and Zynga.
68 minutes | 16 days ago
Per Ottosson CEO of Artificial Solutions - Voicebot Podcast Ep 203
Per Ottosson is CEO of Artificial Solutions, the Sweden-based maker of Teneo software used for building custom chatbots, virtual assistants, and conversational interfaces in over 80 languages. He joined the company in 2020 after a decade in leadership roles at IPSoft and two decades in enterprise software. Teneo is a popular software solution for contact centers that is also used for product integrations and marketing applications. The company's big focus of late has been its partnership with Microsoft which includes integration with the LUIS NLU and access to Teneo through the Azure cloud. We discuss where the industry has been, what's driving activity today, and where we are headed.
65 minutes | 23 days ago
Brian Crannell SVP of Knowles on Tiny Speakers and MEMs Mics - Voicebot Podcast Ep 202
Tiny microphones and speakers are key enablers of the voice assistant revolution. From smart speakers to smart wireless earbuds (hearables), the audio components make it possible for voice assistants to communicate. Knowles Corporation is a leading supplier of these audio components for edge devices selling about $800 million in revenue annually. Brian Crannell is the SVP that oversees the development of audio solutions. He has been with Knowles for a decade, has degrees in mechanical engineering and law, and 25 years in consumer electronics.
73 minutes | a month ago
Bahubali Shete CEO of TinyChef on His Journey to 1M Voice App Users and New Voice Commerce Features on Alexa - Voicebot Podcast Ep 201
Bahubali Shete founded TinyChef in 2016 (originally known as Klovechef) as an IoT-plus-voice interactive cooking experience and pivoted to an ML-based and software-only solution two years later. That move led to the company's Sanjeev Kapoor Recipes becoming the number one Alexa skill in India for cooking and the default first-party solution for Amazon in the country. TinyChef Alexa skills are also available in the U.S. and Canada and recently implemented the new Alexa Shopping Cart beta for in-skill voice commerce transactions. We discuss Shete's journey to 1 million users, the success of his voice commerce initiatives so far, and the behavior of users when employing voice apps for cooking and meal planning activities.
68 minutes | a month ago
Aakrit Vaish CEO of Haptik - Voicebot Podcast 200
Aakrit Vaish is CEO and co-founder of Haptik an enterprise SaaS solution for building conversational AI-based intelligent assistants. The company's clients range from Samsung and Oyo to KFC, Coca-Cola, Club Mahindra, and Zurich Insurance. Haptik was acquired by Reliance Jio in 2019 for $100 million. It has a large user base in customer service applications but has more recently expanded its offerings in conversational e-commerce. Haptik customers have managed over 2 billion conversations on 100 million devices. Vaish founded Hapitk in 2013 after several years as director of ops and the India business at Flurry, the leading mobile app analytics platform. He has an engineering degree from the University of Illinois.
57 minutes | a month ago
File Progress 3 More Clubhouse Power Users Offer Social Audio Insights with Mitch Joel, Kate O'Neill, and Teri Fisher - Voicebot Podcast Ep 199
Three guests join to share their social audio insights, how Clubhouse is evolving and approaches for using the social network. Mitch Joel (4:02) is well-known for the book and podcast both named Six Pixels of Separation. He is also a highly sought-after speaker on tech trends. Kate O'Neill (20:54) is author of Pixels in Place, a tech humanist, and an optimistic futurist. She is also a popular speaker at conferences and corporate events. Dr. Teri Fisher (39:30) is a sport and exercise physician, voice industry influencer, and creator of the Voice Den.
56 minutes | a month ago
How to Use Clubhouse with Monique Howard, Tyler Crowley, and Adriana Freitas - Voicebot Podcast Ep 198
Three guests today share their Clubhouse experience and offer several strategies on how to get the most out of the new social audio network. Perspectives are shared from a voice AI tech startup founder, a tech event organizer, and venture capital investor. 5:02 - Monique Howard, Founder & CEO of Smarticles (mysmarticles.com) 18:43 - Tyler Crowley, Founder, Sthlm Tech Meetup / Week / Fest (sthlm.tech) 39:58 - Adriana Freitas, Partner at Muster Ventures and Deep Green Impact Ventures (musterventures.com)
81 minutes | 2 months ago
Ilya Gelfenbeyn, Founding CEO of API.ai (Acquired by Google and Now Dialogflow) - Voicebot Podcast Ep 197
Ilya Gelfenbeyn was the founding CEO of API.ai. He and his team were true pioneers in the voice AI industry and were rewarded for those efforts through an acquisition by Google in 2016. API.ai was the development environment that most of the first Google Actions were built upon along with tens of thousands of chatbots. It is better known today as Dialogflow after a rebranding in 2017, and is one of the most widely used solutions for building conversational AI experiences. What you may not know is that API.ai was preceded by Speaktoit which was known as the Siri of Android. Speaktoit amassed over 40 million users for the app-based virtual assistant. The experience taught the team a lot about the tooling required to deploy a successful conversational assistant. That ultimately led to the creation of developer tools and the pivot into API.ai which we discuss in today's interview. Gelfenbeyn later was a founding member of Google Assistant investments where he was involved in direct funding of several prominent voice AI startups. Today he leads an angel syndicate called The AI where he invests in AI-related companies.
58 minutes | 2 months ago
Clubhouse Analysis with Power Users Balaji, LGO, and Soccolich - Voicebot Podcast Ep 196
Today we interview three active users of Clubhouse in our series around the rise of social audio. Vajresh Balaji is first with his analysis of total Clubhouse users and how the app has changed over the past six months. Laura Gassner Otting is a best-selling author of the book Limitless and corporate consultant. She also hosts some of the most popular rooms in Clubhouse. Our final guest is Adam Soccolich, the creator of The Best of Clubhouse newsletter and website. He offers insights on a variety of different ways users employ the app and highlights on the recent developments.
52 minutes | 2 months ago
Jeremiah Owyang Analyzes the Rise of Social Audio on Clubhouse, Twitter and More - Voicebot Podcast 195
Jeremiah Owyang is tech analyst that is closely tracking the rise of social audio networks. In this week's interview, we discuss Clubhouse, Twitter Spaces, and some of the 25 other social audio startups he monitors. Jeremiah weighs in on six product categories that are growing up around social audio along with business models, monetization strategies, and predictions. We also evaluate the intersection of social audio and voice AI technology. Owyang is a founding partner of technology research firm Kaleido Insights. He previously worked as an analyst at Forrester and was a co-founder of Altimeter Group. He began his career as a UX designer and today is known for his work as a tech analyst, startup advisor, and angel investor.
74 minutes | 2 months ago
Rachael Tatman PhD Linguist and Rasa Senior Developer Advocate - Voicebot Podcast Ep 194
Rachael Tatman has a PhD in linguistics from the University of Washington and began testing voice assistant speech recognition systems like Amazon Alexa from a research perspective in 2016. Today, Rachael is Senior Developer Advocate at open source conversational AI startup Rasa. She marries a deep computational and data science background with an understanding of linguistics to provide a unique view on conversational AI design and performance.
42 minutes | 2 months ago
Vijay Balasubramaniyan CEO of Pindrop on Voice Identification Use Cases - Voicebot Podcast Ep 193
Vijay Balasubramaniyan is CEO of Pindrop, a leader in voice authentication technology for call centers. The interview was conducted on Clubhouse to discuss a new expansion of Pindrop to personalized consumer experiences such as media access on TiVo. Vijay co-founded Pindrop in 2011 after completing his PhD in computer science at Georgia Tech. Earlier in his career, Vijay was a research engineer at IBM and software engineer at Siemens and Intel. He first appeared on the Voicebot Podcast in Episode 86.
77 minutes | 2 months ago
Conversation Design Institute co-founder and CEO Hans van Dam - Voicebot Podcast Ep 192
Hans van Dam began his career as a copywriter for science and technology companies and that role led him to become a chatbot designer in 2014. His experience working in conversational design led to the realization that few enterprises had a standard model for conversational user experience development nor did they have any idea how to staff a team for success. In 2018, Hans co-founded the Conversation Design Institute to establish processes, techniques, and organizational standards to professionalize the role of conversation design within large enterprises. Today we talk about the present and future of conversation design and how it will shape the future of conversational experiences.
73 minutes | 3 months ago
Rohit Prasad Amazon VP and Head Scientist for Alexa AI - Voicebot Podcast Ep 191
Rohit Prasad is vice president and head scientist of Alexa AI at Amazon. He joined the Alexa team pre-launch in 2013 as director of machine learning before moving up to his current role in 2016. In our conversation, we discuss his long-time hope for Star Trek-like technologies, his initial impressions of Siri when it launched, his first day on the Alexa team, the reaction of early adopters, first-party versus third-party experiences, Alexa custom assistants, and much more. Prior to Amazon, Prasad spent nearly 14 years at Raytheon and BBN before its acquisition by Raytheon as a scientist working on speech and voice technologies mostly for government-funded projects. His graduate research at Illinois Institute of Technology focused on low bit-rate speech coding for wireless applications back in the late 1990s.
91 minutes | 3 months ago
Cheryl Platz Author of Design Beyond Devices on Multimodal Voice UX - Voicebot Podcast Ep 190
Cheryl Platz is the author of the new book "Design Beyond Devices, creating multimodal cross-device experiences" published by Rosenfeld. Platz is currently the principal UX designer for the Bill and Melinda Gates Foundation. She was on the core team that launched the Echo Look which was Amazon's attempt to inject Alexa into fashion selection. That was preceded by time working on Microsoft's Cortana voice assistant. She began her career as a game producer at EA and Griptonite. Platz is also a cast member and instructor for Unexpected Productions Seattle, an improv comedy troupe and earned a degree in computer science with a focus on human-computer interaction from Carnegie-Mellon University.
70 minutes | 3 months ago
2021 Voice AI Predictions Part 2 with Paquiot, Kibbe, Palmiter-Bajorek, and Kemp - Voicebot Podcast Ep 189
Here is Part 2 of our 2021 voice AI predictions. On January 1st, we published over 100 predictions from 50 industry leaders. Today, we go deeper with four guests that add some detail to their thinking around Voice AI in 2021. Topics covered include multimodal design, multimodal displays in healthcare, AI and ethics, voice on mobile, audio and Spotify. Malaika Paquiot, VP Product K4Connect - 4:10 Roger Kibbe, Senior Developer Evangelist Viv Labs/Samsung - 16:57 Joan Palmiter Bajorek, Head of User Research NLX - 34:30 Dave Kemp, Business Development Oaktree Products - 48:50
67 minutes | 3 months ago
2021 Voice AI Predictions Part 1 with Thadani, Tingiris, Stapleton, and Fields - Voicebot Podcast Ep 188
On January 1st, we published over 100 predictions from 50 industry leaders. We go a little deeper with four guests today that elaborate on their thinking in Part 1 of our 2021 voice AI predictions episodes. Topics covered include owned/custom voice assistants, first-party voice experiences, virtual humans, and the view of UX designers regarding voice. Nithya Thadani, CEO RAIN Agency - 4:02 Steve Tingiris, CEO Dabble Lab - 17:17 Amy Stapleton, Co-founder Chatables - 38:18 Jason Fields, Chief Strategy Officer Voicify - 53:38
63 minutes | 3 months ago
India 2020 Voice AI Year in Review with Haptik, Slang Labs, Klove Chef, and Women in Voice - Voicebot Podcast Ep 187
Today, we have one last Voice AI Year in Review episode. This one is focused on what went down in India in 2020. Today's guests are some of the top Voice AI leaders in India and they share everything from what is happening in voice commerce, WhatsApp, and assistants on feature phones to how Indian consumers differ from the U.S. and much more. 3:24 - Aarkrit Vaish, founder and CEO of Haptik 18:40 - Kumar Rangarajan, Co-founder and CEO of Slang Labs 30:48 - Sarandeep Kaur, co-founder of Women in Voice in India, and conversational AI manager for Novo Nordisk 47:43 - Bahubali Shete, CEO of Klove Chef
78 minutes | 4 months ago
Joe Petro CTO and EVP of R&D at Nuance - Voicebot Podcast Ep 186
Joe Petro is CTO and EVP of R&D for Nuance and has been with the company since 2009. Nuance is a voice giant doing $1.5 billion in annual revenue and has a valuation of over $12 billion today. For over a decade, Nuance essentially defined the voice industry holding many of its most significant patents and dominating several market sectors. Joe oversees an annual R&D budget of over $200 million including new features such as Ambient AI and a COVID-19 bot. Prior to Nuance, Joe was SVP of research and development at Eclipsys, an early leader in electronic medical records. He began his career as a systems engineer at EDS, has a bachelor's degree in mechanical engineering and a master's degree in Computer-Aided Engineering.
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