Artificial Intelligence Breakthroughs Take Center Stage at VOICE Summit 2019

From startups like Paro and New Zealand’s Aider, to industry heavyweights like Amazon, Samsung, Microsoft, Mercedes-Benz, Applause, Phone.com, Witlingo and Arria NLG, companies across the voice technology spectrum are proving how far artificial intelligence (AI), natural language generation (NLG) and “voice as a platform” has come, from the VOICE Summit 2019 in Newark, NJ., the world’s largest voice-tech event.

At a press conference on Monday, media got a glimpse of what to expect at this year’s VOICE Summit from New Jersey-based companies like Realogy, a large real estate holding company, Prudential, Arria NLG, as well as what3words, whose customers include:  Mercedes-Benz, which recently launched the world’s first car with built-in what3words voice navigation; Domino’s Pizza, who is optimizing deliveries with 3-word addresses; and the United Nations and the British Emergency Services who are using the technology to provide disaster relief.

On Tuesday, what3words introduced a new Alexa Skill that enables Alexa users to discover where a 3-word address is and ask to be navigated there by any Alexa-enabled device. As such, Alexa devices of all types to recognize an addressing system built for voice, paving the way for new opportunities for both developers and consumers. Unlike street addresses, what3words is specifically designed for voice input. Street addressing has a voice problem and speaking a street address into a voice interface can be lengthy and frustrating. Saying ‘Take me to 241st Street’ can sound exactly the same as ‘Take me to 2, 41st Street’. And, of course, street addresses don’t cover everywhere.

One company that is truly breaking through barriers is Arria NLG. Chief Scientist, Professor Ehud Reiter, and  COO Jay DeWalt, who also participated in Monday’s press conference, co-hosted an educational session titled, “How Businesses Are Leveraging the Power of Natural Language Generation and Conversational AI,” providing strategic insight and guidance on how to harness and maximize the value of AI-powered NLG solutions.

“Arria NLG empowers businesses in all markets to extract new levels of business intelligence in real-time by removing complexities that hinder delivery, accessibility and consumption of critical data,” said Sharon Daniels, CEO, Arria NLG. “We are honored to join our esteemed colleagues from around the world at VOICE Summit 2019 and look forward to exploring the limitless possibilities for VOICE AI to transform business operations.”

Of note is the company’s recently announced partnership with UiPath, the first robotic process automation provider (RPA) to integrate NLG into its platform.  Moving forward, Arria will be incorporated into the UiPath platform and listed in the UiPath Go ecosystem featuring easily downloadable, secure automations for the world’s biggest RPA community.

For businesses, Arria NLG augments the value of leading BI platforms such as Microsoft Power BI, Tableau, MicroStrategy and Qlik to deliver true, accurate data literacy. Arria NLG Studio for Business Intelligence (BI) couples advanced analytics and linguistics to deliver unprecedented depth of narrative insight generation, ease-of-use and data security. The company’s newest integrations for BI narrate all underlying data within the dashboard, ensuring that critical facts and insight, which otherwise would be missed, are now shown.

“Simply put, Arria NLG for BI lets users have a fluid conversation with their data,” added Daniels. “Instead of dictating a single action to a voice assistant, Arria NLG extends the reach and value of voice AI platforms like Alexa for Business, enabling users to get the answers they need, when they need them, on any connected device.”

On the small business front, New Zealand’s fast-growing voice AI pioneer, Aider announced its entrance into the United States (U.S.) with authority by simultaneously unveiling integrations with Square, Shopify, QuickBooks Online and Amazon Alexa. The artificial intelligence (AI) software company empowers small business (SMB) owners with a central source from which to access the breadth of data from the many different applications used to run their companies.

Aider Founder and CEO, Brendan Roberts, took to the stage at VOICE 19, the World’s largest voice technology gathering, to address how voice technology and digital assistants can now cater to SMBs with technology typically reserved for high-end consumer and enterprise environments. Aider’s Natural Language Understanding technology lets SMBs easily and affordably access insight from their data using Alexa for Business and other voice platforms. By connecting to apps used to run their businesses (point of sales, accounting, HR, analytics), Aider’s VOICE AI mobile app provides a central source for SMBs to get answers about all aspects of business operations from a single source.

Aider can answer hundreds of questions a business owner might have, including:

  • “Hey Aider, how much revenue did I make this week?”
  • “Who showed up for work today?”
  • “Aider, get someone at Westpac to contact me” (coming soon)
  • “How many Uber Eats sales have I made this month?”
  • “What were my top selling products today?”

VOICE Summit continues through July 25, 2019 and is being held at the New Jersey Institute of Technology. To register, visit www.voicesummit.ai.

Healthcare continues to be a market in which AI adoption is rising. Among healthcare c-suite executives, 69 percent report that improving the healthcare consumer experience is their organization’s first or second top strategic priority in 2019, according to just-published research from Sage Growth Partners.

Yesterday, attendees were introduced to Paro a voice and artificial intelligence-powered productivity assistant. For field representatives who work for life science organizations, Paro is an intelligent chatbot that simplifies access to enterprise systems and data. Paro’s sophisticated chatbot technology and Natural Language Processing (NLP) introduces an easy to use conversational interface which for the first time will allow representatives to prepare and log calls on the go.

With compliance, efficiency and productivity in-mind, Paro was developed by life science professionals, for life science professionals, with efficiency, productivity and compliance in mind. With Paro’s AI-enabled insights at their beck and call, field representatives and sales teams can thoroughly prepare for each meeting, creating meaningful and personalized interactions with customers while optimizing their time in the field.

Paro solves the ongoing issues that life science organizations face when delivering insights and intelligence to their field sales representatives, said VP of Sales from a Top 5 Pharmaceutical Company.

“By distilling complicated disparate data into contextually relevant insight briefings, Paro simplifies what was once confusing and fragmented information into one seamless and unified experience.”

Another Healthcare-related announcement came from Orbita, Inc., provider of healthcare’s most powerful conversational AI platform. Orbita unveiled a new solution accelerator that enables healthcare organizations to quickly and easily deploy consumer-facing voice and chat applications that can assist with finding services and providers and schedule appointments.

Orbita offers healthcare’s most powerful conversational AI platform for delivering intuitive, dynamic and personalized voice and chatbot virtual assistants. Leading organizations across healthcare sectors rely on Orbita to create and manage HIPAA-compliant, omnichannel virtual assistants that improve customer service, enhance consumer marketing, and extend patient engagement beyond brick and mortar facilities.

With Orbita’s new Consumer Services Accelerator, healthcare organizations can quickly deploy voice and chatbot conversational experiences to websites and mobile applications to fulfill common service requests like:

  • “Where can I find a physician close to home?”,
  • “Can you recommend a female dermatologist near me who takes my insurance?”, and
  • “Is there a pharmacy at your clinic?”

Organizations use the Orbita Consumer Services AcceleratorÔ to:

  • Improve patient experience with a 24×7 virtual assistant that supports text, touch, and hands-free voice input
  • Reduce call center volume and increased staff efficiency with a virtual assistant that answers common questions and auto-routes patients to aligned resources and service lines
  • Improve patient loyalty and brand advocacy by dynamically addressing each consumer’s unique and changing needs

“Healthcare organizations are tapping the power of voice and chat interfaces to deliver more natural, conversational experiences that improve engagement and user satisfaction,” said Orbita CEO Bill Rogers. “Our new best practice-based, out-of-the-box solution accelerator is designed to increase efficiency and flexibility when creating and deploying popular healthcare consumer offerings.”

The Orbita Consumer Services Accelerator enhances the company’s award-winning, HIPAA-compliant conversational AI platform for applications in healthcare and can be readily integrated into enterprise scheduling systems and other backend environments. Technical and non-technical users can access the easy-to-understand interfaces of the Orbita Experience Manager to readily modify, extend, and customize consumer service-focused conversational dialogs. Users can also leverage Orbita Insights, a robust analytics engine, to secure actionable insights for testing and improving conversational flows.

VOICE Summit continues through July 25, 2019 and is being held at the New Jersey Institute of Technology. To register, visit www.voicesummit.ai.

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