Voice recognition itself is not new. It is the way that brands and companies are beginning to see it as a tool for business that has only recently begun to surface.
If we look at the personal assistant chat bots that can be found on smartphones — Siri, Cortana, Google Assistant — they provide an excellent glimpse into the future of voice-powered chatbots. These bots are designed to integrate with other apps on your phone, and are ultimately used to make your life a little easier. They can search the internet for you, remind you of an event you have coming up, or answer questions you have about things that are in your phone. These little bots don’t just dispose of the information you give them, though. Everything you say to them is stored and processed. This is how they learn, and it is how they can continue giving you correct and accurate responses.
The bots will also learn about you specifically. If you use them on a regular basis, which many do, it will start to follow your habits. It will pick up on your tendencies, your schedule, your likes and dislikes, etc. If we take this type of technology and machine learning outside of just personal cell phone assistants, there are a lot of exciting things that can happen.
One of the most obvious next steps, is to take these digital assistants to the next level. Imagine controlling every aspect of your life, with just your voice. You can tell Siri — or whatever virtual assistant you have — that you want to order a coffee at Starbucks at 8:30. Having a bot that can arrange that for you is a distinct possibility. These bots will get to know you as well. If the notice that you tend to order pizza on Wednesday nights, it might offer to do it for you one Wednesday, without you even having to bring it up. All you would have to do is ay “yes.”
This could also be an exciting advancement for businesses to improve their online presence and functionality. Imagine a website that is completely voice activated. You can search the site with just your voice, you can bring up articles, information, or potential purchases just by asking for them. You wouldn’t even have to lift a finger, and that ease of use is exactly what companies want their websites to have as it will be very attractive to customers as it requires very little effort.
Whether they are being used for personal gain or to improve the productivity and usefulness of a company website, chat bots that can successfully utilize voice activation are definitely an active part of our future.
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