Voice interfaces in digital services bring inclusion benefits and have economic potential

The study carried out in conjunction with Deloite shows that 69% of companies want to make digital voice-activated services available to their customers, and that 24% intend to invest in the creation of new services during the next 12 months. Srgio Lee, partner at Deloitte, recalled that the increase in data and device processing capacity has accelerated the development of voice-activated commands, a technology that is more than 50 years old.

From financial services, retail, telecommunications, consumption and health, Srgio Lee pointed out several examples of use, some of which in Portugal, such as Altice with the TV box.

Also Tiago S, Customer Engineer at Google Cloud in Portugal, and Nelson Luciano, Data & Artificial Intelligence Specialist, from Microsoft, mentioned several examples and cases of application of the technology. The two companies have been working for several years in the use of artificial intelligence and machine learning, but also in the use of natural language, and have several tools available that can be used by companies in an integrated way with the existing solutions, for the creation of voice bots, translation from text to voice and voice to text, but also in the identification of the "intention" and feelings of the users, in the area of ​​"language understanding".

Last year, Google released its Google Assistant in Portuguese from Portugal, and one of the most recent business cases was developed with the SNS24, in support of calls to the health service in the period of increased communications related to COVID-19. Tiago S explains that it was possible to reduce the waiting time and collect more information with the technology, and that this is a good example of a specialized bot.

Nelson Luciano, from Microsoft, also showed examples of integration in company tools, such as Outlook, and says that technology is evolving very quickly, having shown examples of a digital assistant developed for a national insurance company that in the last months already he has a more fluid and consistent speech, being even more effective in reproducing addresses. On the consumption side, there are no date indications for making available the assistant Cortana in Portuguese from Portugal.

In addition to simplifying interactions with users, the reduction in costs with the adoption of voice technology is one of the information referred to in the study by Deloitte with MUDA, pointing to an average of 33% reduction in attendance and a reduction in the time of placing solutions on the market. The numbers were also mentioned by Andr de Arago Azevedo at the end of the webinar, which highlighted the examples of Unbabel and DefinedCrowd as Portuguese companies that are standing out in this area at an international level.

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