by Modev Staff Writers on April 9, 2021

Celebrating Women and How Mobile Extends Voice – Episode Recap: VOICE Talks S2E3


The most recent episode of VOICE Talks, presented by Google Assistant, celebrates Women’s History Month by highlighting women leaders in voice. Through engaging discussions and demos, the episode features some of Google Assistant’s most exciting product partners and offers expert insights into the future of voice and mobile.

You can watch the episode on the VOICE Talks YouTube channel. Here are some key takeaways from this episode.

Words of Wisdom From Women Mentors

Throughout the episode, panelists shared their most cherished memories and inspiring quotes from the women who served as their early role models.

Host Sofia Altuna spoke on the so-called “confidence gap” between men and women. Citing the fact that women are less likely to apply to jobs for which they don’t meet all the requirements, Altuna went on to share her appreciation for her mother, who served as an inspiration by starting both a family and a company in her 20s.

Sarah Andrew Wilson, Chief Content Officer of Matchbox.io, also recalled an early woman mentor. “Every no is the first step to yes,” she remembers that mentor saying, with a calm confidence that taught her “to be persistent, ignore the naysayers and just keep going.”

Keynote: Voice, Mobile and Visibility

The episode’s keynote featured Leslie Garcia-Amaya and Alana Brown, both with Global Product Partnerships at Google Assistant. The keynote kicked off with an exciting announcement: Google Assistant is now the first corporate sponsor of Women in Voice, an international nonprofit that aims to amplify and empower the role of women in the voice space.

The conversation focused on how App Actions make the link between voice and mobile more seamless than ever. Through engaging demo videos, Garcia-Amaya and Brown highlighted a number of partner use cases, such as managing finances on Mint and exercising on Nike Run.

The two also discussed the future of mobile in voice, like how improved awareness of context and behavior can help technology work for us, rather than the other way around. “It’s important to push the envelope on what users find helpful on Google Assistant and to see what’s going to continue to be worth investing in in the future,” Brown noted.

Driving Growth and Increasing Access With Better Mobile Experiences

Megan Cummins Grace, another member of the Product Partnerships team, sat down with Prachi Gupta, Head of Engineering at Discord. Discord now integrates with Google Assistant through App Actions, enabling users to send messages and perform other custom actions via voice. Gupta’s next goal is to improve Discord’s voice quality with advanced noise suppression.

Caitlin Gutekunst, Senior Product Marketing Manager of Mobile Fintech at Intuit, and Margo Bulka, Principal Product Strategist for WillowTree, also discussed strategies for driving growth by integrating voice and mobile. Their conversation outlined four essential components of a user-centered multimodal experience:

  • Visual design
  • Content design
  • Conversational design
  • Haptic design

Gutekunst and Bulka also noted the importance of making mobile apps more accessible to disadvantaged populations through the power of voice. For instance, voice solutions can adapt to the needs of people with disabilities to improve inclusivity and build a better world.

Finally, Mandy Chan, Developer Advocate for Google, and Eliza Camber, an Android developer for Pixplicity, offered their own expertise around voice, access and inclusion. After discussing some of the tools they used when learning how to build apps for voice, they shared stories of the many women mentors who inspired them. “Every action is like throwing a pebble in the water,” Camber said. “You never know who those ripples are going to touch.”

As always, this latest edition of VOICE Talks is packed with valuable news and insights from around the voice community. Be sure to keep an eye out for next month’s episode.

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Modev Staff Writers

Modev staff includes a talented group of developers and writers focused on the industry and trends. We include Staff when several contributors join forces to produce an article.