Let’s Talk About VOICE22
VOICE22 just wrapped up, and there was a lot to talk about. As usual, the event showcased some of the voice industry's top talent behind the biggest brands in Voice. And it was memorable for many reasons - not the least of which was the return to a full-on in-person format that enables the human connection, so fundamental to the Voice industry and community. Modev’s CEO and Founder, Pete Erickson says “My heart is full. After taking a few days to decompress I am reflecting on perhaps the most meaningful event Modev has produced in our 13-year history. #VOICE22 was a success on many levels, but perhaps most importantly at a level that's hard to articulate, but you know it when you feel it. The joy expressed by so many was palpable at the event.”
As Kaushik Bhatta, President at Modev, reflects, "The last several years for the event industry have been a whirlwind. This year's VOICE22 went back to our roots and proved our mission - human connection is vital in the era of digital transformation. We saw that in the energy of our crowds, speakers, sponsors, and media. We are thankful for the drive and relentless efforts of our staff and partners for making this event a success across all measures. We're excited to build this market, improve the experience with what we've learned, and have even more scale next year to grow our community. Thank you."
Beyond its format, the event stood out for its engaging and impactful talks. We wanted to highlight some of them in this year's retrospective.
State of the Conversational AI & Lessons from Frontlines
The event opened with Openstrem CEO Raj Tumuluri providing the audience with his own retrospective. Indeed, Tumuluri recounted the history of conversational AI, from elementary chatbots answering FAQs to virtual assistants assisting users with everyday tasks to embodied virtual agents striving to emulate human empathy.
And while there are many success stories within that anthology, such as the advances in Natural Language Understanding (NLU), sentiment analysis, and context awareness, Tumuluri believes conversational AI still has a great deal of untapped potential. This is not a criticism; it's an opportunity for growth - not just of the industry's profits but of the experiences made possible by conversational AI.
Tumuluri's talk represents a sincere attempt at outlining the more critical challenges voice developers' will face in harnessing this potential and also provides an overview of new approaches that appear the best-suited to deliver on these new experiences.
Emerging Context-Aware Voice and Video Experiences
Surbhi Rathore, CEO, and co-founder of Symbl.ai talked about how context awareness can lead to next-level voice experiences. Rathore believes it's time to stop thinking of AI as tech that merely recognizes the spoken words in human speech. With all the recent developments in AI, it can do so much more. The technology has reached a level of sophistication that renders it capable of human-level analysis that can extract insight from context.
Context awareness is already part of many pioneering voice and conversation experiences in both consumer and enterprise platforms. But as we look ahead, these capabilities will be the centerpiece of the voice experiences of tomorrow and beyond.
Rathore's talk walks you through the ins and outs of contextual AI to provide you with a comprehensive view of its inner workings, benefits, and challenges. It also explores how context awareness opens the door to new and emerging opportunities to add value to your voice-powered products and services.
Synthetic Media Must be Thought of as an Extension of your Identity
Synthetic media (audio and video) is definitely in the limelight these days. From brands to influencers to celebrities and athletes - they're all starting to understand the potential of having different personas in both traditional channels and immersive, persistent environments (VR, metaverse). And examples abound of how cloned or custom voices and avatars are used to engage with various audiences and in multiple languages. The results are as impressive as they are immersive.
Have a question you'd like to ask your favorite athlete? Synthetic Voice can give you the answer using the athlete's cloned voice. Need to modify an advert's dialogue for a specific market? Synthetic Voice can get you there without the talent returning to the studio.
Synthetic assets can create incredibly engaging experiences while saving your organization time and hassle. But what about the intellectual property (IP) rights of synthetic media? Who owns them? And how does one protect them? Veritone, a world-leading AI and synthetic media company, believes the answer should be simple: if it's your voice (or avatar), it's your IP.
In this talk, Ryan Steelberg, president and co-founder of Veritone, focuses on the importance of identity, IP management, and their protection in the modern world. He also provides insights into how synthetic media is an extension of the content creator and owner's identity. It’s a fascinating talk that underscores the importance of IP rights relative to the rise of synthetic media. And the new product announcement between Veritone and StatsPerform, Opta Voice, is a great example of this as it employs AI solutions to automate the creation of “real-time play-by-play, pre-game, in-game and post-game updates.” The solution promises to automate content generation for sports apps ranging from live game updates to social media and podcast content.
VOICE22 was perhaps one of our most important events yet just given the historical context of it all. The combination of human contact and cutting-edge tech made it as memorable as it was eye-opening. Pete Erickson, sums it up best by saying, “VOICE22 coupled with an industry that's experiencing high growth for the foreseeable future, made for a celebration, and I only now realize how badly so many of us needed it."
We look forward to many more events like this one and plan to keep shining a light on the world's leading voice tech companies. Join us at VOICE23 Dec 4-6, 2023 back at the Hyatt Regency, Arlington, VA.
Watch these sessions along with other impactful sessions that happened at VOICE22. On-demand sessions are available here.
The future is vocal.
Modev was founded in 2008 on the simple belief that human connection is vital in the era of digital transformation. Modev believes markets are made. From mobile to voice, Modev has helped develop ecosystems for new waves of technology. Today, Modev produces market-leading events such as VOICE Global, presented by Google Assistant, VOICE Summit the most important voice-tech conference globally, and the Webby award-winning VOICE Talks internet talk show. Modev staff, better known as "Modevators," include community building and transformation experts worldwide. To learn more about Modev, and the breadth of events and ecosystem services offered live, virtually, local and nationally - visit modev.com.