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The Power of Community and People in Voice Tech

Behind every powerful new technology, you find people. People build tech, and people use tech. For new technologies to emerge, people need to come together, share ideas, and cooperate. That's something that Noelle Silver, founder of AI Leadership Institute, knows all about.

She joined us at VOICE Global 2021 to discuss how she manages to address development teams and tech executives, share her insights, and inspire them to come together with a shared vision in which a sense of community fosters innovation.

Sharing pays

Noelle has never been afraid to embrace new challenges and new opportunities. And her fearless approach has paid off with the opportunity for her to not only reach but also leave a lasting impression on some of the tech world's most influential leaders worldwide.

"The more you share, the more people come into your network. So when something crazy happens that you don't expect, which you could perceive as bad, it actually turns out to be a door. And when that door opens, you can be ready to step through it," said Silver.

A key ingredient to her success is her willingness to share openly and honestly. That means being aware of who you are as a person and as a community and not being afraid of looking at your work and asking tough questions.

As she states, "Take silos, even if your heart does not want them, they just tend to generate out of these technical solutions we build. As we build a platform, we want this one platform to rule them all. So we need to ask ourselves: Are we thinking about the customer experience, or are we just building up all these divergent paths that ultimately will lead to a lowest common denominator of experience?"

Another company that has the concept of community within its DNA is Voiceflow. Voiceflow produces conversational design tools and its goal, as a company, is to democratize conversational design for all. As such, community plays a vital role in that mission.

Community is growth

Emily Lonetto, head of growth at Voiceflow, and Braden Ream, CEO of Voiceflow, also joined us at VOICE Global 2021 to share their vision of the future of voice and discuss how that future is tied to the voice community.

Emily and Braden discuss where they believe voice tech is heading, they talk about how vocal assistants will gain the ability to process and interpret intent. For example, they see a future where you can simply tell your smart speaker what you're hungry for and it will locate the nearest restaurant for you, rather than explicitly having to ask, "Where is the nearest restaurant?" They see a future in which vocal assistants act more like search engines by providing you with a lot more than what you put in, and part of the reason for that is understanding intent - which is more challenging when using voice.

"You're going to start to see these assistants act more and more like search engines, which is just really, really exciting because I think that's when we can start to understand why our vocal assistants are called assistants," says Braden Ream

But this future hinges on the concept of community. Communities in which people share, experiment, and support one another collectively are the drivers of growth and innovation. It is an engaged community of developers that enabled Voiceflow to attain its level of success, proving that the stronger the community, the better the results.

"I think what's made the voice community fairly powerful is everyone's experimenting with different use cases, different ideas, and then we're essentially making collective progress in terms of figuring out what works and what doesn't, and that really helps the whole space. So that's my view on voice in particular, but again, I think community's a pretty integral element of really any modern software ecosystem. It just requires a lot of iteration to get things right, and that's where community is super important," Read continued.

People need to drive technology, not the other way around.

Missed VOICE Global live? Watch Noelle Silver, Emily Lonetto, and Braden Ream discuss the future of voice tech and how it hinges on a sense of community at VOICE Global on-demand here. View the VOICE Global speaker lineup to see what other engaging speakers joined us across various industries.

VOICE Global