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Voice: Pervasive, Significant, Untrustworthy

Source- Smart Home Consumer Adoption Report December 2020, Monthly active Voice Assistant Users by device compared to Ownership 2020,

Source: Smart Home Consumer Adoption Report December 2020, Monthly active Voice Assistant Users by device compared to Ownership 2020,

With voice starting to see an increase in both adoption and users, its impact on our daily lives is growing. Nowadays, unlike t any other point in human history, people are utilizing  digital assistants, purchasing smart speakers, or using various voice interfaces. So it is no surprise we have some trust issues. 

If consumers lack confidence in the security of their devices to send payments with their voices, it poses a sizable roadblock to voice adoption. Being able to conduct payment through voice provides a complete experience that some providers today are unable to achieve due to lack of identity. Secure transactions are the cornerstone of voice commerce, and are attached to an experience that relies heavily on being able to use the speakers’ voices to authenticate them.  Under everyday circumstances, voice could pose a challenge to the uninitiated. For example, your voice ages, just like the rest of our bodies. Our “voice box” is like any other muscle, can grow or even become fatigued. These changes could potentially alter the usability of voice if not taken into consideration. 

And since voice is going to be used in new ways, like being able to make in-vehicle purchases for coffee and gas, new challenges will arise. Last year marked the second successful fraudulent account takeover using AI altered voice netting $35M is stolen funds. New technology is democratizing a powerful tool that has the potential for both beneficial and nefarious applications. 

But being able to use a voice that can wield identity and can be handled without sacrificing the necessary protection against identity theft and fraud can produce truly magical results.  If a customer’s voice was the key and could provide confidence in authenticity, what could a frictionless experience feel like? No IDs, passwords, PINs, or secret questions, only personalized interactions at every customer touchpoint without logging in, answering questions, or responding to texts, protected self-service applications available to all customers. 

This is a reality that many don’t believe is yet possible. But it is already happening. Enterprises are using voice to reduce friction and provide protection against bad actors. By automating some of the typical exchanges that take place over voice (identity and verification process), not only are enterprises removing some of the unpleasantries of contact center customer service, but also reducing some operational costs. Voice has the potential to impact our lives more than we think. We at Pindrop see a voice driven future, but there is still work to be done. 

Vijay Balasubramaniyan
Co-Founder/CEO, Pindrop

Vijay Balasubramaniyan is Co-Founder, CEO & CTO of Pindrop. He’s held various engineering and research roles with Google, Siemens, IBM Research and Intel.

Vijay holds patents in VoIP security and scalability and he frequently speaks on phone fraud threats at technical conferences, including RSA, Black Hat, FS-ISAC, CCS and ICDCS. Vijay earned a PhD in Computer Science from Georgia Institute of Technology. His PhD thesis was on telecommunications security.



Register now to join Vijay Balasubramaniyan, co-founder/CEO & CTO of Pindrop to learn more about the work they are doing to accelerate the future of AI at VOICE 2021. 

View the schedule and join VOICE - the only conversation poised to shape the future of conversational AI, taking place both in-person in Arlington, Va. and virtually, Dec. 7-8.

VOICE Summit