Voicebot — Keys you must know

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When you hear of the name ‘voicebot’, which brand would comes to your mind? Amazon Alexa? Apple Siri? Or Ok Google? Yes, they all are voicebots, entertaining your daily life via a tiny soundbox.

There are, however, other types of voicebot. Today, this article would focus on voicebot provides customer service like a hotline via your phone, while not only serves as a smart home assistant.

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The most famous phone call voicebot is Google Duplex. Debuting at Google I/O 2018, Google demonstrated how to use A.I. to make a reservation of a hair salon. The world was impressed by the highly human-liked and very natural voice created by A.I… It was a great demonstration and a peak of the future on how A.I. assistant can be applied in our daily lives.

The core of this technology is a chatbot trained by machine learning. The chatbot can be opporerate on almost any instant messengers like Facebook Messengers, Wechat, Line, Telegram, and WhatsApp. To know more about WhatsApp chatbot, please read this article.

So is it simply converting a text bot with voice elements, then you will get a voicebot? Technically yes, but there are at least 2 key characteristics to be considered.

Firstly, one would required Natural Language Processing unit based A.I., equipped with Automatic speech recognition ASR and Text to speech TTS engine. The chatbot would be difficult to fix the company’s needs if you simply turn your text bot into voice without redesigning your product.

On the other hand, voicebot functioning on a phone would require special user experiencing design and user education because of lacking visual elements such as menu button, list, quick reply, or carousels. Unlike text chatbot with a CUI, voicebot demond developers to facilitate a simple voice user interface (VUI). Afterall, voicebot cannot answer everything you ask, and in fact, it should not be. Developers have to carefully consider how users could understand what particular services voicebot can serve.

An A.I. voicebot could best perform its function when it handles tasks with clear instruction like making reservations and handling users’ enquiries. AI Duplex, which is one the the well-known voicebots, developed by Google, is known that some of the tasks are actually handled by real staff, instead of A.I. itself. The complexity of human conversation is far too high that A.I. could hardly 100% understand the conversation. Developers still need to pay much effort on designing the flow to make a perfect outbound call by A.I.. However, A.I. can better perform if they are trained to receive inbound calls.

Let’s take a look on the demonstration developed by Asiabots. The flow is well designed with clear instruction. Users are required to answer a series of questions and the voicebot will guide them to complete the booking procedure.

Voicebot could solve many issues, such as the aging problem. In 2030, all baby boomers will be older than 65 in the United States, and a quarter of people in China is over 65. There are not enough work force. To sustain high living quality, repetitive work has to be passed to robots to handle. The outbreak of Covid-19 reveals that there are always not enough people to handle telephone calls in urgent enquiries.

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It’s now. It’s Asia. It’s Asiabots.

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