By Carlos Chang, Senior Principal Product Marketing Director, Oracle
The love for conversational (AI-enabled) smart speakers (you know, Alexa, Google Home or even Siri) is real. In a recent Nielsen survey, almost one-quarter of US households own a smart speaker. And out of those households, 40 percent own multiple speakers. My family is no different, but we may be a little more enraptured. We have three. Not three different Alexas. We have (and use) Alexa, Siri and Google Home. Yep, all three. There is no excuse.
Having three AI based sources within speaking range of each other, we tend to fact check them against one another—especially when a family member doesn’t quite trust or agree with the answer they get.
Here are some questions that pique our curiosity. Is Australia is still considered its own continent or has it changed to Oceania? Is a hot dog a sandwich? Who is the best NBA player of all time ever? And why do we play the three off one another? Because, even for these sophisticated conversational AI sources, the concept of “trust” is still key. The old programming adage, “garbage in, garbage out”, still applies.
Extracting accurate text, from the spoken word, has improved. When you speak to Alexa, Google and even Siri, they can translate voice to text well enough. No more stilted sentences. But it is extracting the intent—the meaning behind those words—is hard. It’s hard, because context is everything. When people talk, we humans are pretty good at switching topics, without much fuss. We all have a little Dug the Dog in us. Go from basketball, to fishing, to baking cookies—not a problem. Switching gears on AI—problem.
Here at Oracle, we’re making great strides to address context. The Oracle SaaS teams are focused on adopting conversational interfaces for all our cloud solutions. The Customer Experience (CX) team is making access to CRM systems easier. The Human Capital Management (HCM) team, is also embracing the future – as we speak (excuse the pun). And because the Oracle Digital Assistant platform is being utilized, conversing and switching context between app skills with the Oracle-powered assistant will be much easier.
You might utilize Alexa, Google, and Siri daily at home; they’ve pretty much have the voice-to-text portion locked down. But for a growing company, it is not enough. We need to/can do better—not only from a technical perspective, but also from the more important privacy and security perspective. While Oracle Digital Assistant is its own platform, within Oracle’s own cloud environment, processing voice to text, using Alexa, etc., isn’t always an ideal or even acceptable situation. That’s why Oracle’s investing in its own AI-powered voice technologies. From what I’ve seen—it’s well worth the investment and a potential game changer for your business. And of course, to see how much conversational AI is being embraced, check out Oracle OpenWorld—where Oracle Digital Assistant will literally be the talk of the show.
But if you would like more information now, Oracle has acquired cutting-edge voice AI technology from speak.ai to further enhance Oracle Digital Assistant. A webcast on July 17 will discuss this. You can find information on the webcast below or at Oracle.com.
PS. Australia is a continent. Oceania is a region that includes the country/continent of Australia. A hot dog is a sandwich. And the greatest NBA of all time is, of course, Michael Jordan.