Potential future applications of speech-to-text are limitless, according to the Speechmatics report on Trends and Predictions for Voice Technology in 2021. In the past year, we’ve seen how innovation has come to the rescue in the face of the global challenges presented by the COVID-19 pandemic.
The wide adoption of technologies like web conferencing has been enabled by developments in fast connectivity, delivering low latency interactions, as well as dynamic and elastic cloud resource scaling – and it can now support millions of concurrent users. Machine learning and AI is being used to deliver additional value to these platforms – like speech-to-text technology – to optimize the user experience.
When asked which industries would increase their use of voice technology applications in the next 3-5 years, survey respondents for the Speechmatics report indicated banking, financial services and insurance, consumer industries, and electronics and education as key industries. They also included:
Web conferencing transcription came out top (44%) when survey respondents were asked which voice technology use cases they thought would have the greatest commercial impact in 2021.
Web conferencing organizations have benefited from a huge increase in demand for their services during the COVID-19 pandemic. Speech-to-text technology can further enhance web conferencing through improving accessibility with real-time captioning or deriving insights from calls by providing post-call transcripts.
More than a third of survey respondents (37%) said voice technology applications would have the largest commercial impact on customer experience and analytics this year.
Voice technology enables frictionless customer experiences. It helps humans interact with machines in an increasingly natural way – using their voice. The removal of physical user interfaces like keyboards makes it easier than ever for customers to make requests on the go.
Voice technology is also helping brands to get a better understanding of their customers. By capturing all customer conversations and converting calls into text, brands can combine this data with text-based data obtained through emails, SMS, chatbots, etc. This helps companies to understand the root causes of customer issues and ensure they don’t happen in the future. This data can also be used to empower agents and ensure they are equipped to deal with customer issues and achieve first contact resolutions for a better customer experience.
More than a quarter of survey respondents (27%) predicted that voice technology applications would have the greatest commercial impact this year on subtitling and closed captioning.
Personalization is key to customer retention for streaming services and the ability to encourage the purchase of other services bundled into over-the-top (OTT) content packages. Using speech-to-text helps generate quality metadata to extract key information about media content that will enable a more personalized service.
Using voice technology to generate accurate subtitles and closed captions also increases the accessibility of video assets – for those who are hard of hearing, for example – and drives video views and engagements. Captioning is now required by legislation so organizations will need to improve their subtitling capabilities in 2021 through the use of next-generation tools like speech recognition technology.
Global businesses looking to deliver better services to their customers continue to push the evolution of voice technologies and make them accessible and useful. This means voice providers must support a greater diversity of languages and offer better accuracy across their entire language offering.
Innovation is expected to remain strong during 2021, with the development of new languages and features. In addition, an extensive effort will be directed at continuing to diversify and optimize existing languages and product capabilities. Development and evaluation of existing and new languages to remove AI bias will ensure better performance and accuracy of all tools and solutions that leverage speech recognition technology as part of their workflow.
For more information – and the full survey results – download Trends and Predictions for Voice Technology in 2021.