Amazon and Leading Technology Companies Announce the Voice Interoperability Initiative
With multiple, simultaneous wake words, customers can access multiple voice services by simply saying the corresponding wake word – from Alexa and Cortana to Orange’s Djingo, Salesforce’s Einstein, and more
Solutions providers like
“Multiple simultaneous wake words provide the best option for customers,” said
The Voice Interoperability Initiative is built around four priorities:
- Developing voice services that can work seamlessly with others, while protecting the privacy and security of customers
- Building voice-enabled devices that promote choice and flexibility through multiple, simultaneous wake words
- Releasing technologies and solutions that make it easier to integrate multiple voice services on a single product
- Accelerating machine learning and conversational AI research to improve the breadth, quality and interoperability of voice services
Multiple, interoperable voice services deliver choice and flexibility for customers
Companies participating in the Voice Interoperability Initiative will work with one another to ensure customers have the freedom to interact with multiple voice services on a single device. On products that support multiple voice services, the best way to promote customer choice is through multiple simultaneous wake words, so customers can access each service simply by saying the corresponding wake word. Customers get to enjoy the unique skill and capabilities of each service, from Alexa and Cortana to Djingo, Einstein, and any number of emerging voice services.
Companies participating in the initiative – including
“We’re in the midst of an incredible technological shift, in which voice and AI are completely transforming the customer experience,” said
“We value freedom of choice, empowering listeners to choose what they want to listen to and how they want to control it,” said
“Access to the music and podcasts you love should be simple, regardless of the device you’re on, or the voice assistant you use,” said Gustav Söderström, Chief R&D Officer,
Developers and device makers have a shared commitment to customer trust, and will work together to protect the security and privacy of customers interacting with multiple voice services. Companies participating in the initiative will work to ensure this commitment extends to products that support multiple, simultaneous wake words.
Making multiple, simultaneous wake words more accessible for developers and device makers
Alexa machine learning and speech science technology is designed to support multiple, simultaneous wake words. As a result, any device maker building with the Alexa Voice Service (AVS) can build powerful, differentiated products that feature Alexa alongside other voice services.
Still, device makers interested in supporting multiple, simultaneous wake words often face higher development costs and increased memory load on their devices. To address this, the Voice Interoperability Initiative will also include support from hardware providers like Amlogic,
“Giving people flexibility in how they interact with their PCs is foundational to a great user experience, and the mission of this initiative aligns with Intel’s Project Athena innovation program,” said Ran Senderovitz, vice president and general manager of Mobile Product Marketing,
“Qualcomm chipsets allow multiple wake word engines to run simultaneously on a single device already, and we believe joining the initiative will help make these solutions accessible to more device makers and on more form factors,” said
Advancing the state of the art in machine learning and wake word technology
The academic community has played a vital role in advancing the core machine learning and conversational AI behind voice technology. Companies involved in the initiative will work with researchers and universities to further accelerate the state of the art in machine learning and wake word technology, from developing algorithms that allow wake words to run on portable, low-power devices to improving the encryption and APIs that ensure voice recording are routed securely to the right destination. This continued innovation will provide an important building block for long-term advancements that improve the quality, breadth and interoperability of voice services in the future.
“Customers want flexibility, in addition to greater value and functionality. They don’t want to be locked into using a specific voice service, and that means we’re going to see more households become multi-assistant environments,” said Mariana Zamoszczyk, senior analyst for Smart Living at Ovum. “This trend means that device makers and AI developers need to prioritize interoperability with other services, and work to deliver differentiated, personalized experiences through their own products or assistants.”
Participating companies will have more detail to share on the initiative and compatible products in the coming months. To learn more about the program and opportunities to get involved, visit http://developer.amazon.com/alexa/voice-interoperability.