Nominations for Speech Technology Leaders

AwardsSpeech Technology Magazine is asking for your nominations for the top speech technology companies. Deadline for entries is Friday, May 31, 2013.

The list of award categories provides some insight into the current state of speech technologies and the surrounding marketplace. It’s interesting to see how the various technology and product categories are perceived, and how they’re all undergoing lots of changes in the midst of this extremely dynamic technology environment in which we live.

The 2013 award categories are:

  • Search Engine
  • Self-Service Suite
  • Speech Analytics
  • Professional Services
  • Voice Security
  • Mobile Voice Search

The Mobile Voice Search category description got me thinking. That category is described as one that recognizes “exceptional applications that incorporate speech technologies for search and directory assistance applications on mobile devices.” I’m not sure why Mobile Voice Search was used instead of the more popular Mobile Personal Assistant term. Of more interest, though, is the focus on search and directory assistance. When I think of Siri and Google Now and the host of other speech enabled assistant apps available on iOS and Android today, I don’t know that “search” describes their capabilities or aspirations. “Directory assistance” also doesn’t seem to cover the core features that make these apps so useful.

Speech recognition and search are certainly integral to the performance of mobile personal assistances. All of these apps go beyond search, though, in their attempts to understand what might be important to the end user and to synthesize data to inform the user in ways that go beyond search. A good example of this post-search information synthesis is the ability  of Google Now and other assistant apps to prompt the device owner that she better get going if she wants to be at her next meeting on time, because traffic problems have cropped up. Providing this real-time, heads up type of information goes well beyond search and can’t really be described as directory assistance. But I may be misunderstanding what’s meant by the Mobile Voice Search category. It’ll be fun to see which companies and products receive the award.

If your company has deployed a speech recognition, virtual agent, or any web self-service technology in the past year, you can nominate yourself for an Implementation Award. That would be a great way to recognize the folks involved in the project for all their effort and for the successful outcome.

The Speech Technology Leaders will be announced at the SpeechTek show in New York, which is scheduled for August 19-21, 2013.

Ready to submit your nominee? You can go straight to the Speech Technology Awards 2013 Nomination Form.

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