This year’s Mobile Voice Conference took place in San Francisco from March 3-5. While the conference focuses on speech and natural language technology on a mobile platform, this year’s event included many sessions on virtual assistants and virtual agent technologies. William Meisel, the conference organizer. recently posted a summary of the conference presentations. For those of us who weren’t fortunate enough to attend, it seems we missed out on some great content.
Meisel noted that there were topics covering both general personal assistants and specialized assistants. He classifies general personal assistants as those whose capabilities tend to be broad, but not very deep, such as Siri and Google Now. These mobile assistants try to do a lot of things, but they don’t have very deep skills in any one domain. Specialized personal assistants, on the other hand, target their capabilities at more narrowly focused areas. Meisel cites customer service avatars, sometimes called web self-service agents, as examples of specialized assistants.
The conference included presentations that addressed both the general and the specialized virtual assistant market. There were also talks on voice-enabled apps in cars, wearables, biometric authentication, conversational interfaces, and more.
The Mobile Voice Conference is organized by AVIOS, the Applied Voice Input/Output Society. Keep an eye out for announcements about next year’s conference. It it’s anything like this year’s, it’ll be a great opportunity to network with other professionals from the mobile voice and virtual assistant industry and learn about where those technologies are heading.