From the Road

Issue 16 - Voice and Acoustics Revolution

The content and distribution of Azafran’s INSIGHTS newsletter is focused to our LP, incubator, research, investment and partner ecosystem. As we look to build a two-way dialogue benefitting our collective efforts, each month we highlight important news and our approach to the emerging intersection of deep technology, end to end solutions and platforms driven by voice, acoustics/sensory and imagery.

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From the Road

As we shift to attending and helping host virtual events, this dynamic continues to be a crucial element helping us to deliver on the Azafran investment thesis. Through this work, our team stays on top of the latest trends, companies and partner opportunities, especially away from the obvious venues in the world.

Voice Global Summit

Voice Global held a 24-hour marathon Summit centered around the role of voice tech, the contactless future and life in the New Normal. One of the key topics was around dialects, which significantly affects accuracy and remains an issue for sure in the advancement of the field. For example, Indian English has a 78% accuracy rate and Scottish English has a 53% accuracy rate. One potential solution is that companies need to be more transparent about their voice statistics, encourage more competition in the area, and train more data that represents diverse groups.

Some other key takeaways include: The future of voice tech is multimodal with a growing demand for efficient interaction. If we want voice to stick, we need to use it where it’s efficient, and complement it with screens and touch where it isn’t. Smart devices should include not only a speaker but a screen as well, allowing for multiple modalities of user experience.

In one case study, Red Cross has incorporated Alexa Skills, Google Assistant, and Siri as an interactive voice response solution to communicate and provide information for the community. They use chatbots (screenshots below) for employees and volunteers to manage and schedule appointments, eligibility questions, FAQs, procedures, and check donation history. They also offer First Aid Alexa Skills for remote training and education on first aid.

CB Insights Tech Conference

The three-day event had a who’s who list of speakers, all prognosticating on the impacts of Covid-19 on their industries, mixed with macro trends and other insights. Some of the speakers included Mark Cuban, Chris Larsen, Henry Kravis and Fred Wilson.

HIMSS: Accelerating Health Systems’ Digital Transformation: Why Digital Health Must Be the New Standard in a Post-COVID-19 World

Great panel and offshoot/continuation of the HIMSS series from their Orlando conference that was cancelled earlier this year.

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