Rapid Progress of Conversational Interface Technologies

Future of Conversational Interface Technologies

What at first seemed unusual and futuristic has since become accepted and commonplace. Consumers are becoming more comfortable talking to their gadgets. Instead of going to a website or downloading an app, we talk to a program for assistance.

In the process, we are transitioning our experience with technology from the push/pull dynamic of websites and apps to that of a fluid conversation.

The Mobile Voice Study by Google Infographic
OMG! Mobile voice survey reveals teens love to talk

A study commissioned by Google and conducted by Northstar Research found that 55% of teens use voice search on their smartphones daily, and pointed to a growing acceptance of conversational interface as etiquette evolves and capabilities grow.

The movement towards conversational interfaces – where computers communicate in our language as opposed to users adapting to a computer’s language – is likely to accelerate in future. Be it Amazon Echo, Siri, Cortana or Watson these platforms are redefining voice-driven interactions across the industries. For businesses, there is a tremendous potential to engage both differently and deeper with one’s audience, opening up new opportunities for revenue streams and brand loyalty. It is crucial, however, that these news tools are implemented properly.

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Conversational Interfaces in the Enterprise

Like taps and swipes, conversational interfaces are becoming another element of the user experience in applications and a dominant element in the user experience on internet and wearable solutions in the enterprise. From that perspective, enterprises will soon incorporate voice interactions as another mechanism to access business data or interact with business processes.

Conversational Interfaces Experience in Businesses

One of the great benefits of voice interactions in a business is the conversational experience. While the user interactions in mobile applications are constrained to what’s provided on the different screens, conversational interfaces offer an open ended model for users to interact with business systems by asking questions or dictating actions via voice commands. The conversational nature of voice interfaces offer business users a model to interact with enterprise systems without being constrained by a specific user interface.

Multi-User Interactions

Generally, applications are designed for single user interactions. Even in the scenarios in which multiple users collaborate to accomplish a task, each user is likely to be interacting with a separate instance of a mobile application. Conversational interfaces break that boundary, allowing different users to interact with a single application in order to accomplish a specific task. This capability enables levels of collaboration that were simply not possible before.

Voice Integration Model for Business Systems

Conversational interfaces will enable businesses to interact with enterprise systems via voice commands. These models will create a direct channel between business users and line of business systems without the constraints of a specific mobile user interface. Just like web services or APIs,  conversational interfaces are likely to become a new integration model for enterprise systems.

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Internationalisation

Factors like support for different languages or cultural differences in user experience make it extremely challenging for applications to effectively develop international capabilities. Conversational interfaces offer a simple model to internationalise applications and internet experiences. Most cognitive computing interfaces effectively support different languages and conversation models which provides an immediate mechanism for mobile or desktop applications to work across different geographies and markets.

Mobile interface technologies

In recent years, conversational interfaces have become one of the most intense areas of competition and innovation in the mobile space. As a result, the industry has produced many technology platforms that leverage cognitive computing to deliver extremely sophisticated conversational interfaces. While the first iteration of these platforms was really focused on the user experience, it didn’t take long before entire conversational interface platforms were available to developers looking to incorporate those capabilities into internet and application solutions.

Clearly, the capabilities and rapid progress of conversational interfaces are set to become one of the fundamental building blocks of the next generation. Now is the time for companies to continue innovating and creating the future of conversational interface technologies.

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