We have all used voice response technology before in which you give a command and a virtual assistant responds. Think of Amazon’s Alexa, Apple’s Siri, Google Assistant, and Microsoft’s Cortana. They are present in millions of households worldwide and can be extremely useful for completing tasks throughout the day.
As technology continues to become more advanced, people are beginning to fear that virtual assistants like these are becoming too intelligent. In fact, according to the research firm Omdia, by 2021 there will be almost as many voice response systems on Earth as there are people. Household virtual assistants are so popular because they allow people to perform a variety of tasks completely hands-free. However, this service doesn’t replicate human-to-human conversation. People that use voice response and virtual assistants know that they are talking to a robot, which makes the experience strange for the user. It’s apparent that developers must create more technology that relies on conversation rather than commands.
Benefits of Conversational AI
As the name implies, conversational AI is a technology that can have a conversation with its user. This tech is configured to recognize human speech and text, understand meaning, and respond in a way that imitates human conversation. This is done using various advanced dialogue management technologies such as Automatic Speech Recognition, Natural Language Processing, Advanced Dialogue Management, and Machine Learning. Conversational AI studies human conversation and language processing to mimic speech and make the user feel like they are merely talking to another person.
Conversational AI also studies speech fluctuation to make the technology less monotone and more human-like. Studies show that speech fluctuation is one of the simplest ways people express emotion and create meaning in their phrasing. This is exactly what developers want conversational AI to imitate. When technology conveys emotion and meaning, the user will feel more comfortable conversing with it.
Conversational AI in Self-Ordering Kiosks
One of the most efficient applications of conversational AI is at self-ordering kiosks in restaurants, stadiums, casinos, and amusement parks. These kiosks allow customers to order their food by merely speaking to a voice assistant. Some companies, like Sensory Inc., have installed this software in their self-ordering kiosks to make food ordering quick and simple for all their customers. The software can have a conversation with the customer, analyzing their voice and emotional state. Conversational AI in self-ordering kiosks isn’t meant to compete with major virtual assistants like Alexa and Siri. Still, it’s designed to handle food ordering with greater accuracy while also being simple for the customer to use.
As technology becomes more advanced and intelligent, people need to trust artificial intelligence to assist in their day-to-day tasks. Developing technology that mimics human conversation is the first step toward creating technology that will make everyone’s lives efficient and easy.