24 Aug, 2017

How Does Voice Technology Play A Role In Digital Transformation?


We have seen (and heard!) voice activation tools make their way onto the tech market.

Major industry players such as Amazon, Google, and Apple have developed voice activation products, leading the tech industry into major digital advancements.

These products contain state of the art technology that uniquely identifies a user’s voice in order to carry out an action.

Google uses “Ok Google”, Amazon uses “Amazon Alexa”, (and much more…) All of these tools are digitally compatible to meet the needs of customers and have been seen in many industries, even the healthcare market.

In order to fully grasp what these tools are capable of, it is crucial to understand what is running them, and how they can be used to their full potential.

So, How Does Voice Activation Work?

That’s a question that most people thought when the first voice activation tools were released on the market. They seemed high-tech and consisted of human-like characteristics.

These tools can work alongside customers in order to carry out tasks and perform commands, that essentially make customer’s lives easier.

Although it is hard to believe there is not a human working alongside these tools, something quite powerful is: artificial intelligence.

“In practice, the size of a voice-recognition program’s effective vocabulary is directly related to the random access memory capacity of the computer in which it is installed. A voice-recognition program runs many times faster if the entire vocabulary can be loaded into RAM, as compared with searching the hard drive for some of the matches. Processing speed is critical as well, because it affects how fast the computer can search the RAM for matches.” TechTarget reports.

Voice activation works with artificial intelligence and is activated when a voice is recognized. Speech recognition is built on data found from the customer, which results in a personalized experience.

To break down speech recognition in more simpler terms, it is the act of converting speech to data. This is done through vibrations in a person’s voice, taking precise measurements waves found within.

After that occurs, signals are divided into segments that locate constant phonemes, which are the smallest elements of language. Then, a process occurs where the computer determines what was said, and then outputs an action.

If you are interested in the technical terms of this process, you can view them here.

Of course, with any digital application, errors can occur while translating voices through voice technology. Any type of background noise can affect the clarity of the voice which can create a false input. This is important to think about while speaking into a voice activator, and for business professionals to understand while developing the software compatible for these tools.

So, now that we have a brief jist about what voice activation consists of, we can start to discuss the companies who have leveraged this tool to create state of the art products.

Let’s start with Google’s digital transformation into voice activation, and where it lands today.

“OK Google”, Let’s Begin

“Google’s ability to understand language is nearly equivalent to humans”  Recode reports. 

Does this sentence scare you? Surprise you? Engage you? Well, either way, it shows the major transformations that Google has made while developing voice activation into its products.

Google first became famous for using machine learning algorithms in order to be the oracle of the internet, giving customers insight into nearly almost anything they search for. It is essentially what Google is known for, and is used on a large scale around the world.

The algorithms Google created forms a ranking system that analyzes and decides what information will be most valuable for the customers, depending on search engine optimization.

“These ranking systems are made up of a series of algorithms that analyze what it is you are looking for and what information to return to you. And as we’ve evolved Search to make it more useful, we’ve refined our algorithms to assess your searches and the results in finer detail to make our services work better for you.” Google explains. 

But now, with the development of voice activation, artificial intelligence comes to play.

“Whether it’s search, Google Assistant, Android, Gmail, Google Photos, or Google Cloud Platform and its data centers, the path to success for Google flows through two words: Artificial Intelligence (AI),”  ZDNet reports.

Google has developed software that supports tools like Google Translate and Google Home, and Google Assistant which is developed to recognize a variety of voices in order to carry out specific actions.

This is a perfect example of how a company can use digital transformation to its full capacity. We discuss how impactful this is frequently, and how often artificial intelligence is found in a variety of major industries we work with.

“Google is now able to understand human language with 95 percent accuracy, thanks to machine learning algorithms that can detect speech and respond with meaningful results.” Recode continues.

This software has improved nearly 20% since its first appearance on the market in 2013. That is quite a powerful digital journey.

According to Google’s CEO, Sundar Pichai, AI should work for everyone. The mission that Google has in mind while using AI is to ultimately help customers, in order to solve problems using computer science.

This is seen with the invention of many google products that possess voice activation in its features, using algorithms to create an interactive experience for customers.

“We can now distinguish between different voices in Google Home, making it possible for people to have a more personalized experience when they interact with the device. We are now also in a position to make the smartphone camera a tool to get things done. Google Lens is a set of vision-based computing capabilities that can understand what you’re looking at and help you take action based on that information.” Google reports on its’ blog. 

Google had a mission in mind while developing the software that holds artificial intelligence capabilities. It provides limitless opportunity to access information that can help industries move forward to become digitally driven.

Thanks, Google, for taking advantage of all of the components digital transformation has to offer in order to create seamless products.

Amazon: The Competition Everyone Fears

Amazon and Google have been in competition for quite some time now, battling with technologies that match each other almost exactly. Both companies use artificial intelligence to create these products.

Jeff Bezos, Amazon’s CEO, made the plunge to incorporate hardware into Amazon’s efforts to target its customer and make Amazon shopping an interactive experience.

This was seen when Amazon Echo was invented and released on the market. This tool had capabilities that fell short of a personal assistant for customers. It was created in order to meet the needs of the Amazon customer and has made 11 million sales since it has been released for sale.

Now, Amazon Alexa has made a footprint alongside Echo’s capabilities. There are over 12,000 skills attached to Alexa and can be found inside Amazon’s alternative hardware, such as Fire TV.

Amazon Alexa’s features are made possible through Alexa Voice Services, which interprets commands as well as provides services that can do a range of tasks, such as telling time, the weather, play music and even purchasing products through Amazon.

“Say the word Alexa, and the device’s top glows blue, awaiting your command. Like Siri, she can respond to a laundry list of queries and requests—Alexa, how tall is Mount Everest? Alexa, could you set an alarm for tomorrow morning? But whereas Apple designed Siri primarily for mobile consumption through iPhones and iPads—push a button and talk—Alexa is invisible and ever-present, a natural interface for the connected home.” Fastcompany reports. 

Amazon has brought together multiple services to be active on one device. This created a trend in the voice technology market and has become widely popular among audiences. Amazon Alexa has become a home device staple, giving customers the ability to perform a wide variety of tasks that are carried out digitally.

Amazon Alexa has changed the voice activation technology game, progressing it toward new advances and affecting the large customer base that Amazon has already acquired through its massive e-commerce platform.

This service has won the hearts of loyal Amazon customers and has aimed to make the Amazon shopping experience accessible and seamless through digital technology, specifically voice technology.

It is clear that Amazon is making strides to take over the tech industry. So far, they are making a pretty big impression and it looks like they are now one of the key players in digital transformation.

What’s Next?

As we see industry giants like Google and Amazon leverage the capabilities of voice technology, it is clear that there is large potential in this industry.

Voice activation has the potential to continue to grow and reach brands on a personal level.

“Voice technology will force other technologies that are screen-based to gradually disappear since being able to ask questions and get answers by voice only will eliminate the need for screens. Business by voice is a new term that is being introduced as new businesses and startups are launching voice-enabled apps that have the ability to learn, think and even talk to users as Surendra Reddy, Founder & CEO of Quantiply Corporation predicted.” noiragency reports. 

This prediction is being seen in recent news. This week, Walmart partnered with Google to leverage Google Assistant in order to bring voice activation further into the retail sector. This sure only heightens the competition between Google and Amazon and creates a new playing field for tech companies.

The healthcare industry is also seeking voice technology, as they seek Amazon Alexa to be used in hospitals, such as ICUs and operating rooms. This will save healthcare professionals time, and also enable demands to be quick and effective for patient care.

Voice technology has the potential to move technology away from digital screens and toward even more mobile devices, such as wearable technologies and voice search capabilities, which Google has seen a lot of so far.

“Voice search is a trend that will continue to feed itself. As tech companies have recognized the growing importance of voice search, greater emphasis has been placed on making the digital assistants as smart and responsive as possible in an effort to gain market share.” Forbes reports. 

It will be interesting to see how far voice activation technology goes, and what industries will be affected. As always, Digital Diary will be here to report on the advancements of these tools.


The Millennium Alliance is thrilled to present the second 2017 edition of Digital Enterprise Transformation Assembly, put together by the industry, for the industry. Join us November 16-17, for a series of executive education roundtables, keynote presentations from speakers like Robin Bienfait, CEO of Emnovatecollaborative think tanks, educational workshops, and networking sessions will offer industry-specific topics and trends to ensure your company sustains its competitive advantage.

Limited sponsorship opportunities are available. Download the Digital Enterprise Transformation Assembly Sponsorship Prospectus for more information >>

As we move closer to 2018, new innovative tools such as voice technology are making an impact in leading industries. Major enterprises are making strides to incorporate voice activation tools on the tech market, which ultimately targets customers. Amazon and Google are two examples of how voice activation is becoming prominent among the digital technology industry.

As a business professional, it is crucial to stay up to date with the advancements of these technologies, in order to establish a potential connection with the tools being developed, to use in your business. As we see the retail sector and healthcare sector integrating voice activation into its services, it is clear that all the leading industries are adapting traditional tools towards becoming more innovative.

The role that business leaders have in the “Digital Industrial Revolution” is more important than ever. With the constant development of new technology, staying up to date and informed is important to stay ahead.

Be a part of the conversation and join like minded business professionals to learn about the latest digital trends and how they affect your business and industry.

Our agendas and attendee lists are for Millennium Members only. Apply today for access! Already a Millennium Member? Simply click the link and enter your password when requested.

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