What’s next for voice & vision tech?

Article

Our CEO Ben Costantini just got back from a quick trip to Germany where he was on-site at Siemens Mobility in Munich supporting Sebastian Greiss, Founder of StationX with the launch of their first internal event series aiming to unite and inspire their engineering teams to think bigger.

Sebastian Greiss (StationX)

Voice Assistants: where do we stand between dysfunctional voice interfaces and truly AI powered assistants?

Keynote Speaker: Holger G. Weiss, CEO, Founder & Managing Director, German Autolabs (Germany)

Holger G. Weiss (German Autolabs) & Sebastian Greiss (StationX)

Takeaways:

The underlying technology behind voice assistants has been around for at least the last 50 years but has only recently started accelerating via tools like Alexa and Siri.

Holger G. Weiss (German Autolabs)

Specifically, the biggest barriers include:

  • Accuracy – many users have a low tolerance for inaccuracy when using these tools
  • End-user expectations – most users expect their voice assistance to work like a human being leading user’s to continue expecting more than what their voice assistants can currently offer
  • Language barriers – besides just having trouble matching the correct words, most of the friction comes from not understanding users’ accents when trying to pronounce words either in their own language or (worse) in another language
#LanguageBarriers

“While there’s no official killer use cases for voice assistants, we see that shopping (B2C) & customer support + music (B2B) as well as in-car voice assistants are getting there” – Holger G. Weiss

German Autolabs is developing voice assistance tools to augment the daily workflows of professional drivers, couriers and delivery teams, including:

  • Safety to multitask – their assistant can tell drivers what to do next and plan their driving without risking a loss of focus leading to 76% improvements in new driver performance in just 2 weeks and 90% quality compliance with customer expectations
  • Time-saving and efficient companies like DHL, Volkswagen and HERE have are now able to operate more safely by reducing distraction rate, facilitating logistics leading to boosted overall efficiency

“The creativity of the German Autolabs team has helped developed an innovative way of making last mile logistics more efficient. In a time-sensitive business where every minute counts, we really believe this will aid our drivers in ensuring that each and every parcel makes it on time.”   – R. Wenham DHL

In the near future, voice assistants will be more and more proactive, knowing more precisely what to do in response to varied vocal commands. Voice assistance could even be more of an extension to existing AR and VR deployment from companies like Siemens.

Using Autonomous Machine Vision at Siemens Mobility

Speakers: Axel Reimold, Siemens Mobility (Germany) & Uri Josefson, Sales Director, Inspekto (Israel) – moderated by Sebastian Greiss, Founder, StationX (Germany)

Axel Reimold (Siemens Mobility) & Sebastian Greiss (StationX)

The goal of machine vision is to offer imaging-based inspection and analysis for applications such as automatic inspection, process control, and robot guidance usually used in industries but also becomes more common in society like Facial Recognition when using your phone.

Challenges

“The human eye is very flexible and precise and current tech doesn’t have that capability. Machine vision is hard to scale up and and it is difficult to automate, however there is still a need to an automate this process to make it more cost-effective.” – Axel Reimold

Uri Josefson (Inspekto) & Sebastian Greiss (StationX)

Inspekto is on a mission to make Machine Vision (more) Autonomous and they have a system that helps Siemens tackle this problem. Their vision is to make the inspection of systems very easy – no need for technical skills – and to provide various inspections using the same system.

The ability to solve the process of high mix with low volume and to be able to deploy the system in 20mins. Generally, Inspekto can be applied in different use cases but it’s necessary to check especially since it only takes 30mins to deploy it and test it in real-time.

Conclusion

It’s clear that voice technology is at the edge. After decades of limited user experience and use cases, voice assistants are entering our daily lives. Thanks to this pragmatic review of the status quo with respect to technology, user behaviour and industries, we learned that we’re closer than we thought to experiencing ‘real’ assistants, helping people in their daily lives and work.


[Disclaimer: This event series was attended by Ben Costantini as part of a partnership with Siemens StationX. Opinions and information presented here may or may not represent those of Siemens StationX.]

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