DURBAN - Voice assistants and interfaces on smartphones are coming of age and adoption is expected to soar over the next few years.
ComScore, for example, forecasts that half of all online searches will be voice searches by 2020, while PwC research shows that 65 percent of 25-49-year olds already speak to their voice-enabled devices at least once per day.
The growth estimates may prove to be conservative, given the advancements we are seeing in the development of natural language processing (NLP) and voice recognition. Even the most cynical user should be impressed by the recent Google Assistant speech recognition demo at Google I/O 2019, the company’s annual developer conference.
Even those of us who are fans of speaking to smartphones can find the response times a little slow. Google showed how its next-generation voice assistant can access phone functions in milliseconds, seamless multitask across apps, and complete the most complex interactions with little noticeable latency.
The game-changing innovation? Google has managed to compress the speech recognition algorithms into the smartphone itself, so that one no longer depends on the Internet and cloud processing to get things done. The integration of a responsive and reliable assistant into smartphones will overcome one of the last barriers to voice interface adoption.