October 28, 2020

The Spanish company that gives voice to Alexa | Innovation

The Spanish company that gives voice to Alexa | Innovation


The gurus say that the keyboards may be facing their final stretch (although there are some would not you agree). That as typing is more tired than talking, the tendency will be to substitute them wherever possible by voice assistants, possible today thanks to the large advances of the last years in several disciplines, among them the machine learning. Amazon's Alexa, Cortana, Google Home, Apple HomePod … The race to dominate the on-board computer of homes has started.

Companies are very aware of the push these devices are having among the general public (in the United States they are sold en masse, in Europe they may break out strongly this Christmas). For that reason, or perhaps to try not to lose the last technological train, many businesses are starting up their own skills (this is the name of the Amazon voice assistant applications, clear dominators for now in the sector). Everyone wants their products to be acquired by dictating simple instructions to the air.

Restoration chains of fast food like Burger King Telepizza, airlines such as Iberia and some other companies have been pioneers in the development of these new sales channels.

Behind many of these skills we can find another Spanish company, this time from software, which has also been able to surf the wave of voice assistants. This is Airtouch New Media, a firm focused on the development of programs with artificial intelligence and technological channels for the B2C contact present in Madrid, Paris, Mexico City and Bucharest. They are responsible, among others, for the skill of Burger King

"The voice is the future. Artificial intelligence marks all innovations in the digital field, from virtual assistants to machine learning or the gadgets. Being close to the end consumer has become vital in any business strategy and the skillsThanks to the voice, they allow brands to be at their side in a more human way and with faster and more intuitive communication, "says Armando Ávila Kramis, CEO of Airtouch New Media.

There are more than 50,000 skills developed for Alexa around the world. The services in Spanish, however, are limited: the voice assistant has just landed in Spain and there is a long way to go.

What does it take to start your own skill? The first, they say from Airtouch New Media, is to have clear the personality of the brand and the characteristics of its service. A clear and concrete nomenclature is also needed to be able to interact with it: keywords that activate the service (invocation names), words that activate certain functionalities (intents), phrases that allow actions … From each of these elements you have to look for different enunciations and pronunciations, so that the machine can recognize what the user says. The skill of Burger King, for example, has more than 1,600 registered items. The race to colonize the voice assistants has just begun.

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