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How will speech technologies integrate with UC apps?

Analyst Jon Arnold examines use cases for speech technologies in the enterprise and explains how UC vendors expect to add speech tools to their platforms.

The convergence of speech technologies and unified communications applications offers many possibilities. However, UC vendors have varying degrees of capabilities in their platforms to support speech-based workflows.

Organizations have used speech technologies with business applications for a long time, but in a limited fashion compared to today's AI speech possibilities.

In the enterprise, speech technologies have two key use cases: command-and-control applications and AI-driven applications for improving personal productivity. The number of use cases will expand as AI matures and integrates more deeply into workflows.

Command-and-control applications help manage or execute tasks that would otherwise be done via text-based channels or manually by workers. UC vendors could offer speech commands to organize a meeting and manage the meeting room experience. These commands would automate tasks such as searching calendars for availability, finding a common time, sending invites, booking a meeting and sharing relevant documents with participants.

During the meeting, depending on the level of AI capability, speech commands could control the lighting, audio levels and AV equipment. UC vendors are just starting down this path, but you should expect more use cases along these lines soon.

The second use case -- AI-driven personal productivity apps -- is more interesting and offers great promise for UC vendors. Speech recognition with AI is now on par with human speech, which provides unlimited possibilities for both text-to-speech and speech-to-text applications.

One example of these emerging speech technologies is meeting transcriptions, which happen in real time and free up attendees to focus on the meeting instead of taking notes. Text-to-speech allows workers to listen to their email or generate podcasts.

With these speech technologies, UC vendors are poised to enhance productivity in new ways that should be very well-received.

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