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LumenVox’ Forward Thinking: Top Tech Trends in 2021

LumenVox’ Forward Thinking: Top Tech Trends in 2021

2020 has fundamentally transformed the way we live and work. Organizations, and the technology they use, are adapting at a record pace. The key to successful evolution is organizational agility. Here are four trends that will propel tech into 2021:

Shift to Total Experience (TX). You may have heard the term “multiexperience,” which refers to the shift from a singular screen and keyboard to a multimodal digital world, where technology surrounds you, going from your laptop to your phone to your tablet to your desktop and back again. TX takes that to another level; it keeps in mind each and every player in the experience game—employees, customers, users. Historically, these players have had immersive digital experiences, but they were separate. Imagine how much easier things would be if they were the same? That’s TX. At LumenVox, we are building our speech and authentication technology stack with multichannel and multimodal capabilities to address this demand in the remote workforce and contact center.

In a remote world, TX strategy will create a strong competitive advantage, as organizations with TX will outperform over the next three years.

Invest in Artificial Intelligence. Artificial intelligence is first and foremost a discipline, with any success stemming from an intense daily grind. However, that effort doesn’t always pay off. According to Gartner research, only 53% of projects make it to production, making it essential that companies put the extra time and engineering effort into AI projects. That’s why at LumenVox, Artificial Intelligence has always been a central component of our technology. Our speech recognition and voice biometric algorithms are built upon AI and Machine Learning principles so that our technology continuously evolves. LumenVox also has invested heavily in Research & Development, so we can deliver Artificial Intelligence technology which is robust, scalable, and easily deployed.

Cloud Enablement. At LumenVox, we have been ensuring our technology responds to the demands of multi-cloud environments so that organizations do not have to rely solely upon in-house IT infrastructure. Instead, they can provide their customers with LumenVox software via the cloud. In a post-COVID world, this is critical, as the world now runs remotely.

Prioritize Privacy. Privacy has always been a priority, but now that priority is marked urgent. Data protection legislation is maturing. In 2020 California finally implemented the California Consumer Privacy Act, signed into law in 2018. The CCPA is one of several state-mandated regulatory policies the US has implemented.  Similar regulations appear in other countries whose model has been Europe’s GDPR rules protecting consumer privacy. This requires organizations to put more stringent controls in place to guard against threats and to protect users’ privacy. LumenVox provides advanced voice biometrics to add robust layers of security for organizations of all shapes and sizes, safeguarding sensitive business and consumer information.

In summary, it’s important for any business to always look ahead. The more a business looks toward the future in tech, the more it cannot just adapt and survive, but also thrive. LumenVox’ chief aim for 2021 is to assist businesses in their advancement by directly addressing these trends in voice technology.

Learn more about our full suite of technology here.

fms/Austrosoft, LumenVox Team to Deliver High-Performing Tech for Transport

fms/Austrosoft, LumenVox Team to Deliver High-Performing Tech for Transport

LumenVox, a leading global provider of speech and authentication technologies, has officially partnered with the Austrian company fms/Austrosoft. fms/Austrosoft is the technology leader in elaborate dispatch system for taxi and car rental in Europe and has integrated LumenVox’ voice technology into fms Callbot for networked and digital telephone ordering.

fms/Austrosoft has been working for more than 35 years to continuously improve the dispatching service by optimizing the ordering experience for customers. In doing so, the company, just like the mobility industry, is constantly facing new challenges that are mastered with its own know-how and a technology partner like LumenVox.

The hardware and software solutions from fms/Austrosoft are aimed at all participants in the dispatching process. This includes the initial booking by the ride customer, the dispatching by the taxi center and the final order processing by the driver. To take the initial booking interaction via taxi call centers to the next level, the IT experts at fms/Austrosoft developed the fms Callbot with integrated voice solutions from LumenVox.

This is the digital agent for the 21st century, enabling networked and digital telephone ordering to provide the passenger with a completely new ordering experience. Whether it is an instant order or a pre-order, the fms Callbot seamlessly transitions the passenger from the analogue to the digital world.

As an official reseller of LumenVox, fms/Austrosoft offers its customers direct access to LumenVox’s entire voice and authentication portfolio with the fms Callbot. This includes:

  • Automatic Speech Recognition, transforming touchtone mazes into natural, intuitive call flows
  • State-of-the-art active and passive Voice Biometrics, easily integrated to make authenticating over remote channels more convenient and safer than ever before
  • Fraud Detection, arming fraud analysts with advanced voice biometric algorithms to protect and defend organizations from dangerous attacks
  • Call Progress Analysis for proactive outbound calling, delivering dramatically improved recognition between an answering machine and a live human

To learn more about fms/Austrosoft and how it’s changing the transportation game, click here. To learn more about LumenVox and its best-in-class technology, click here.

Questions? Contact us!

LumenVox and jtel Announce Partnership for Best-In-Class Contact Center Solutions

LumenVox and jtel Announce Partnership for Best-In-Class Contact Center Solutions

LumenVox is pleased to announce that we have partnered with jtel Germany, a leading provider of advanced contact center solutions. This alliance leverages jtel’s solutions with LumenVox’ complementary, best-in-class speech technology.

LumenVox and jtel focus on delivering outstanding customer experiences through the contact center. Operating mainly in Europe and providing professional support in Germany, Austria and Switzerland, jtel specializes in contact center automation development and omni-channel interactions. With jtel’s long-standing commitment to streamlining customer interactions, increasing productivity, and creating deeper customer relationships for businesses around the world, this partnership will accelerate and expand the use of speech technology to improve operational efficiency, increase customer satisfaction and reduce fraud for organizations around the globe.

As a recognized partner of LumenVox, jtel offers its customers streamlined access to LumenVox’ entire speech and authentication portfolio, including:

  • LumenVox Automated Speech Recognizer, which supports Natural Language Understanding.
  • LumenVox text-to-speech / voice-enabled IVR platform,with multiple language capabilities.
  • Call Progress Analysis, which allows the recognizer to analyze speech and automatically discern appropriate timing for outbound telephony campaigns and notifications.
  • Voice Password, an active voice biometrics platform which authenticates customers using text-dependent voice biometrics.
  • Passive Voice Biometric Authentication, a passive voice biometrics platform which authenticates customers independent of a phrase, so it can occur naturally in conversation with a live agent.
  • Fraud Scanner, a cutting-edge fraud detection tool to identify fraudulent activity using state of the art voice biometrics.

As a jtel partner, LumenVox can now provide skills and technology to deliver outstanding customer service to any organization. The partnership ensures consistent integration and exceptional support to meet the unique and individual needs of jtel customers.

To learn more about jtel’s work, click here. Questions about LumenVox speech and authentication technology? Contact us today.

A Dive Into Deep Learning

A Dive Into Deep Learning

The development of Automatic Speech Recognition techniques continues to accelerate. Already an established technology, Automatic Speech Recognition is growing by leaps and bounds each year, especially as artificial intelligence contributes to evolution. A crucial building block of artificial intelligence is deep learning.

What is Deep Learning?

Deep learning refers to the process of a computer model learning how to do classification tasks by example, directly from audio, text, or images. These models are trained using very large sets of data and neural network topologies with many hidden layers, to which the word “deep” refers. Deep Neural Networks can achieve state-of-the-art performance in many different fields, even exceeding human-level performance on some of them.

What are Neural Networks?

More specifically, neural networks are a series of algorithms, whose job it is to identify relationships within a set of data, a process that simulates the way a human brain identifies underlying connections. When it comes to speech technology, neural networks enable us to push the limits of speech recognition.

Which Neural Network for Automatic Speech Recognition?

Deep Neural Networks are transforming the way humans interact, playing an important role in the technological revolution of artificial intelligence. At LumenVox, our Research and Development team is currently utilizing Time Depth Separable Convolutional Neural Networks (TDS CNN).

Convolutional Neural Networks are advantageous for a few reasons: They are computationally efficient, making them highly useful for mobile applications, and they have fewer knobs to toy with, fewer parameters to adjust. That means LumenVox customers get an ASR engine with greater speech recognition accuracy without requiring more compute performance, encouraging greater efficiency and performance.

LumenVox’ deep learning technology is applied to many of our technologies, including Automatic Speech Recognizer, Natural Language Processing, and Voice Biometrics. To learn more about our comprehensive stack, or to take an even deeper dive into deep learning, contact us today!

LumenVox Call Progress Analysis vs. Answering Machine Detection: What’s The Difference?

LumenVox Call Progress Analysis vs. Answering Machine Detection: What’s The Difference?

Right now, customers crave communication. LumenVox Call Progress Analysis (CPA) is a technology that delivers proactive outbound phone messages with incredible accuracy, enabling businesses to give their customers the information they need exactly when they need it. CPA accomplishes this by a unique combination of tone detection and speech recognition. At first blush, the world of voice technology may label this product as Answering machine detection. But it’s not. So what’s the difference?

Answering Machine Detection (AMD) is typically a software that determines whether a machine (voicemail or answering machine) or a human has answered a call. AMD can be applied to all automated outbound calling use cases (outbound IVR, Text-to-speech, pre-recorded automated calls, or click-to-call).

Traditional Answering Machine Detection products use some form of energy or voice detection that extracts the duration of the greeting from the person or device answering the call.  Answering machine messages can be remarkably diverse, effecting the algorithm and its decision-making process.

LumenVox Call Progress (CPA) Analysis has two distinct advantages when compared to AMD software.

  • Typical AMD software only uses energy detection, while LumenVox CPA is built on LumenVox’ Speech Recognition Engine’s Voice Activity Detection (VAD) which uses a more sophisticated machine learning process to detect speech vs non speech with greater accuracy. The VAD processes are used to determine speech vs background noises and measure the length of speech with greater accuracy. We then use the statistical correlation to make a machine vs human determination.
  • When the machine vs determination decision is made, traditional AMD software expects to find silence of some duration after the speech to indicate to the application that it is OK to leave a message. With LumenVox CPA we take advantage of our Speech Recognition engine to detect the answering machine tone before indicating that it is OK to leave the message. This ensures that the full message is successfully delivered.

With LumenVox Call Progress Analysis, your outbound dialing application can exceed expectations, starting precisely where it should, right after the beep. Its flexibility makes it compatible with most voice platforms and PBX systems. To learn more about how CPA can work for you, click here or contact us today.

 

The Art of Speech & a Conversational IVR

The Art of Speech & a Conversational IVR

Speech technology can truly bring the customer experience to life, but it takes a unique blend of creativity, technology, and hardware to do so. We recently interviewed LumenVox Software Engineer Shaun McThomas to gain his perspective on the art of integrating speech technology with IVRs to enhance the customer experience.

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Hi, my name is Shaun McThomas. I’m a Software Engineer at LumenVox, and today I’m here to talk to you about creating next-generation conversational Interactive Voice Response systems. IVR for short.

What are the biggest issues facing customers and IVR-s today?

One of the biggest issues with IVRs today is that callers are forced to follow a rigid script. It’s not a conversation, it’s an interrogation. First, they are asked, give me this bit of information; then they are asked for another bit and another bit. There is no flow like you would have with another person, just a series of “painful, tiny steps”, making the whole process ridged and uncomfortable for the caller.

Another issue is you often get trapped in IVR jail there is no escape route. You are forced to listen to the very end of the prompt before you can respond, “This isn’t what I want; let me go back to the Main menu.”

What do you think the solution is to address these pain points?

Most of these issues are easily addressed with an artful blend of good design and use of modern speech recognition technologies, what LumenVox calls Speech Art. If you listen to the very best contact center agents within a business and model how they solve the same issues and how they question a caller, you’ll understand how callers really ask questions and can provide very lifelike IVR responses. By following this model, you can produce frictionless, intuitive (and personalized) interactions with callers, radically improving their experience.

The very first thing a good IVR should do is quickly identify who the caller is, confirm that assumption. Remember, a blend of technologies can make this easier.  Look up the phone number they are calling from in your back-end systems and see if you can determine their identify from that. You can use both speech recognition and voice biometric authentication to make that process simple and easy if needed. More than likely calling from their cell phone, which provides a unique identifier.

Once you’ve identified the caller, use data available from your back-end systems to anticipate the reason for calling and personalize the next steps.

For example, if you’re a power company and a customer’s home is in the middle of a known power outage, assume that’s the reason for the call. Likewise, if you’re an airline and they have a flight booked on your airline that departs within the next 24 hours, assume that’s the reason for the call.  Now that you’ve made an assumption, confirm that’s the reason they are calling with a simple yes/no prompt and if yes provide them with appropriate information. If they are not calling for that reason, ask them why they’ve called, but allow them to use natural language to answer. And always give them a way to correct themselves.

How does Conversational IVR work, exactly?

Conversational IVRs work by leveraging three key technologies, ASRs, NLU, and TTS. These aren’t the only piece to the puzzle, but they are important ones. Let’s talk a little about each.

First, there is Text to Speech (or TTS for short). TTS is the method to turn text into speech. This is key to allow you to easily ask questions quickly. It is important to use TTS instead of recordings to allow questions to be personalized. For example, when a caller first calls in and you want to verify them, you can use their name and directly ask if it’s them.

Next, there is the Automatic Speech Recognizers (or ASR for short). An ASR’s job is to take speech, recognize it as something meaningful, and then turn it into something useful like text. There are lots of types of ASRs. LumenVox’s new transcription ASR uses machine learning techniques such as deep neural networks for natural language processing. This is effective for transcribing text from human speech. Before this sort of technology existed, you had to constrain your recognizers to a limited set of words (called a grammar) that it could only recognize. Modern NLP models have a large set of words they can recognize allowing you can speak naturally, and it will be able to feed you back the raw transcribed text. Once the ASR has done its job, we have that text.

Finally, we need to use another technology, which is Natural Language Understanding or NLU for short. NLU takes this text and converts it into meaning, intents, and slots, for example:

The caller can say: “I want to fly from New York to LA.” And we parse out “to fly, New York” “destination, from LA.”

Using these three technologies we can create a conversation with a caller rather than a scripted interrogation. First, we would use TTS to ask the caller a question, then an ASR to get text back from the caller’s response, then NLU to understand that response, and then finally use that understanding to figure out what additional information we need from the caller or processes the caller’s request.

 What sets LumenVox apart?

At LumenVox, we’re creating a Configurable AI Gateway that makes it easy to integrate many different NLU engines with our ASR. This approach opens the possibility to use widely available NLU platforms from IBM, Google, Microsoft, Amazon, and others with your existing IVR along with LumenVox ASR, TTS and Voice Biometrics.

Many technology vendors don’t offer choices in the combinations of ASR, NLP, and NLU that you can use to build a solution. Their entire suite of technology and tools is often proprietary, expensive, and because its proprietary, involves the use of expensive, dedicated professional service teams. At LumenVox we want to be able to easily integrate existing technologies with our speech recognition, text-to-speech, and voice biometrics software as part of the solution stack. We want to take the technology that’s already out there and make it easier for our customers to use.

Ready to take your contact center to the next level by implementing a conversational IVR? Contact us today!