Why Avatars Matter with Voice with David Colleen, CEO of Sapient X

Inside VOICE
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Automatic TRANSCRIPT

This is your host to carry Roberts and today my guest is David Colleen the CEO at sapient acts. Welcome David. Thank you for being here. I carry thank you so much for having me. It's an honor to be on your show. Thank you so we were just talking right before this interview that both you and I came from pretty diverse backgrounds getting into this space and I know you started your career journey in architecture and then you got into a in about two thousand and three and now you're into voice. Can you tell us a little bit about that? Career journey and how you went from designing buildings to designing voice experiences of not sure Add or just naturally curious. But I have gone through a lot of things I I I studied architecture and got out of school and started designing high-rise buildings in San Francisco but one of my professors turns out. He was one of the founding fathers of computer graphics and infected me with the notion that you can use computers to design buildings so I started doing that. And then sold friends. So I was backpacking with them. And they said we're GONNA leave our day jobs and started a company to three on the Internet. How would you like to put the first three D online and that sounded pretty cool? So we did that. And that was the beginning of a Mile Dublin at nine Studios Team. We built our first talking characters using those three d technologies and one thing led to another and in two thousand and three. We were building computer games for the intelligence community to create synthetic human. That could look for bad guys and that was early. Start DOING AI. Talking characters it was very primitive back then but it put a the notion in our minds that we could effectively communicate with our technology by voice a few years later in two thousand seven we were building navigation systems for the hand held and automotive markets. And that's when we brought all friend of a programmer Bruce Wilcox onto our team and he built what possibly was the first digital assistant for a car. It worked beautifully. It was exciting all except for one thing speech recognition. Ten years ago was in a terrible state. It only understood may be one word out of ten that we would say so. As much as we love the concept of talking to our technology we knew we would have to shelve it and wait until that technology matured then. Siri came out and I pulled a little bit of hair out. If you look at me I know you can't see my picture. I don't have any here left house but I've got a little bit out at that point because Siri beat us to the punch then An old friend of mine divulge that he had been working on Alexa and they brought a lex out to great acclaim and I pulled some more hair out at that point. But you know what looking back at it. I see now. That Syrian Alexa didn't important things. They established that technology was used way to communicate with your technology and they built a large consumer appetite for voice products. And we all benefited from that. So today we are running saving tax. We began at four years ago and were busy. Building Voice Systems that understand conversationally using some dramatically different technology from what everybody else is doing in the marketplace and were building new systems for people make cars and robots and motorcycles and consumer electronics of all sorts. So that's where we are today and thank you for having me here. Yeah very exciting to kind of hear that journey and I know there was an article. Done your company back in two thousand eighteen. That wrote that. The current voice products force users to learn commands blocking the natural conversation that we desire. They can't handle complexity of speech multitasking. And they consume mountains of sensitive user. Data that is stored for marketing and development of user profiles or that gets used for targeted advertising. And you say that your company sapient acts is two times better fixing this than your competitors. Can you speak to this and talk about how and if these are still issues in your eyes today and you're a invoice? Technology is fixing. This won't so. Let me begin unpacking that by describing the presentation. I saw in a voice conference yesterday. They voice technologies in five levels. The first level were. Ivr systems phones. That could understand you when you said yes or no or three or five or very very simple sorts.

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