VoiceBot.AI with Bret Kinsella #28

Tue May 29 2018 (46:22)

In this episode, Teri welcomes Bret Kinsella, the editor and publisher of Voicebot.ai, the top news and commentary site on all things voice and A.I.

Welcome Bret Kinsella!

As someone who’s been working in technology since the mid 90’s, Bret has seen how the biggest technologies today, web, mobile and social, evolved. He founded Voicebot.ai in September 2016, after seeing the potential of voice-first technology in interactive voice ads.When he’s not speaking at one of the numerous conferences he’s invited to, Bret is hosting the Voicebot.ai podcast.

Below you will find a summary of the important points that we discussed. Enjoy!

What is Voicebot.ai?

Voicebot.ai is a hub for all things to do with voice technology. They have built a large community around their website; On it, you can find voice technology-related research and news. They also have a popular podcast, where they interview people who are changing the industry. Unlike other tech blogs, Voicebot takes a more scientific approach to data and research.

What trends have you seen in Canada?

Canadians have embraced smart speakers much faster than Americans. After three years in the market, only 7% of Americans owned a smart speaker. In Canada, by contrast, where Google Home launched in May-June

of last year and the Amazon Echo just a few months later, the adoption rate was at 8%, at least as of March, when the survey was conducted.

How is market share going to play into all of this?

It’s hard to predict how market share is going to shift. What we can see, though, is that market share is diversifying more quickly as new companies come up with new smart speakers. In the US, as of the end of 2016, the Echo (which at that time had been in the market for about a year) had 93% market share; the other 7% was held by Google Home, which had launched just two months earlier.

Things are shifting more quickly here in Canada. For example, just this last quarter, Google Home ended with 63% market share and Amazon with 30%. There’s a 7% overlap, these are people who own both Google Home and the Echo. That’s very telling about the interest people have in the technology.

How is voice technology going to change in the future?

As voice technology gains traction and people start seeing it in night shows, Youtube, social media, etc., they’ll start buying more smart speakers. While the first wave of adopters might have been part of a niche, the market will expand quickly into different age groups and families. As the market diversifies, smart assistants like Alexa will get different, more specific skills tailored for those new people.

Where is voice technology going?

When thinking about voice technology, it’s good to keep in mind that this is a new interface. Just like the iPhone did away with the keyboard, voice will do away with touch. Voice is unbounded. Voice technology is still defining itself, and, in 5 to 10 years, we’ll likely see it disrupting other less convenient technologies. 

List of resources mentioned in this episode: