Ten must-read tidbits for Voice Tech professionals

The general news-cycle seems to have cooled its jets this week but tech stories continue roll in at a steady clip. Here are ten essential reads from our own site and other great news resources. Keep up-to-date with Voice Tech news and we'll see you all next week.



Apple Inc blows entire day's pocket money on AI facial recognition start-up

Clique: Apple reportedly just invested $2m in an Israeli start-up called RealFace, which specializes in facial recognition applications. The new acquisition might provide tools for iPhone8's rumored face-scanning technology. Could this be a further step towards a future where biometric identification takes over traditional passwords? Read More...


New battle lines being drawn in the enterprise-level unified communications (UC)

Clique: Online communication tools for enterprises have reached a whole new level. Over the past few years, Microsoft's communication service Skype has made its way into the enterprise space, with the launch of Skype for Business in 2015. But competition is getting tougher, with services such as Spark, Fuze, Hangouts, Dialpad, Slack and Zoom gaining serious traction. Now, Amazon has also entered the arena with a new service called Chime. Read More...


Voice ordering. Tell Google Home to cart home your groceries

Clique: Shopping by voice has a new contender, as Google Home joins Amazon Echo in providing a service that allows users to order goods just by talking to their home assistant. Could shopping using AI assistants become a new sub-industry of web-retail? Soon we might be able to order groceries and goods by voice from pretty much anywhere. Read More...


Ghana set to enjoy VoIP over 2G and 3G networks

Clique: 18 million Ghanaians with data plans will benefit from VoIP over legacy networks. This week, the optimized software provider One Horizon Group announced it will launch its telecommunication technology in Ghana, via a commercial software agreement with AccessPLUS Communications Ltd. This means that Ghana's smartphone users will now be able to use existing 2G and 3G data networks to make high-quality calls. Read More...


WhatsApp introduces new snappy Status feature

Clique: WhatsApp just introduced a feature that allows users to share a 24-hour 'status' with their contacts, which can include pictures or videos with captions, emojis, GIFs and more. WhatsApp says this is a re-vamped version of its old 'Status' tool, which allowed users to share text only statuses (Available, Busy, At the Movies, etc.). Yet WhatsApp Status closely resembles 'Stories', feature that was kicked-off by SnapChat and has now become the latest trend of messaging apps. Read More...


Sexism rules in voice assistant genders, show studies, but Siri stands out

9to5mac. A study by Indiana University found that we might have sexist attitudes when it comes to preferences in the gender of our AI assistants. And while Alexa, Google Assistant and Cortana only come with a female voice, Siri stands out, offering users a choice between both genders. Read More...


Cisco's John Chambers Bets on Google and Citi-Backed Voice Security Start-up

Fortune: John Chambers, CEO of Cisco Systems, believes that the world will soon witness a 'voice revolution', with voice over the internet becoming 'the next big thing'. Chambers recently invested in Pindrop Security, a phone fraud-fighting start-up that already has several backers, including Alphabet's Capital G, GV, Citi Ventures and Andreessen Horowitz. Read More...


Amazon cites First Amendment protection for Alexa in Arkansas murder case

Tech Crunch: Late last year, a man's Amazon Echo became a key piece of evidence in the investigation of a murder in Arkansas that dates back to 2015. The police asked to have access to voice recordings from the smart home assistant, but the tech giant is now arguing that interactions between users and home assistants are 'protected speech'. Read More...


Voysis raises $8 million to help it become the Twilio of voice AI

Tech Crunch: A start-up called Voysis is developing a voice-powered Artificial Intelligence platform that can be applied in fields such as e-commerce and entertainment. The platform is aimed at helping businesses stand out by presenting their own AI assistants to customers. Voysis raised $8 million in Series A funding from a venture capital firm called Polaris Partners. Read More...


Android ransomware wants to you to speak the unlock code

SC Magazine: Symantec researchers spotted an Android ransomware that requires users to speak the code necessary to unlock their files. The malware appears to be equipped with speech recognition tools that listen to the victim and demand him/her to say the unblock code out loud. The majority of victims targeted so far are in China. Read More...