The Week in Voice-Tech. Friday, 04.14.2017


Your bite-sized weekly roundup of the Voice Tech stories no one wants to miss

Our carefully curated selection of articles from this week on cliqueapi and news sources from around the world.

API and SDK, 101 (Or, the plumbing that makes customers give you more money)

Clique: If you dip a toe into the world of software development, you will quickly come across APIs and SDKs. Application Programming Interfaces (APIs) and Software Development Kits (SDKs) are tools for developers that are being increasingly used by enterprises and IT teams worldwide. But what are these tools and how can they contribute to modern businesses success?

As-salaam 'alaykym from top CEO 2017

Clique: We report from the TopCEO Conference in King Abdullah Economic City, Saudi Arabia. The conference was an opportunity to shed light on the region's massive economic transition, with its panel hosting leaders from business and government throughout the Middle East and North Africa. Our favorite highlights of the event include the speech by Fahd Al-Rasheed, CEO of KAEC, the introduction by Justine Cassell, associate dean at Carnagie Mellon University, and many more.

Facebook and Google join the battle against fake news

Clique: In an age of uncertainty, the term 'fake news' is gradually becoming a part of our collective consciousness. Last year's US elections accentuated the issue further, with Facebook and other social media platforms being accused of spreading fake news that might have swung the result. Can the social media giants sort this out and claw back some credibility?

A brief history of conference calling

Clique: Conference calling could be traced back as far back as the 1960s, yet it originated from technologies developed decades before this date. The first ever conference call took place between callers in New York City and Disneyland, CA. Clique summarizes the history of conference calling in a quick but fascinating history lesson.

Global venture capital activity picked up in first quarter

Think Advisor: Global venture capital-backed deal activity has increased in the first quarter of the year. In a January report, KPMG noted that after an initial strong start to 2016, investors became less optimistic for the second half of the year. Yet the venture capital industry has been witnessing a period of consistent deal activity over the past months, which PitchBook foresees will continue throughout 2017.

Amazon turns to location-based APIs for Alexa

Business Insider: On Wednesday, Amazon released a new API that encourages Alexa developers to integrate real-time user location data tools within the voice assistant's set of features. In order to use the tool, users must first grant Amazon permission to share their location with developers. By accessing users' location, developers can customize user experience further, tailoring functions and skills of the voice assistant to match a user's location.

Burger King switches voice-activated ad in bid to out-duel Google

Bloomberg: Burger King aired a commercial saying it could activate Google Home devices, so they could recite a description of its Whopper burger. The tech company was not pleased, and said it had taken steps to prevent Home devices from being activated by this audio clip. However, Burger King still managed to run a similar ad Wednesday night on talk shows hosted by Jimmy Kimmel and Jimmy Fallon.

Amazon opens up Echo's far-field voice recognition tech to outsiders

Forbes: Amazon is extending the far-field voice recognition technology of its Echo speaker to outside hardware developers, through its Alexa Voice Service program. The tech giant offers a hardware reference design that includes all tools necessary to implement the technology, including seven microphones and algorithms that help recognize commands addressing the company's voice assistant Alexa in noisy places.

CenturyLink wins VoIP contract potentially worth $6 million-plus

Fedscoop: CenturyLink should soon provide voice-over-internet-protocol services to the General Services Administration's Federal Acquisition Service in an attempt to innovate their legacy voice systems. According to the company's announcement, the contract between the two parties could be worth more than $6 million.

Amazon and Merck's crowdsourcing contest for Alexa underscores interest in voice tech

MedCity News: Amazon and Merck are trying to encourage digital health entrepreneurs to invest in the introduction of Amazon Alexa software within healthcare settings. The two companies just recently launched an innovation challenge to crowdsource ideas about the possible implementations of voice technology such as Amazon Alexa within the healthcare sector.

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