This week in Conversational AI.

Image Credit: Polina Pirogova/ Just AI

Reportedly 800 employees work on Amazon’s Alexa-powered robot

According to a new report from Insider, Amazon is working on a secretive home robot codenamed Vesta and the project has seemingly reached the “late-prototype stage”. The company has been working on the device for around four years and now has over 800 employees involved in the development. Via The Verge.

Smart speakers might be able to detect irregular heart rhythm

Researchers at the University of Washington have shown that devices like Amazon Echo and Google Home can detect cardiac arrests or monitor babies breathing. The researchers have created a new smart speaker skill, that allows for contactless monitoring of both regular and irregular heartbeats…


This week in Conversational AI.

Image Credit: Polina Pirogova/ Just AI

Amazon launches the new Fire TV platform for cars

Starting March 11, a version of the Amazon Fire TV platform for cars will be available in Jeep Wagoneer and Grand Wagoneer. Equipped with features designed for people riding in a vehicle, the new Fire TV for Auto enables passengers to access the smart TV platform, with all of its streaming services, and Alexa voice control. Via Voicebot.ai.

Microsoft Teams smart speakers are perfect for meetings

Microsoft teamed up with EPOS and Yealink to create two new Teams Intelligent Speakers. They can identify and differentiate the voices of up to 10 people speaking in a Microsoft Teams Room, transcribe what was said in…


This week in Conversational AI.

Image Credit: Polina Pirogova/ Just AI

Italian startup PatchAi developed a healthcare assistant for cancer patients

Healthcare giant Roche collaborated with Italian digital health tech startup PatchAi to debut a virtual assistant. The new healthcare assistant will engage with cancer patients and improve care. Available on iOS and Android, the PatchAi for Smart Health Companion (SHC) features a chatbot app, designed to encourage proper self-care and gather relevant data that doctors can peruse for more personalized treatment. Via Voicebot.ai.

Cerence’s virtual tour guide transforms road trips

Cerence introduced a new AI-powered application for automotive assistants called Tour Guide. The new app combines core neural network-based, multi-lingual text-to-speech technologies with high-quality travel content from a curated ecosystem of partners…


This week in Conversational AI.

Image Credit: Polina Pirogova/ Just AI

Humana Insurance and IBM collaborate on a virtual assistant

Health insurance provider Humana relied on IBM Watson’s conversational AI to launch a chatbot. The new virtual assistant will consult employees on health plans and estimate costs when asked. Using everything it learns about the insurance plan member, the assistant will make its responses more personalized and accurate to the context. Via Voicebot.ai.

Amazon is adding Alexa to Ring Doorbell

Soon, Alexa will be able to greet anyone who comes to your house from Ring Video Doorbell Pro. Called Alexa Greetings, the new feature requires a Ring Protect subscription (starting at $3 a month) and enables Amazon’s assistant to talk to visitors…


This week in Conversational AI.

Image Credit: Polina Pirogova/Just AI

Music industry continues voice adoption

Music industry giant Spotify has been trying to include voice in their user experience for a while now. Now it will analyze the user’s voice to suggest songs based on the user’s emotional state, gender, accent, or age. At the same time, BOPPER, a B2B music licensing service, introduced Bopper Voice Assistant that helps advertisers and brand managers identify and select pre-cleared tracks to later pair them with their video and audio advertising. Via Tech Times and All Access.

WeWalk smart cane features voice control and ultrasonics

Designed to be an assistant to people with impaired vision, WeWalk cane features a handle equipped…


This week in Conversational AI.

Image Credit: Victor Seleykov/Just AI

Celebrity voice game wins Amazon’s Beyond voice challenge

Amazon and Devpost have announced the winners of the Alexa Skills Challenge for voice apps not limited to audio. A team from British voice app developer Vocala lead by Richard Matthews won the $20,000 grand prize for designing Voice Blast, a celebrity voice guessing game combining visual and audio components. Six other teams that had presented their skills under different categories also received bonus prizes. Via Voicebot.ai.

Volara and youtip bring voice-assistant-enabled tipping to hotel guests

Volara a voice-based guest management software provider, partnered with youtip, a contactless, cashless, and “appless” gratuity system for frontline hotel workers, to allow their guests to tip hotel…


This week in Conversational AI.

Image Credit: Victor Seleykov/Just AI

Amazon’s Alexa can track and reduce smart home device energy usage

Amazon’s voice assistant can now track the energy used by smart home devices, informing users to where energy is consumed. The information is accumulated on the new energy dashboard, which the Alexa can also use as a data source to switch off devices that aren’t being used to save energy and money. Via Voicebot.ai.

Tempus launches smart speaker for oncologists

Chicago-based startup Tempus created Tempus ONE, a smart device somewhat like Amazon Alexa or Google Home, enabling physicians to access the company’s database and health insights at any time, and thus spend less time on their computers. The new device is…


This week in Conversational AI.

Image Credit: Victor Seleykov/ Just AI

Alexa’s ‘Tell Me When’ skill offers proactive reminders

Amazon updated Alexa’s popular reminders skill: now you can ask the voice assistant to “Tell me when” something happens and your device will notify you. Thus Alexa can remind users to watch a sports game or notify them when an email arrives from a particular person. Via The Verge.

Cerence Look virtual assistants now feature visual AI

Cerence, an automotive AI and tech developer, launched a new feature that enables a car’s voice assistant to inform drivers about their surroundings. With Cerence Look, the vehicle’s AI becomes something like a real-time tour guide of places of interest around the car. Mercedes-Benz is supposed…


The last week of the year in Conversational AI.

Image Credit: Victor Seleykov/ Just AI

Microsoft Windows 10 might get voice control capabilities

Despite its decision to disintegrate its operating system and voice assistant Cortana, Microsoft is rumored to be testing out the new ‘voice launcher’ feature in Windows 10. In 2021, the operating system could add voice controls and interactions, including voice-based search and typing basically anywhere within the computer’s system. Via Voicebot.ai.

Modulate launches ToxMod to scan video games voice chat for toxic speech

Modulate released ToxMod, a new service that scans voice chat in video games for toxic speech or other bad behavior with the help of AI. The service points out toxic, disruptive, or otherwise problematic speech in real-time and helps developers…


This week in Conversational AI.

Image Credit: Victor Seleykov/ Just AI

Apple Music and Samsung SmartThings come to Google Assistant smart devices

This week, Google Assistant announced its support of the two major third-party services. From now on, Google Assistant speakers such as the new Nest Audio, Google Home Mini/Nest Mini, and third-party speakers from JBL, Lenovo, and countless others fully support Apple Music. Before that, Google Assistant speakers and displays supported Apple Music only when streaming over Bluetooth from Android or iOS devices. But now, users can simply link their Apple Music account through the Google Home app, and use it as the default music service.

Besides, starting in January, Google and Samsung will enable users…

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