☕The Next Gen Personal Assistant (EP 1)

Ep1: Personal assistants are the future of computing. The next big thing since mobile. Still, trying to duplicate the App Store paradigm within personal assistants is a mistake, here is why, and here is how to fix it.

Capitain Picard’s famously known for his “Tea, Earl Grey, Hot” voice command to the Star Trek Computer.

 

I love Assistants. They communicate like us, they are not bond to a single object, they can live everywhere, are always here to help. Assistants are the most effective and the most natural way of interaction. If anything, Assistants will be a major component of our future.

Still in 2017, we are still in the Assistant’s infancy age. Their conversations are limited to deterministic dialog trees, and regarding the Turing test… well, we are not there yet. Assistants have great ears, and pretty good voices but really poor brains. A 3 year old’s brain at best.

Having said that, some of the best best (human) brains in the world are currently working on this issue and we should hit the Singularity before 2050 and have fun remembering how basic initial versions of Assistants were in 2017.

But as “the future has to be built to exist“, what should we forge next? What’s the next milestone for Assistants ? My opinion is should focus on a better way of providing voice services and that this will happen with the reinvention of the Skills paradigm.

Today: Atomic Skills 🤖

The agent is the core of the assistant.

An agent is composed of:

  • Personality: Assistant’s name, a voice, personality, and lots of predefined answers.
  • Core Skills: Music, Weather, Q&A, Calculation, Translation, and of course Jokes…
  • Third party Skills: Additional features created by brands and developers

With the core skills, the user experience is pretty straight-forward. Let’s look at some examples with an assistant that for the sake of neutrality, I will call Computer.

  • Computer, set the temperature to 23.
  • Computer, what is the weather?
  • Computer, play me some French Touch Electro.

Things become clunky when it comes to the third party skills which are supposed to represent the majority:

  • Computer, ask Capital One how much I spent on restaurants last month.
  • Computer, ask Uber where my driver is.
  • Computer, ask the Financial Times for the last stock quotes.
  • {Assitant’s Name}, ask {App Name} for {Whatever you are looking for}

So as a user, if I want to make use of third party skills, I have to:

  • Be aware of and remember the invocation name of the third party skills I may need
  • Choose the right one to use among the many options available
  • Formulate my request in a very un-natural way

Furthermore, all of this happens in closed conversation bubbles that are unable to communicate with each other. This completely breaks the “Speak Naturally” argument.

For example, here is how today you can plan a week end with a limited budget:

  • Computer, ask Acme Bank for my account balance.
  • You have 138 € left.
  • ….
  • Computer, how is the weather like in Marseille this week end?
  • The weather will be sunny with a maximum of ….
  • Computer, ask National-Rail for a Paris – Marseille ticket this friday
  • The next train to Marseille is 98 euros , and leaves at 8:00pm from Paris, would you like to book it ?
  • Ok book it
  • Ok booked!

Hum, 3 different skills used to book a train ticket. There is certainly room for improvement there!

The Future: Interconnected microskills

Wouldn’t it be better like this:

  • Computer, what is the weather like in Marseille this weekend?
  • The weather will be sunny with a maximum of ….
  • Ok, I am in! Find me a cheap train ticket for tomorrow morning
  • The next train to Marseille is 98 euros , and leaves at 8:00pm from Paris, would you like to book it?
  • Wait how much left in the bank?
  • You have 138 euros left.
  • Ok book it !
  • All done, and I just sent the ticket to your inbox.

Enabling such human like conversations will lead to more natural and appealing user experiences, which is the ultimate Graal every designer is looking for!

To make these natural conversations happen, we should rethink the way the Assistant and in particular the third party skills work. My suggestions to fix this is a shared context between skills and a deeper integration of skills so they can just disappear in the back end to make great conversations shine!

PS: See you soon for ep2 😉!

 

👥EVENT: The Smart Voice Summit, Paris, 1st – 2nd February

Smartly AI is delighted to announce that it will hosting The Smart Voice Summit, the first event dedicated to voice assistants in Europe, in Paris on the 1st – 2nd February 2018.

Voice technology event

The event, which is the first of its kind in Europe, will unite the voice ecosystem over the course of two days in order to discuss trends, challenges and the future of the voice industry in the form of keynotes, roundtables, workshops and networking opportunities.

Why?

Digital assistants are disrupting our world, from how we shop and interact with our favourite brands, to how we drive our cars and organise our holidays. Companies such as Amazon, Google and Microsoft are doing everything possible to spur this voice driven future.  It is clear that voice interaction is here to stay and represents the next major interface for humans to interact with their devices. Irrelevant of industry, businesses should be incentivised to create a voice application in order to keep up with this major technology paradigm shift and meet their customer’s’ expectations. Voice applications can be used in a large number of contexts: to get information on a product or company, to enhance customer experiences and improve existing procedures, in addition to offering opportunities for scale and personalisation and driving engagement.

Numerous organisations have already launched their voice strategy, however, there is still room to innovate the space and create a unique vocal experience for your industry. The Smart Voice Summit will provide attendees with all the information they need to do exactly this. Through keynotes, roundtables and workshops, attendees will understand the importance of creating a voice experience, as well as how to design intelligent voice applications to meet specific use case, and create an effective voice strategy.

The program

Day one

Focus: Voice and business

Listen to voice professionals and industry trailblazers who are already seeing the success of their voice strategy. In addition to keynotes, listen to industry specific debates around voice applications, their challenges and advantages.

Day two

Focus: Voice and design

Participate in interactive workshops with Voice Designers in order to understand the best practices of voice design in order to create stand out voice applications that achieve you goals.

Who should attend

Day 1: Anyone wanting to better understand the benefits of voice for their business and how to implement a successful voice strategy.

Day 2: Voice designers wanting to perfect their voice applications.

When and where?

1st-2nd February

Day 1: BNP, 14 Rue Bergère, 75009 Paris

Smart Voice Summit Voice Event

Day 2:  WAI, 19 boulevard Poissonnières 75002 Paris

Take advantage of our early bird rate and get your ticket now!

BE THERE

🗯 INFOGRAPHIC: Top Google Home Actions by category

Google’s smart speaker Google Home is on a world conquest! In addition to the US, Canada, the UK and Germany, it was recently launched in France and Australia. An increasing number of companies are developing voice applications for this smart speaker in order to better reach new and existing customers.

Amazon Alexa is still far ahead from the competition with its 15 000 skills but it is just a matter of time before Google Home catches up.

Take a closer look at some of the Top Google Home Actions available, which we have tested and classified by category!

 

Google Home Actions

Audio

Deezer

Listen to all of your favorite songs, radios and podcasts in streaming for free and “unlimited”

 

Google Play Music

Listen to songs adapted to your current activity or mood by launching radios associated to titles, artists or albums or use the musical rankings.

 

Spotify Music

Listen to your music anytime and anywhere. Create your own playlist with your favorite tunes or discover new ones by choosing a playlist already made.

 

Food and Drinks

Domino’s

This action allows you to order a pizza by only using your Google Home and your voice.

 

Food Network

Access to a huge collection of recipes created by your Food Network chefs and learn how to cook new meals and desserts

 

My Wine Guide

Have your own virtual sommelier helping you choose a the most convenient wine for your meal.

 

Tender Cocktails

Have your own virtual bartender recommending you cocktails based on what you like and dislike, what you have on hand and what you are in the mood for.

 

Games

Akinator

This character can read your mind and guess who you are thinking about when you answer his specific questions.

 

MadLibs

You can play world’s greatest word game with this app!

 

SongPop

Listen to an extract and guess what is the song title and who is the singer as fast as you can.

 

Tic Tac Toe

A classic game!

 

News

CNCB

Access fast, accurate and actionable business news, financial information and market data

 

CNN

Use this action when you want to know what is happening in the world and get the global news gathering power of CNN

 

HuffPost

Access to the principal news source for millennials and stay informed about the latest stories

 

The Wall Street Journal

Stay up to date with all the finance actualities and get the latest headlines and interactive features from the Wall Street Journal

Organisation

AutoVoice

Create custom voice commands and start controlling your house only by using your voice

 

IFTTT (If This Then That)

This action helps you do more with the services you love by automating various daily tasks for different web services, mobile apps or connected objects.

 

My Day

Start your day the right way and wake up and hear the information you need without going online or opening your calendar.

 

Todoist

Manage your task, anytime and anywhere, by creating your own list, plan everything  in advance and don’t miss a thing.

 

Smart Home

August Home

Control your front door just by using your Google Home and your voice!

 

Nest

Control the temperature of your house with your voice.

 

Philips Hue

With Google Home and Philips Hue you can easily adjust your lights with your voice.

 

Smart Things

This action lets you easily control, monitor, and secure your home from anywhere in the world.

 

Streaming devices

Google ChromeCast

Diffuse your favourite entertainments on your TV or your favourite songs on your speakers

 

Play to Sony TV

Stream Photos, Music & Videos from 150+ websites, your phone or other media servers to your big screen.

 

Philips TV Remote

This action can replace your traditional remote. Change the TV channel, turn up the sound and more just with your voice.

 

Toshiba

This action allows you to easily share the media content to your TV and watch the content on TV using its FollowMe TV technology.

 

Travel & transport

Kayak

Find flights, hotels and car hire for a good price, this action suggest you different options based on a hundred travel websites

 

Uber

Ask your Google Home to order you an Uber.

 

Videos and photos

Google Photos

Your photos and videos are all saved and organized automatically  into a gallery to allow you to find and share them easily

 

Youtube

Discover content viewed all around the world: from popular video clips to video games news passing by the latest actualities and more!

 

Netflix

Watch instantly a thousand films and TV shows included in your subscription.

 

Others

FitStar Personal Trainer

Stay in shape with this action’s dynamic programs adapted to your objectives and aptitudes

 

Genius

Find any lyrics of your favorite songs or just read musical actualities.

 

WikiHow

Learn easily how to do everything with the world’s biggest manual.

 

Want to create your own voice application for Google Home or Amazon Alexa? Contact us for a demo! 

 

REQUEST A DEMO

 

👥People to follow in the Voice ecosystem

We are delighted to see the speed at which the voice ecosystem is expanding. Each player in this field is bringing their own ideas and knowledge, which is attracting more and more curiosity from others and prompting exchanges and further innovation. All of this is all contributing to a healthy and booming ecosystem.

 

With the community growing bigger everyday, it can be easy to get lost! But fear not, we’ve got you covered…

 

From company CEOs to voice experts, enthusiasts and developers, we have compiled a list of voice influencers that you need to watch in order to keep up to date with the most groundbreaking and interesting voice first content.

 

Don’t be shy; get following, sharing and exchanging with them 🙂

For the complete details of the list with clickable links, please click here!

 

We hope you found this article helpful and that it enabled you to discover new people. Please note that the list is in alphabetical order and not order of preference. If we missed a name that should be on the list, please let me know!

 

 

If you want to find out about Smartly.AI’s all in one platform for building voice and chatbots, give us a shout at: hello@smartly.ai

 

Pssst: Incase you missed it, check out our world voice ecosystem infographic!

 

🚗 How The Bot Studio Created a Cross Device Voice Application with Smartly AI

Developed by The Bot StudioTalk To My Car is the first virtual assistant for connected drivers, which aims to make motorists’ lives easier. The company developed a voice application to be deployed on both Google Home and Amazon Alexa using Smartly AI’s voice application creation platform.

Laurent Dunys, the company’s CEO and founder, explains to us his motivations for creating a voice app, and why he did it with Smartly AI.

Why did you create a voice application?

In the early 2017, we released Talk To My Car, the first Chatbot on FB Messenger that enables drivers to chat with their connected cars, for example, to enquire about the fuel level, battery, if they locked the doors or even the location of the parked car. We observed that users liked to use the app at home in the morning, we therefore decided that a 100% voice version of the app, deployed on Alexa and Google Assistant, could be practical for users, as it would enable them to get ready for the day and prepare their car journey simultaneously, using only their voice!

Why did you choose Smartly AI?

With the arrival of Google Home in France this summer and the success of Amazon Echo and the USA and Europe, we wanted to make sure that our app was available on both devices. After making some research, we found out that the Smartly.ai’s team was a well established expert in the voice assistance technology, and that their platform enabled us to develop our app once and deploy it on any device, saving us precious development time and enabling us to offer exactly the same voice experience on both devices! We also believe it will save us considerable time and efficiency during maintenance and for all future product evolutions.

What do you think of the solution?

Very intuitive and simple to use, we quickly mastered the platform, and it was a great collaborative tool. Our project manager created the intents and entities of the app, as well as the conversation tree, and our developer integrated the code accordingly.  In total, it took us 6 days to develop the 100% voice version of Talk To My Car on both Alexa and Google Home. (user authentication included).

Demo of Talk to my Car on Alexa

What are the results of the app so far?

Today, our voice app is in testing phase, but it works perfectly on both devices. We are currently reviewing the Amazon and Google’s certification checklists and then we will release our 100% voice version of Talk To My Car to the world, watch this space!

Want to create a voice app too? Get in touch for a demo!

🚀Introducing our new Platform for Google Home & Amazon Alexa Voice Applications

We are delighted to announce that our new platform is live!!! Head over to our website to request an access and start creating beautiful voice applications for Google Home and Amazon Alexa. Our launch coincides with the release of Google’s smart speaker, Google Home, in France.

The smart speaker market, originally pioneered by Amazon, is expected to hit USD 13 billion by 2024. With several technology giants announcing their plans to take on Amazon and Google in the smart speaker market, it is clear that voice represents the next major interface for communication between humans and machines, and a major new client touchpoint for companies.

Designing a voice application can be complicated. Our platform was created in order to accompany businesses in this voice revolution through radically simplifying the process of building, testing and monitoring voice applications for smart speakers.

Smartly AI's plaform makes voice applications easy

“As advocates of voice since 2012, we are delighted to witness the mainstream adoption of this technology and to be a key player in this booming industry. Smartly AI Voice Platform was built with the ambition of widening the access to voice interfaces and introducing conversational intelligence into daily lives of everyone”, Hicham Tahiri, CEO at Smartly AI.

Most voice application platforms today are created for developers. Smartly AI has been designed to enable all the profiles in a project team to effectively work together to create a voice application. This has been made possible by abstracting all the complexity of the conversational AI via a simple and universally understable dialog flow, making conversational AI accessible to all the stakeholders of the voice project: developers, voice user interface designers, marketers, project managers and beta testers.

Our unique framework means that a user has to only create a voice application once on the platform, then can deploy it on whichever voice platforms they want. This saves users a significant amount of time in voice application creation and ensures that the same user experience is replicated across all devices.

Smartly AI’s in house natural language understanding recognizes and classifies requests, and extracts entities (the parts of the speech that give it context, such as times, dates and locations), meaning companies do not need an expert in machine learning to create a voice application. This also means that the platform is completely independant from GAFA and other third parties.

It took us some time, but we are delighted with the result and hope you will be too! Head over to our brand new website and request an access now, all feedback welcome!

🛫The Smart Speaker Market is About to get Noisy

China’s Alibaba, Samsung and Facebook are reportedly the latest tech giants to announce their intentions of joining the smart speaker market. The market, originally pioneered by Amazon, is expected to hit 13bn by 2024.

The smart speaker timeline

Let’s take a closer look at some of the major players in the smart speaker market.

 

Smartspeaker timeline

Amazon was the first player on the market, introducing Alexa and the Amazon Echo back in November 2014. The company enjoyed a monopoly of the market for quite some time and unveiled the Echo Dot in March 2016. Then, in November 2016, Google unveiled Google Home, its smart speaker to rival Amazon’s. Chinese company LingLong also launched its smart speaker DingDong in November. 2017 saw Amazon reveal the Echo Look in April and more recently the Echo Show in June. Apple announced that its smart speaker, HomePod, would be available at the end of the year and Orange has teamed up with Deutsche Telecom to create Djingo, the first French smart speaker, due for release in 2018! Reports revealed that Samsung was working on a Bixby powered smart speaker, and Facebook and Alibaba are also reportedly planning to join the market.

Amazon vs Google

To seduce the developers, the giants of the Internet are waging a war without mercy. Despite the headstart, Alexa is being caught up by Assistant, which is pretty much iso functional today.

Comparing Google Assistant and Alexa

In terms of geographical coverage, we can see in the map below that Assistant is already in front.

Geographical coverage - google home and amazon

Geographical coverage –  Assistant vs Alexa

However, Amazon remains far ahead in terms of the number of voice applications available on the store: +15000 vs 378.

Voice application skills - google home amazon alexa

Finally in terms of product range, Amazon is in front with a solid base of innovative products like the Echo Show and Echo Look. Interstingly those last two devices are more Voice-First than Voice-Only devices opening new UX opportunities.

Accelerators and brakes

The rise in smart homes, in addition to companies wanting to increase consumer experience and convenience, are among the major factors driving the rise of smart speakers. Indeed, today smart speakers are a lot more that a gadget for amusement and they can do a lot more than order a hawaiian pizza! Amazon Alexa, for example, has official skills from the banking, tourism and connected home sector. Privacy concerns owing to the fact that the devices are connected to the internet and can store voice data, as well as connectivity range and compatibility are all potential brakes to this otherwise fast growing market.

This is just the beginning

Voice is one of our primary and most natural methods of communication. Now, thanks to technological advancements it has become a major interface, transforming how we interact with technology. Touchscreens represented the last major shift in the way humans interact with machines, however, the leap to vocal interactions with machines is far more significant, particularly thanks to all the possibilities with third party applications. With an increasing number of players announcing their intentions of joining the smart speaker race, it is clear that this market isn’t going to slow down anytime soon, and it will indeed be fascinating to watch everything unfold. Smartly AI has been an advocate of vocal technology since 2012, and we are delighted to see its mainstream adoption, which encourages us to work even harder to accompany companies in this voice first revolution.

🗯INFOGRAPHIC: Top Alexa Skills by category

When first launched on Echo in the US back in November 2014, Alexa boasted a measly 13 skills; fast forward to 2017, there are now 14,000 Alexa Skills available (and the number is still growing)! Alexa is currently available on a number of devices, primarily Amazon Echo, Amazon Tap, Echo Dot, Echo Look and Echo Show.

Take a closer look at some of the best Alexa skills available, which we have classified by category!

Please note these skills are available for US Amazon accounts.

BUSINESS AND FINANCE

AMEX American Express

Connect American Express to Alexa through the Amex skill. Make a payment, get offers, check your balance, and more.

Bitcoin price

Get the current price of the Bitcoin.

Capital One

Find out how much money you have, make a credit card payment, get information concerning your loans, and stay up to date with your recent charges.

Mortgage Helper

Figure out home loans and mortgages quickly and avoid traps, bad companies, and fees.

The Motley Fool

Create a list of companies you want to survey and keep up to date with their market and stock activity… all in easy to understand English.

FOOD AND DRINK

Best Recipes

Tell Alexa three ingredients you have in your fridge and the Best Recipes skill will propose you a recipe!

Happy Hour

A recipe guide to over 170 popular drinks.

Ingredient Sub

Missing an ingredient for a recipe? Ask Alexa what you can substitute it for.

MySomm

Ask Alexa what wine goes best with what food.

Save the food

Understand how to properly store different foods, decide if they are still fresh and reduce waste.

PRODUCTIVITY

Calculator

Operate this calculator with your voice.

My Calendar

A simple skill that allows you to manage events on your primary calendar.

Remind me

Remind Me helps you remember what you need for work, school, gym, etc.

Talk To Your Email

Ask Alexa about important emails, what’s waiting for your response, clean your inbox, and more.

Taskrabbit

Ask Alexa to find you a handyman, cleaner, and more.

TRAVEL AND TRANSPORT

Airport Security Line Wait Times

Ask Alexa for the estimated wait time information at security checkpoints in over 450 US airports.

Kayak

Get information on flights, hotels and rental cars. Hear flight status updates, destination suggestions and more.

My Eta

Get drive-time in current traffic or any future departure time for your defined destinations.

Virtual Traveler

Wondering where to travel? Discover the most fascinating destinations across the world.

Uber

Ask Alexa to order you an Uber.

ENTERTAINMENT AND LIFESTYLE

7-Minute Workout

Get in shape with Alexa by doing this 7 minute workout.

Board Games Answers

Alexa can answer your common questions about board game rules.

Guitar Tuner

Alexa will help you tune your guitar.

Plex

Get information on and control playback of your media library on any Plex compatible device.

Spotify

Control your Spotify music account using your voice.

CONNECTED HOME

Garageio

Garageio is the simple and secure way to control and monitor your garage door from anywhere in the world, without needing to replace your existing opener.

Harmony

Start and stop Harmony Activities or tune to your favorite TV channel.

Hue

With Alexa and Philips Hue you can easily adjust your lights with your voice.

Neato

Control your Neato vacuum cleaner with your voice!

Nest

Control the temperature of your house with your voice.

OTHER

Glad Recycler

An easy and entertaining service to help you quickly identify if an item is recyclable.

Skill Finder

Amazon’s Skill Finder is a new way to easily discover Alexa’s newest and top skills.

Sleep And Relaxation Sounds

Ask Alexa to play ambient sounds to help you sleep peacefully or block out unwanted noise at work or home.

Ted Talks

Ask Alexa to play Ted talks.

Zyrtec

Ask Alexa for forecasts concerning weather, pollen count and predominant allergens for your area.

👀 Are smart speakers putting your privacy at risk?

Voice is becoming a primary interface. In our home appliances, cars, mobile apps… voice is everywhere. We can turn off the lights, order takeout, buy our weekly groceries or listen to our favorite album, all by using one of the most natural interfaces of all: our voice! This is made possible thanks to smart speakers such as Amazon Echo and Google Home! The convenience and fun these devices can bring is boundless, however, just how safe is it to sit these unassuming devices on our bedside table or in our living room, listening to our every word?

What are smart speakers?

Voice recognition technology, like Apple’s Siri, has been around for a while. However, smart speakers such as Amazon’s Echo and Google’s Google Home are game changers. These speakers want to be your virtual assistant and transform the way you interact with your home, other devices, even your favorite brands. Based on voice activated artificial intelligence, smart speakers can be connected to third party Internet of things devices, such as your thermostat or car doors, enabling you to order and control things using your voice! Smart speakers are equipped with a web connected microphone, that is constantly listening for their trigger word. When a user activates a smart speaker to make a request, the device sends a record or stream audio clip of the command to a server where the request is processed a response is formulated. The audio clips are stored remotely and with both Amazon and Google’s devices you can review and delete them online. However, it is not clear whether the data stays on servers after being deleted from the account. Furthermore, at the moment devices only record requests, however, as they advance and are we are able to do more with them, such as dictate emails to be sent, where will this data be stored ?

Your voice is only cloud processed if you say a specific trigger word

Your privacy at risk?

So, can hackers exploit the backdoor coding of these devices and listen to what you’re saying? Well, nothing is impossible, but both Google and Amazon have taken the necessary precautions to stop wiretapping. Furthermore, the audio file that is sent to their data centers is encrypted, meaning that even your network was compromised, it is unlikely that smart speakers can be used as listening devices. Someone getting hold of you Amazon or Google password and seeing your interactions is the biggest risk, so make sure you use a strong password, you could even consider 2 factor security!

What can you do?

If the thought of the smart speaker being about to listen in at any moment makes you uneasy, you can put it on mute manually or change your account settings to make your device even more secure, such as password protecting purchase options available with the speaker or making the device play an audible tone when it is active and recording. You can also log onto your Amazon or Google account and delete your voice history (either individually or in bulk. To do this for your Google device, head over to myactivity.google.com, click the three vertical dots in the “My Activity” bar, and hit “Delete activity by” in the drop-down menu. Click the “All Products” drop-down menu, choose “Voice & Audio,” and click delete. For Amazon’s speaker, go to  amazon.com/myx, click the “Your Devices” tab, select your Alexa device, and click “Manage voice recordings.” A pop-up message will appear, and all you need to do it click “Delete”. However, please note that deleting your history on your smart speaker may affect the personalisation of your experience. Check out this handy screen cast for further instructions on deleting your Amazon Alexa account history.

Developers could also use privacy by design assistants, such as Snips. However, use may be limited due to these kinds of assistants having no internet connection.

The privacy / convenience tradeoff

At the rate the smart speaker and IoT industries are evolving it looks like they are going to become more and more present in our daily lives, therefore, it is essential to understand how they work and and what you can do to prevent them from breaching your privacy. In conclusion, yes, theoretically smart speakers could pose a threat to privacy. However, they are not terribly intrusive, as they are only recording when awoken by a trigger word, and the likelihood of them picking up on a conversation they aren’t supposed to, and then someone intercepting it is very slight. Google, Amazon and other sites have been logging our web activity for years, now it is starting to happen with voice snippets. In the pursuit of convenience privacy is sometimes sacrificed, and in this particular trade off, convenience comes out on top for us!

✅A look back on Viva Tech 2017

Viva Tech 2017: Check ✅, and what a great event it was! Three days jam packed with pitches, demos, stimulating exchanges and, of course, innovation, innovation and more innovation! The hype in anticipation for the imminent arrival of internet connected speakers, such as Google Home and Amazon Alexa, in France was high, with companies of all sizes wanting to get ahead of the game and discuss how developing a voice application on our platform can propel their business. Here’s a quick look back on the event and what it brought for us!

Smartly AI at Viva Tech 2017
The Smartly AI team were present over the 3 day event, which welcomed more than 50 000 people.

AI takes center stage

The second edition of Viva Technology brought together the very best of tech, uniting established corporations and startups on an international level. Artificial intelligence was one of the major themes at this year’s edition! From robots to chatbots to the predictive applications using big data, AI applications seemed endless. During the event McKinsey revealed the latest results of their study regarding the adoption of artificial intelligence, confirming that AI has indeed broken through into business. Investment in the area is gaining impressive sums of between 20 and 30 billion dollars for a total of 42 acquisitions in 2016, compared to “only” 15 in 2015.

Accor’s Innovation Lab

One sector in particular where AI took centre stage was tourism! Smartly.AI was delighted to be selected to participate in Accor Hotels’ Innovation Lab! This year was the first year that we exhibited at Viva Tech and in addition to showcasing our bot building platform, the event also offered us the opportunity to pitch our solution in front of Accor’s panel of judges and explain how our solution can add new value to AccorHotels’ customer and staff experience!

Smartly AI’s CEO and co-founder, Hicham Tahiri, pitches the solution in front of Accor’s jury

We were also lucky enough to be selected to pitch at the Paris Region, where we illustrated the advantages our solution brings to all sectors! 

Perfect timing for Smartly AI

Google has officially announced the arrival of Google Home in France this summer, and other tech giants have followed suit announcing they will launch their digital voice assistants early next year, all of which is generating a substantial amount of buzz! With the arrival of voice imminent, many companies approached us at the event to discuss the advantages of developing a voice application on our platform. As we have been advocates of voice since 2012, we were delighted to see that it is catching on in our home company and on the verge of sky rocketing!

Smartly AI one of the 50 startups to watch!

Smartly AI was also delighted to be selected by as one of the 50 startups to watch by the Hub Institute!

Thanks to this classification we were able to participate in the innovation tours, organised by HUB institute, and give live demos of our solution to selected major players, from a variety of sectors!

Smartly AI Viva Tech Tour 2017
The Smartly AI Team in action at the Viva Tech Tour, organised by the Hub Institute.

The Smartly AI Team in action at the Viva Tech Tour, organised by the Hub Institute

A big thank you

A big thank you to everyone involved in our participation and the success of this event! Thank you to everyone who called by our stand, took an interest in our platform and exchanged with us! A big thank you also to Accor Hotels, Paris Region and, of course, Hub Institute.

If you didn’t get chance to meet us at the event and want a free demo, get in touch with us and we will organise it ASAP: hello@smartly.ai

See you next year 😉 !