Yesterday morning, B&T attended Versa Agency’s Voice sessions, where we heard about some of the biggest ideas in voice, conversational experience and AI.
Versa is Australia’s first voice experience agency who earlier this week expanded their operations into Sydney. Founder & CEO Kath Blackham was joined by Microsoft’s Dean Corcoran, Zip Co Ltd’s John Batistich, Nova’s Fayed Tohme, Amazon Alexa’s Ben Rolleston and Samsung Australia’s Mark Hodgson to share their thoughts on voice beyond the smart speaker.
Dean Corcoran from Microsoft opened the conversation.
He said: “Let’s be honest. From a consumer point of view, there is Google, Amazon and Daylight.
“The Matrix is no longer Keanu Reeve’s depiction in ’99’s blockbuster. It’s now rich media, video content, images providing the ability to create meaningful actions.
“Voice still has major expansions, but we are yet to fully capture areas such as cars, business, hospitality.
“The idea of voice is not to eradicate current technologies but to compliment them by bringing brands to life through faster quicker simpler actions.”
He gave the example of Virgin Australia and how customers are able to check-in via voice.
“One of the shining light examples is from Virgin Australia that allows the consumer to check in to a flight via voice – you can be rushing around the house doing last minute packing whilst your device does the complex stages of checking in,” he said.
He also gave other examples of how voice is evolving day to day life, including ‘Seeing AI’. ‘Seeing AI’ is an integrated app that pairs with glasses and aids the vision impaired with ‘sight’.
With the press of a button, the glasses scan what is in sight, determines what the surroundings are, and relays what the user is looking at.
Corcoran said: “For example, the app would tell me that right now, there is a group of people in a room sitting on chairs.”
The burning question of the morning, however, was about privacy and myth-busting AI’s eavesdropping abilities.
As an example, Corcoran relayed to the audience a meme he saw on Facebook.
“A wife asks her husband why he was whispering. He replied ‘Mark Zuckerberg might be listening.’ She laughed, Siri laughed, and Alexa laughed.”
Amazon Alexa’s Ben Rolleston was quick to assure the audience that Alexa is user-initiated, and not listening to our every word.
Verizon Media’s talent program has come to an end for the third year, closing with a hybrid pitch-off event for Musicians Making A Difference (MMAD). The Verizon Media Academy class of 2021, made up of 44 emerging leaders from across Australia and New Zealand media, advertising and marketing industry, were given just one hour to […]
Social purpose organisation UnLtd’s Big Games competition has raised a combined $85,000 for children and young people at risk. Running over five weeks, the competition involved 32 teams from across the advertising, marketing and media industries battling it out virtually for a chance to qualify for the Rocket League final. The tournament culminated in a […]
Stan has announced that the Stan Original Film Transfusion commenced filming in Sydney earlier this week and will premiere on Stan in 2022. Transfusion is a taut, muscular thriller starring Sam Worthington (Avatar) as Ryan Logan, a former Special Forces operative, who is battling to cope with life after the loss of his wife and is thrust […]
According to a decade of data collected by iStock, Australian brands turned to imagery depicting outdated gender stereotypes during the pandemic. Tracking the keyword ‘women’, iStock by Getty Images found that in 2020, ANZ brands and businesses reverted to gender stereotypes. Images of mothers home-schooling were used at almost twice the rate of images of […]
Schwartz Media is congratulating Maddison Connaughton on her three years as editor of The Saturday Paper. Connaughton has decided to finish up her editorship this month. “It’s been an honour to edit the paper,” Connaughton said. “The Saturday Paper is one of the brightest voices in Australian media and I have been happy to see […]
Research from EdBbirdie using Spotify data has identified the most popular songs to study to. After analysing thousands of studying and homework playlists on Spotify, American singer Olivia Rodrigo’s ‘drivers license’ came out as top song to study to. It featured on 48 study playlists, while other top songs included ‘Ophelia’ by The Lumineers, ‘Falling’ […]
Dayna Stewart is the Business Director – Digital Marketing, Media & Creative Services at The Nudge Group. Here, she discusses the challenges that come with building a successful marketing team when working remotely. Before COVID-19 changed the way businesses work, most marketing teams spent their days together in a meeting room collaborating on the next […]
The line-up for the 2021 iHeartRadio Music Festival has been announced as the legendary event returns live in Las Vegas in September. This year, the epic two-day lineup for the iHeartRadio Music Festival main stage will feature performances by Billie Eilish, Cheap Trick, Coldplay, Dua Lipa, Florida Georgia Line, Journey, Khalid, Lil Baby, Maroon 5, Nelly, […]
Shop! ANZ is calling on shopper and retail marketing professionals from all retail related disciplines to participate in the first ANZ Shopper and Retail Marketing Industry Survey in four years. This important research provides a guide of where the retail marketing industry in Australia and New Zealand has come from and what is anticipated to […]