The use of speech recognition is an emerging technology that every strong media company seems to be adopting. While speech recognition works around converting the spoken word into digital, voice recognition analyzes and recognizes speech patterns between different people. The most well-known systems include: Apple’s Siri, Amazon’s Alexa, Microsoft Cortana, and Google Now. Facebook recently acquired Wit.ai (a startup specializing in voice recognition technology) and will be unraveling an AI home assistant called “Jarvis,” as part of its three-pillar vision that includes developing augmented and virtual reality devices and “extending access to the Internet…to remote areas,” as della Cava mentions (2016). Here are more details about this emerging technological trend.
The big five (i.e., Apple, Facebook, Amazon, Microsoft, and Google) have gained their leading positions by emphasizing on their economy of scale status, acquiring and monopolizing cloud computing and emerging trends that include personal assistants, voice and speech recognition, for example. As revenues roll in, the giants can spend more money than rivals to improve their services. By investing on voice recognition and search technology, the competition between these companies will drive us into a future taken over by IoT-enabled voice assistants even faster as they are terrifyingly convenient, as Oremus (2016) truthfully mentions.
Who is using mobile personal assistants? According to Thrive Analytics (2016), the percentage of U.S. smartphone owners using voice search has reached 65% in 2015 and 71% of the age bracket between 18 and 29 is utilizing this feature the most. According to a study by Mary Meeker of Kleiner Perkins, in 5 years we can expect 50% of searches to be images or voice recognition. Among the commands and searches we can do with these tools, include: calling someone, ask for directions, take a selfie, dictate texts, set up reminders, play recent music or podcasts, read latest emails, open applications, and even order a Lyft or Uber.
How will voice recognition impact how businesses view their search optimization? Voice search and direct answers are changing in SEO. According to Overmyer (2016), keywords will still be used, but those keywords will be embedded in more natural language. This means that they should even be doubling down on excellent content, written in a conversational tone. In fact, “Google, to satisfy those voice (and text) queries, will increasingly highlight direct answers…instead of delivering an assortment of links to other websites (Martin, 2015).” Barysevich (2016) suggests businesses to focus on long tail keywords, provide Context with Schema Markup, and do keyword research on with tools like Rank Tracker on conversational queries, for example.
In conclusion, voice recognition is here to stay and adapting to have search queries follow more natural language processing (NLP) will be a critical part to any business or service’s success.