VOICE TASK GROUP
A consortium to grow and guard the potential of the Voice channel.
The rise of the new Voice channel is impressive with over 2 billion endpoints available and growth predictions that seem unbelievable. These endpoints are all our phones, computers, smart speakers and other devices you can talk to using your Voice for simple on/off commands, or as an advanced digital assistant.
Voice will have an unprecedented impact as the most natural interface ever on eventually all devices.
Two threats put the potential at risk.
1 - Voice is the reddest ocean ever
Apple, Amazon, Google, Microsoft, and Samsung each have total control of their respective Voice channels. This control is profit driven, and all is non-transparent with no checks & balances. The risk comes down to privacy abuse, competitive services being held back or eliminated, lack of interoperability and users suffer from compatibility issues.
2 - How not to create psychometric & manipulation driven Voice tools?
Never before have so many voice conversations been recorded. This offers a wealth of psychometric data to be mined and used in marketing, sales, and manipulation campaigns. Psychometric services such as Crystal Knows and IBM Watsons Personality Insights have been available for years already. Soon Voice is the most popular domain. You will be talked to in such a way that at the whim of the system you will buy, troll or promote. It will make Cambridge Analytica look like an intern project.
The internet has shown the world how impactful open standards, collaboration, and peering agreements can be. Without the work of the Internet Society, RIPE, IETF and the W3C new industries like e-commerce or even the general digitisation of all organisations may not have happened. Even now new initiatives like the Center of Human technology emerge to ensure humanity and technology don't take the wrong turn.
The Voice Task Group builds on these organisations and initiatives. The Voice Task Group is a consortium to grow and guard the potential of the Voice channel. It is non-profit and aims to develop interoperability, have standards emerge, ensure safe usage and work for inclusion starting with older adults.
The Voice Task Group is young and looking for partners who share the vision of the threat as well as the opportunity of the channel and who want to contribute. Maarten Lens-FitzGerald is the founder and is eager to hear from you and your organization.
Making A Difference
Enabling older adults using Voice
A consortium aimed to support older adults with health, safety, and social connections using Voice technology. Members: Dutch Government Service SVB & their innovation studio Novum, Google, the Dutch AARP ANBO, Nodes Agency, and insurance company Achmea.
The art of the long view
Open workshops to explore long term scenarios of how the Voice channel will develop, impact society and industries.
“Without standards, there can be no improvement”
The Voice Task Force in a non-profit initiative founded by Maarten Lens-FitzGerald. He is the author of the forthcoming book Voice, successful entrepreneur and (co-) founder of initiatives and ventures such as Layar, Teamily, Open Voice, The Voice Cast and Mobile Monday Amsterdam.
Maarten instigates movements that shape the future. As a keynote speaker, he spoke at events such as Google Zeitgeist, TED Global, World Economic Forum. Currently, he works as the Global Head of Voice at Nodes Agency.
THE VOICE CHANNEL
Voice is the most natural interface ever. People talk 5 times faster than they type. Since Apple Siri and the later emergence of Amazon Alexa and the Google Assitant, the Voice channel has seen faster adoption than the web and mobile. Over 25% of US consumers own a smart speaker. Usage after purchase grows instead of declines.