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Advantages and drawbacks of Voice Recognition Technology

Fayza Bjayou



Voice recognition

Voice recognition achieved by VUI (Voice User Interface) is the ability for a programmed machine to respond to voice command. With the efficiency and convenience associated to the technology, it is fast becoming a way to help bridge the gap in professional task management and daily activities. Voice recognition is becoming more sophisticated and reliable, and as such, we can expect the technology to be implemented more, across many different industries. At present, consumer trends are demonstrating rapid adoption of this new capability, with many companies striving to create optimal VUI experiences. Inside Telecom has comprised a few key advantages and drawbacks of this evolving technology.

Advantages of Voice and Speech Recognition technology

Talking is faster than typing!

Voice commands are a far more efficient tool than typing a message. Advancements are being made in technology to make life easier and voice recognition is being built-in to more devices to help boost convenience and efficiency. Voice recognition software has improved and according to a study at the University of Stanford, it has become significantly faster and more accurate at producing text (through speech-based dictation on a mobile device) than we are at typing on its keyboard.

By integrating technology, such as those offered by voice solutions, businesses can streamline documentation processes, and alleviate the burden of typing and other admin tasks, enabling professionals to focus on more challenging and rewarding aspects of the job.

VUI has come a long way

VUI is constantly evolving and has come leaps and bounds from older software once produced for companies’ customer service centers. We all remember encountering a rather frustrating automated service that did not have the advanced capability of understanding or responding to our voice activation (the first time around). Today, companies have implemented more developed voice recognition software that makes interaction with a robot feel more like a conversation with a human. And deep-machine learning means VUI software is able to understand more complex and diverse word responses. This shows that researchers are going that extra mile to improve VUI devices for a way that will fit into society and our broadening scope of needs. 

Voice recognition boosts productivity levels

Voice recognition and speech activation is being developed for a whole myriad of reasons. The most essential role it may have is in the workplace where it can provide support and assistance to task-management duties. Amazon’s Alexa can be used for managing and setting up conference calls as well as scheduling meetings and setting up reminders – this enables a company to streamline the process for everyone – which boosts productivity and efficiency levels.

This technology is making it possible to access big data instantly, allowing professionals to retrieve important information upon a voice command. As the technology develops, it will become commonplace to ask a question or request data for any specific case or project – taking less time than it would for us to manually search for information.

It can also streamline communication between people who speak different languages. The software has the capability of translating what is said in a foreign language into the native language for the recipient of the information to understand – which essentially helps one move beyond potential language barriers in daily business practices.

Drawbacks of voice and speech recognition

Privacy of voice recorded data

More devices are using VUI technology, which may present more challenges related to data privacy. If a device has this capability, the additional data can get tracked by the manufacturer. There have been concerns in the past that manufacturers would be capable of listening in on private conversations. This area of concern and questioning incentivized action from companies to work on offering better privacy controls for users.

Error and misinterpretation of words

Not all words are accurately interpreted with voice recognition. It is far easier for a human to decode words and turn it into meaning, than it is for voice recognition software to do so. The software’s limitation of understanding the contextual relation of words, may cause disruption to any given task assigned to the software along the way. It may encounter problems with slang words, acronyms or technical words/jargon.

Feature Articles

Industry 4.0 – Digital risk and evolving technologies

Inside Telecom Staff



Industry 4.0 Digital risk

Industry 4.0 – Also known as the 4th industrial revolution, is a leap into everything digital. It embraces a new industrial revolution through intelligent and self-reliant technologies. Its aim is to connect the digital world with the physical one and phase out any boundaries between the two. With the support of connectivity it is a mix of progress in artificial intelligence (AI), robotics, the internet of things (IoT), blockchain, 3D printing, quantum computing and numerous other technologies.

The idea is that the Fourth Industrial Revolution builds on the previous ones. However, there are two factors which make it significantly unique.

• The rate of change is exponential.

• The substantially expanded scope disrupts all industry sectors and impacts them deeply.

Industry 4.0’s real opportunity is not simply technology or change that comes from technology, it is unlocking the full potential of digitalisation and harnessing it to impact society positively. To make the most of opportunities that come from Industry 4.0, companies need to integrate new digital technologies and capabilities into their business processes and policies. This is known as digital transformation. Businesses and societies tend to go through this once every decade, but this is on a new level entirely.

Something that has increased with each transformation is that of digital risk, meaning the risk that is associated with digital business processes. Digital risk is not just a technological problem, but a fundamental business concern too. Knowing how to manage such risks means a better understanding of what causes it.

Those organisations that were founded before the rise of all that is digital are chasing digital maturity. In this pursuit, they are engaging with digital transformation and once the company acquires this and integrates it, they are considered digitally mature. Digital maturity does not mean getting to the end, it means constantly evolving with the new opportunities that technology brings – now, more rapidly than ever. An organization’s failure to do this, can result in stagnation, which will inevitably prevent the advancement of business processes and more importantly, revenue.

Digital maturating is concerned with the integration of a company’s operations and human capital into digital processes.

According to MIT, digital transformation is “about how technology changes the conditions under which business is done, in ways that change the expectations of customers, partners and employees.” And although the majority of organizations are on the journey to digital maturity, no one has reached that point yet. The reason being, digital transformation requires a massive overhaul to see and implement the technology in the core of the organisation. It needs all of the appropriate technology, but this is just the first phase of such a process.  

Managing the issue and ever-evolving threat of cybersecurity is considered one of industry 4.0’s most imperative challenges to overcome. The digitization that comes with the transformation increases a business’s susceptibility to cyberattacks – protecting a vast range of connected platforms, networks, hardware and software is becoming increasingly difficult.

The development of a company’s digital surface is an automatic increase digital risk and thus explains why cyber security is vital for all organisations. It is the protection of today’s commodity against theft unauthorized access and any online abuse.

The right amount of attention needs to be given to both cybersecurity and digital risk and it should be included in company’s strategy and road map. Cyberattacks have gone up substantially as those that understand the power are able to misuse data for various purposes such as financial or political gain. 

Any digital transformation path begins with a strategy that incorporates cybersecurity components that are necessary to ensure that risk is managed accordingly.

Companies also need to assess risk beyond traditional risk and security. Organisations should have clarity and understand their digital footprint, creating methods to measure and record digital risk. One example of this is social media platforms, which many businesses have adopted as a means of marketing. Social media comes with its own set of digital risk that can impact company brand and reputation.

Business strategy should include necessities like detection and response functions but also focus on prevention. However, with all the prevention efforts in the world, unexpected events can still occur.

Digital transformation is critical for sectors to stay both competitive and relevant. Finding and incorporating new ways to adopt digital processes can open numerous opportunities but it is important to use these opportunities in a safe and secure way by including cybersecurity as part of your transformation program.

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Feature Articles

Batelco’s same-day home delivery service to aid social distancing

Inside Telecom Staff



Same-day home delivery service

Batelco, the trading name for Bahrain Telecommunication Company BSC, has recently announced the release of same-day home delivery, doing its part in the fight against the pandemic. The Bahraini company wants to ensure the health and safety of its customers by bringing their services to their doorstep, further aiding necessary social distancing measures.

Batelco has introduced the service to allow their customers to ensure all their mobile and internet needs are being met from the safety and comfort of their homes. These services include prepaid refills, package upgrades, bill payments, and device deliveries. Additionally, there will be efforts by the company to help spread information and limit misinformation for the benefit of the Bahraini citizens through their networks, which include 3G and 4G services. Such measures have become commonplace among telcos as they use their access to deliver vital information quickly and extensively.

Batelco App and, two of the company’s support channels, as well as WhatsApp Sales and LiveChat, will include quick links for convenient completion of transactions and will be taking orders for both services and devices. Using the same-day home delivery, orders placed before 11am will be delivered on the same day, whereas anything after that will be scheduled for the next day using the company’s own fleet of branded vehicles.

The company is taking precautionary measures with its home delivery service in accordance with the Ministry of Health guidelines. Limiting the number of deliveries in a given location, sanitization of products delivered, and proper cleaning by staff are all actions that go a long way to ensuring safety. Additionally, the company will be answering customers’ inquiries through their official 24/7 call center. A detailed animated video will be released soon on social media channels, to inform customers about the same-day home delivery service. According to a Batelco statement, “We care about our customers and this is our way of staying in touch with them by ensuring their needs are accommodated at this extraordinary time,”

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Feature Articles

How COVID-19 has impacted tech supply and demand

Inside Telecom Staff



Supply and demand

Almost every part of the shopping experience has been affected by the current pandemic – both online and offline. In some cases, supply has actually stayed the same as warehouse workers continue to ship products as normal.

What is different, is how people are spending their time. Millions are self-isolating and for many, work life has shifted from office to home. People around the world are now facing weeks or months with plenty of time on their hands. This has led to many online shoppers purchasing items or products they would not usually buy. Much the same as panic buying, demand for products is now overtaking supply, and inevitably, this is causing shortages of products as well as bandwidth for online services.

The Nintendo switch has hiked up its prices in the last week and has now sold out in numerous online stores. Other consoles are also in the same situation with stores seeing much higher prices. The Xbox One S is now proving difficult to find.

The likes of Amazon continue to treat urgent deliveries as a priority which is having an effect on sellers who have been put at the back of the queue. This means that for customers, even prime-eligible deliveries are now taking up to a week to arrive. In the United Kingdom, products like the Kindle usually take a day to arrive, now it’s taking up to five.

The company has also announced more changes to its delivery process in a statement to customers:

“As long as your order does not require an ID check, our drivers will no longer knock or ring the bell on delivery. They will leave your order on your doorstep or if you have a safe location you would prefer your order to be placed, you can leave delivery instructions for the driver when you place your order. If you live in a location that requires gate access, our drivers will continue to buzz for entry however they will no longer knock or ring the bell at your doorstep. Once the delivery has been completed, you will receive a notification via email and/or in the app. Please remember to immediately refrigerate or freeze any frozen and chilled items in your order. If your order requires an ID check, our driver will knock on your door or ring your doorbell, leave your order on your doorstep, step back and carry out the ID check at a distance. If your order requires an ID check and there is no answer at the door or by phone, the driver will take your order back with them.”

In the last few weeks we have seen Netflix, Disney and YouTube reduce their quality in streaming so that they are able to cope with the heightened demand. Microsoft has endured substantial issues on its servers with a 775% increase in team calling/remote meetings. This surge may slow down, much like the one in the supermarkets, where stock levels are now almost back to normal after being ransacked by worried buyers for the last few weeks. Some supermarkets have even announced that they will lift restrictions on items that were previously limited as a means to prevent panic buying. The lesson to learn from this is not to pay too much for your gadgets. The chances are supply and demand on these products will return to normal.

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