Irish startup Voysis creates general purpose AI voice technologies
Google shocked the world earlier this year with a demo of Google Duplex – the eerily realistic AI voice assistant – helping a caller over the phone. But Peter Cahill, founder and CEO of Irish startup, Voysis, believes this is only the beginning. He claims his company is perfecting general purpose AI voice technology that can be rolled out by various companies across many industry verticals, which despite being a fraction of the size, is competing with Google by some standards.
Cahill has been working in this space for around 15 years. When he first started working in this area, the idea that people would some day carry around high quality microphones seemed far fetched. Of course since then, smartphones populate the pockets of most people, and tech giants including Amazon, Google and Apple have doubled down their efforts in this sphere.
Unsurprising, given the market for text-to-speech applications is predicted to grow to more than $3 billion by 2022, an increase on $1.3 billion in 2016. Sales of digital assistants, which will mostly incorporate artificial voices, are also expected to top $4 billion in the same year
In an effort to ride this (sound) wave, the approach of these companies has been aggressive.
“They were acquiring most of the companies out there, in addition to hiring just about anybody that they could,” says Cahill. But instead seeing the efforts of big business as a deterrent, Cahill saw an opportunity.
“It was clear that as they shipped their smart speakers, what’s going to happen is consumers are going be aware that voice technologies now work and they will become more comfortable speaking to devices,” he says.