Open Voice Network for August: Plan now for September TrustMark Workshop and Interoperability Webinar

Open Voice Network August 2023 Newsletter – Notes from the Executive Director

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  • The marriage of Voice and Generative AI

  • Make plans now: a special Open Voice Network workshop on risk mitigation in the new AI world – and a 20% discount for you, loyal reader – at the early September Voice & AI Conference

  • Mark your calendar: the next Open Voice Network Interoperability webinar is scheduled for 20 September

  • If you’re a Voice Developer, and looking to help shape the future – here’s an opportunity

  • The Estonia RIA – Open Voice Network interoperability project – a use case

Wedding Bells

It comes as little surprise that Google and Amazon are now developing “supercharged” assistants, as the platform/distribution of Home and Alexa is married to the latest large language model technology.

On one hand, the marriage can’t come soon enough. With the emergence of generative AI/LLM, voice assistance became yesterday’s news, an afterthought of limited capability and value.

On the other hand, there’s a long list of issues – legacy issues from voice, emerging issues of generative AI – to be addressed and solved. Hallucination, IP ownership/citation, the absorption of user data into LMs, the claiming of user voice data, and the lack of a persuasive (let alone proven) enterprise value proposition. All this is still on the table.

There’s also the issue – the big issue – of openness and interoperability. Will users be trapped, yet again, in a walled garden of proprietary control? What if I prefer another LLM? What if I prefer detailed, accurate information that resides not in a LLM, but in a domain-specific model – say, for health information?

Much to learn in the days ahead. We’ll all stay tuned.

Make Plans Now: The Open Voice Network AI Risk Mitigation Workshop, September 5, at the Voice & AI Conference

It’s a situation we’ll all find ourselves in: we want to use – or want to sell – voice and the remarkable tools of generative AI. But standing between us and a deal are legal, security, and compliance officers, all who know the latest draft AI regulations (EU AIA) and guidelines (NIST) word for word. To them, we represent risk – and if we’re ignorant of the risks they see, we’ll represent more risk than they’ll accept.

On Tuesday, September 5, (3:15 p.m. Eastern), you can join the Open Voice Network and an expert team of advisors for a two-hour briefing on how to proactively minimize risk for your clients and your business. You’ll get the latest from Brussels and Washington, learn the critical terms and definitions, and take the first steps toward a risk mitigation plan – and be on your way to better, trustworthy business in the new world.

Important to note: we’re limited to the first 40 participants. To reserve a space, send a note to the Open Voice Network’s Oita Coleman!

This is part of the prestigious Voice & AI Conference, scheduled this year at the Washington, D.C., Hilton. We’re thrilled to be a part of this important industry event, one with more than 125 speakers, more than 75 sessions, and expo hall.

And: as a member of the Open Voice Network family, use code OVON20 to get 20% off any Conference ticket. Click here to register!

The Next OVON Interoperability Webinar is Wednesday, 20 September

In our June interoperability webinar, the Open Voice Network shared its foundational approach for the full delegation of a chat/voice dialog from one assistant to another – and discussed and demonstrated its first specification, The Dialog Event.

Move forward two months to Wednesday, 20 September. In this webinar, we’ll introduce you to the concept (and specification) of The Message Envelope – which will carry Dialog Events and other information between assistants.

In addition to introducing the Message Envelope, the webinar will also take a look at the OVON GitHub repositories which are available for community use. You’ll also get a chance to see OVON specifications at work in several of the first implementations that show how OVON standards enable independent assistants to collaborate.

Click here to register for the webinar.

We’re Building a Developer Sandbox. We Need Help.

We’re building a developer sandbox for interoperability. A set of open-source software components which demonstrate the Open Voice Network’s standards for cooperation among independent assistants. A place to use, modify, and expand on working code.

We’re looking for a developer to work with our Senior Developer to frame and equip the OVON sandbox. It’s a part-time, project-bound, independent contractor position. You won’t get rich, but you’ll do cool stuff – and help us move the future forward.

Requirements? Client-side web development (HTML, Javascript) on Windows. Server-side Python programming. Web communications protocols (HTTP). Web application testing. GitHub expertise.

If interested, connect with Dr. Debbie Dahl, and share your CV and a brief synopsis of relevant experience.

We look forward to hearing from you!

Wouldn’t It Be Great If Voice Could Do This?

You may have heard about the Open Voice Network’s Interoperability Demonstration Project with the Information Systems Authority of Estonia. Here’s the official announcement.

Thinking broadly, and long-term, our Estonian colleagues see the need for chat-and-voice-enabled, open, standards-based access to public and private sources of trustworthy information.

Here’s one envisioned use case:

Eliise lives in Tallinn and is the mother of two young children. She shops regularly at a grocery store nearby. Eliise hears from a close friend Hanna that there has been an outbreak of Listeria in the area, tied to improperly processed smoked fish from an unknown supplier.

Eliise queries the chat/voice bot Bürokratt of the Estonia Health Authority to learn if this is true, as she purchased smoked fish from a local store two days ago.

Eliise enters a dialog with the Health Authority Bürokratt, and it confirms yes, there has been an outbreak of Listeria, and it has – thus far – involved smoked and graved salmon from processor/supplier ABCD. In fact, our list of grocers purchased from this processor/supplier includes your local grocer.

Eliise asks to be sent to the chat/voice assistant of her independent, privately-owned grocer. Using OVON protocols, she is delegated from Bürokatt to the assistant of her grocer. The grocer’s assistant informs her that, yes, her ticket from two days ago shows a purchase of smoked salmon; and yes, regrettably, that product was purchased from processor/supplier ABCD, and that she should destroy the product in question. With voice-enabled 2FA, Eliise is confirmed to her grocer’s account and a credit is granted.

Join the OVON Interoperability Developers Community!

Connect with Dr. Deborah Dahl and obtain the latest insights as to developments, tests, and trials. Take the specifications for a run; tell us what breaks, and what’s missing. And plan to join the webinar cited above!

Do something amazing: bring your talents to the Open Voice Network.

To get involved, click or scan the QR code below!

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