Open Voice Network for July: from Brussels to you, it’s all about trust

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

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  • Did you miss the late June Open Voice Network All-Hands Conference Call?
  • Hit pause – for at least a moment. The EU AI Act will shape our reality
  • The OVON TrustMark Initiative – stand by, get ready
  • Who says standards aren’t sexy? Don’t be the last to view our popular interoperability video
  • An important paper from the W3C Voice Interaction Community

What you may have missed from our Q2 All-Hands Conference Call

If you weren’t able to join in late June, here’s the recording of OVON’s Q2 All-Hands Conference Call. Of the number of agenda items, here were two highlights:

  • A thought-provoking conversation (at 3:00) on the topic of digital trust between OVON’s Oita Coleman and Doug Rogers, Chief Security Officer, Wegmans Food Markets, and Chair of the TrustMark Initiative Advisory Board. Of note: Doug’s concerns, not only as the protector of a preeminent retail brand, but also as the father of teenagers. What world will they inherit?

  • The announcement of an interoperability demonstration project (18:00) between OVON and the Information Systems Authority of Estonia – one that will link the Estonian Bürokratt chat/voicebot to independent voice assistants. Dr. Deborah Dahl of the Open Voice Network visited with ISA leaders Kaupo Laagriküll and Rainer Türner, who joined live from Tallinn. Exciting. More news to come!

It's all about Trust. And your future. Get to know the EU AI Act (AIA).

This is a plea to all voice/conversational AI developers, users, and managers – and those who run events and webinars.

Take a moment, call your attorney, and find time to walk-and-talk through the European Union Artificial Intelligence Act.

I know it’s not yet official. But it will be, soon, and in some form.

Here’s the deal: whether you’re in Brussels or Boise, this will shape – to some degree – all work in the voice/conversational AI world.

It will shape the decision criteria of every customer. It will shape investor decisions.

Especially if you’re involved – even a little bit – with biometric identification, voice authentication, voice or media synthesis, sentiment analysis, or personal attribute inference. Especially if your work faintly sounds like the uses listed in the Prohibited or High Risk categories.

Much as the General Data Protection Act re-shaped the privacy world, so will the EU AIA for voice/conversational AI.

Which leads us to…

The Open Voice Network TrustMark Initiative translates principles and regulation into effective action.

It’s one thing to study a document like the EU AIA. It’s another thing to put legal observance and ethical behavior into practice, and actively minimize risk throughout your organization.

The OVON Ethical Use Task Force has designed the Open Voice Network TrustMark Initiative to give your organization the tools needed to implement legal and ethical best practices throughout your organization.

Of course, the TrustMark Initiative begins with your individual or organizational endorsement of the six core principles of ethical conversational AI. And it will continue, next month, with:

  • The TrustMark online educational course, offered through The Linux Foundation: ethical use for voice and conversational AI.

  • The TrustMark online organizational self-assessment tool: how your policies, practices, and implementations measure up.

For a preview, visit our TrustMark Initiative page or connect with TrustMark Initiative leader Oita Coleman.

They say tech standards aren't sexy, but this video is getting a lot of views.

There’s a little bit of international secret agent stuff, and for you voice developers, a very alluring set of sequence diagrams.

It’s the YouTube recording of the Open Voice Network’s mid-June webinar on the interoperability of conversational assistants, and the announcement of the publication of OVON’s first specifications.

Not only is it winning a surprising number of views, but a growing open development community is now beginning to test the spec across a number of platforms.

To join the party, contact OVON Senior Advisor Debbie Dahl.

Speaking of Interoperability: an important paper has just been published by the W3C Voice Interaction Community.

The Voice Interaction Community of the World Wide Web Consortium (W3C) has quietly and steadily developed this foundational paper that defines the components and architecture of voice assistance.

Here you’ll find a roadmap for the creation of standardized, building-block components – an important tool for ecosystem developers and innovators.

Applause to Dr. Dirk Schnelle-Walka and Dr. Deborah Dahl for their leadership – and publication of this seminal paper.

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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