Speech technology has always been core to the enterprise communications landscape and has mostly been the domain of telephony and group settings, like meeting rooms. Technology for these use cases is mature and provides a high level of utility. But, with the advent of AI, new speech technology applications are emerging and need to be considered in a different light.
AI-driven speech technology deployments are different from updating to a new phone system where everything is familiar and risk is low. IT decision-makers bear some risk when deploying speech applications that are still evolving in ways they may not fully understand.
AI-driven speech technology delivers benefits by offering innovation that drives new business value. Employees can manage most of a meeting's activities through a smart speaker using only their voice. Speech technology also provides real-time speech-to-text transcription so people don't have to take notes in a meeting. For commuters, text-to-speech capabilities offer the ability to listen to emails and memos hands-free.
The value proposition for these AI-driven speech use cases is strong and goes beyond traditional telephony. Despite the promise of these new technologies, the broader implications of AI aren't well understood, so deployment isn't entirely risk-free.
AI seems inevitable, and workers may view automating every task as a threat to their jobs if organizations don't carefully manage deployments. Additionally, the pervasiveness of AI encroaches on privacy and enables management to constantly monitor all forms of employee activity.
AI only adds value to speech technology if the experience is good, which requires accurate understanding and efficiency improvements. Current AI-driven speech capabilities can manage simple tasks but are still too basic to add much value. Without significant added value, organizations risk low user adoption rates. If workers don't embrace AI-driven speech technology quickly, they may never fully adapt to it. IT can mitigate that risk by setting expectations for speech technology use.
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