[Originally posted on Linkedin by Jon Stine]

The question of AI-voice in commerce is not whether, but when.

Which means those entrusted with retail and CPG brand performance are now figuring out the where, the how, and the why of this increasingly important technology.

Meet Amir Tsrouya. 

 He’s the co-Founder and CEO of Tukuoro, a Tel Aviv-based voice open platform company (http://tukuoro.com/.) The company’s name means “speaker” in Maori.  The value proposition is simple: it seeks to make every digital interaction voice enabled, in any language, on any platform, and in any use case.   And, they do so through context-driven speech recognition and processing – which, in layman’s terms, means that Tukuoro doesn’t need a large data set for AI learning (and the time it takes to acquire it.)

Since Tukuoro’s founding in 2015, Amir and his colleagues have worked in multiple vertical industries – including, with some very prominent customers, extensive work in retail.

Why voice?  Why voice in commerce?

Voice: the natural interface to today’s world of data

For Amir, it began with an insightful question, borne of his work in IOT: in this world of exponentially growing knowledge, how will humans interface with data and data platforms?

For greatest ease? Greatest efficiency?

“It was clear to us that voice represented a huge leap forward in in the interface,” Amir said. “If we wanted to get deeper in the ways we interact with data, well, voice was the natural thing.”

And it’s a natural thing for commerce.

As Amir talks with retailers and consumer-facing enterprises in Europe, the States, and in Israel, one thing has become clear from his conversations: every brand is searching for ways to deliver a better customer experience.

“Whether we’re talking to government agencies, banks, insurance agencies, even the people who run ticketing machines for public transportation – everyone’s customers are expecting a better experience, and a better service experience across the board.

“A voice interface is right now one of the best ways for any brand to disrupt, to make things easy for customers.”

And, although developing a voice interface is no easy task, Amir makes the case that using Tukuoro may bring a much faster return than other investments currently on a CIO’s list.

But there is a worry.  It’s spelled p-r-i-v-a-c-y.

As the technology evolves, voice interfaces will sound much more natural.  And, as they sound much more natural, they’ll become much more popular.

And, as they become much more popular, they’ll access more and more data. Commercial and Personally Identifiable Information (PII.)

This is of major concern to Amir and his Tukuoro team.  “We must learn to harness the technology,” he said.  “You know, it’s been the dominant thinking that we have to give away our PII and business data in order to obtain decent AI-voice service and access.

“But it should be possible to provide a superior experience for consumers in voice without giving away personal and commercial information. And that is our approach.

“The experience needs to be very superior. And very private for both the consumer and Brand.”

Listen to Amir’s insights at the Israeli startup camel podcast https://soundcloud.com/startupcamel-podcast/tukuoro-amir-tsrouya and follow him here on Linkedin: https://www.linkedin.com/in/amirtsrouya.

Voice in commerce.  Can you hear it coming?

#OpenVoiceNetwork #ConversationalCommerce #MITOpenVoice #AmirTsrouya #tukuoro