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The Voicebot Podcast

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The Voicebot Podcast is about the intersection of voice and artificial intelligence (AI) technologies. It is a weekly look at trends, founders and newsmakers and supplements the daily research, analysis and news found at

The Voicebot Podcast is about the intersection of voice and artificial intelligence (AI) technologies. It is a weekly look at trends, founders and newsmakers and supplements the daily research, analysis and news found at
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The Voicebot Podcast is about the intersection of voice and artificial intelligence (AI) technologies. It is a weekly look at trends, founders and newsmakers and supplements the daily research, analysis and news found at




Jan König Discusses the Jovo Open Source Framework for Voice App Development - Voicebot Podcast Ep 56

Jan König is co-founder and CEO of Jovo, the maker of an open source, context-first development framework. Context here refers to the device type such as smart speaker, smartphone, television, tablet and the like. The theory is that developers need to have centralized logic that can serve users across numerous devices with different underlying operating systems and across modes such as voice, visual, audio, video and text. Jovo has started with tools to support Amazon Alexa and Google...


John Kelvie CEO of Bespoken Discusses How Voice App Testing is Different - Voicebot Podcast Ep 55

John Kelvie is CEO and co-founder of Bespoken which provides voice app testing, monitoring and development software. Bespoken has over 1,000 users and apps on its testing platform including Mercedes Benz. John was a guest on Voicebot Podcast Ep 6 (well worth a listen) and the interview took place when the company was less than one year old. Now over two years since starting to develop the Bespoken voice app suite, the company has delivered a broad set of enterprise-class testing automation...


Shane Mac CEO of Assist Says The Talking Internet is Here - Voicebot Podcast Ep 54

Shane Mac co-founded Assist five years ago with Geek Squad founder Robert Stephens. Since then, Assist has focused on enabling the talking internet for brands; first with chat bots, then with voice apps. Mac says the company's work centers around bookings, ordering and online to offline engagement use cases. The projects always involve backend systems integration. Whether it is taking beer orders at a baseball game on iMessage, selling flowers through Google Assistant or booking beauty...


Tom Hebner Global Innovation Head for Nuance Talks 20 Years in Voice - Voicebot Podcast Ep 53

Tom Hebner is the Global Head of Innovation at Nuance Communications. He has been at the company since 1999 by way of acquisition in 2008, so has had a front-row seat to observe the evolution of voice technology in the modern era. He spent most of his early career in voice user experience design before moving into cloud and innovation groups. Tom earned an undergraduate degree in Electrical Engineering from Villanova and Masters in Electrical and Electronics Engineering from Princeton. We...


Pulse Labs Founders Talk Voice App Testing and Alexa Accelerator - Voicebot Podcast Ep 52

Pulse Labs co-founders Abhishek Suthan (CEO) and Dylan Zwick (CPO) brought their crowdsourced voice app testing service into the first Alexa Accelerator class operated by TechStars in 2017. Since then, they have assembled hundreds of pre-screened voice app testers and provided UX feedback to nearly a hundred voice apps on Amazon Alexa and Google Assistant. Along they way, the company raised $2.5 million from venture funds at both Amazon and Google and Jeff Bezos' personal investment fund....


Rand Hindi CEO of Snips Talks Independent Voice Assistants, Privacy, Block Chain and ICO - Voicebot Podcast 51

Rand Hindi is co-founder and CEO of He is the former CEO of Hinran, a web development agency and a co-founder of PlanetUltra, the first social network in France. Immediately prior to founding Snips, Rand was a freelance Data Scientist focused on Machine Learning and Algorithmic trading. He also is into quantified self and did an AI-driven diet experiment that used machine learning to gain 80 pounds and then lose it again. Today, Snips is building an independent voice assistant...


Voice Shopping Panel - Brian Colcord and Ryan MacInnis of Voysis plus Kinsella and Mutchler - Voicebot Podcast Ep 50

This special episode is dedicated to voice commerce trends and data. In particular we discuss the results of the recently published Voice Shopping Consumer Adoption Report. Joining the panel are Brian Colcord and Ryan MacInnis from Voysis and my colleague Ava Mutchler from Brian is VP of Design at Voysis, was previously a UX and design executive at LogMeIn and earned an MFA from the University of Hartford. Ryan is Marketing Director at Voysis and previously worked at Twitter,...


Adva Levin Founder of Pretzel Labs Talks Voice-First Games - Voicebot Podcast Ep 49

Adva Levin is founder of Pretzel Labs, a Tel Aviv-based company that creates voice-first games that children can play through Amazon Echo and soon Google Home. The company came to prominence earlier this year as the Grand Prize winner of Amazon’s first Kids Skills Competition where developers competed for cash prizes for the best Alexa skill designed for children. Previously, Adva worked in product and content roles at a number of startups and has also done literary translation and...


Mycroft AI CEO Joshua Montgomery Talks Open Source Voice Assistant - Voicebot Podcast Ep 48

Joshua Montgomery founded Mycroft AI in early 2015 and since that time has done two successful Kickstarter campaigns, graduated from both Tech Stars and 500 Startups accelerators, raised $3 million in equity capital and delivered the world's first open source voice assistant. And, there is the new subsidiary that has a blockchain solution called Mykrosystem. Josh discusses the importance of independent voice assistants for both consumers and enterprises. He also offers insight on his...


Voice AI First Half 2018 Review - All Star Panel - Voicebot Podcast Ep 47

This week's episode focuses on voice AI events, products and news from the first half of 2018. We discuss Apple's announcements from WWDC and whether it was a big deal or a snoozer, the shift in smart speaker market share to Google, the impact of Google Duplex, what Amazon has done and should be doing and more. This week's guests are Tobias Goebel of Aspect Software, Pat Higbie of XAPPmedia, Chris Messina a developer and product guru best known for inventing the hashtag and Voicebot's Ava...


Novel Effect Founders Use Voice and Sound to Enhance Story Time and More - Voicebot Podcast Ep 46

Melissa and Matthew Hammersley co-founded Novel Effect in 2015 to use voice recognition combined with sound effects to enhance story time for parents and children. Since that time they have appeared on Shark Tank, completed the first edition of the Alexa Accelerator, closed a $3 million funding round, launched an iOS app, closed deals with major publishers and expanded their application set beyond stories to other use cases. Melissa is the former owner of Figure One Design and is now Chief...


Noelle LaCharite of Microsoft Cognitive Services Talks AI and Building Voice Models - Voicebot Podcast Ep 45

Noelle LaCharite recently moved to Microsoft Cognitive Services after many years at Amazon including a role leading a machine learning team as a senior architect for Alexa. We sat down shortly after the annual Microsoft BUILD conference where the Cognitive Services group announced several new features and the Cortana team demonstrated integration with Alexa. In this week's interview, we cover the recent Microsoft news and its impact for developers building for Alexa and Google Assistant,...


Voice SEO Explained by Stone Temple CEO Eric Enge - Voicebot Podcast Ep. 44

Today’s guest is an expert in traditional SEO from the web and mobile and has done some of the most interesting research to date on voice SEO. Eric Enge founded Stone Temple in 2002 and the agency has won awards ranging from Best SEO Agency of the Year to Search Marketer of the Year. He is co-author of the popular book The Art of SEO, has served as a columnist in many leading publications, and co-authored an academic research paper published by the International Journal of Scientific...


Google Assistant Developer Panel, Jochen Emig CTO Onsei and Michael Myers CPO XAPmedia - Voicebot Podcast Ep. 43

This week's episode is all about Google Assistant. Experienced Google Assistant developers Jochen Emig, CTO of Onsei, and Michael Myers, Chief Product Officer of XAPPmedia, discuss the most important features added to the platform over the past year and react to the new announcements from Google I/O. We talk Action Links, Monetization, Continued Conversation, Dialogflow, Google Duplex and much more. They even weigh in on differences from Alexa. Don't miss this episode. A lot of depth here...


John Foster, CEO of Aiqudo, Talks Voice Enabling Mobile Apps - Voicebot Podcast Ep. 42

John Foster is CEO of Aiqudo, a company he cofounded in March 2017. Aiqudo was developed to help people do more things, more quickly. It is a virtual assistant designed for mobile devices and voice enables apps by making their actions accessible through simple voice commands. The company recently announced a partnership with Motorola where Aiqudo now serves as the brains behind the Hello Moto assistant. John is the former CEO of mobile search company Quixey, CEO of DHI and President of...


SoundHound CEO Keyvan Mohajer Discusses the Hound Voice Assistant and $100 Million Funding Round - Voicebot Podcast Ep. 41

Keyvan Mohajer is co-founder and CEO of Soundhound, known for the app that will tell you in seconds what song is playing. The company is becoming even more famous for inventing the Hound voice assistant that is designed to rival Google Assistant and Alexa, but enable app owners to maintain control of the user experience and data. Keyvan talks about founding SoundHound in 2004 while earning his PhD in Electrical Engineering at Stanford, growing the Hound platform to over 60,000 developers...


The Elements of Multi-Modal Design with Karen Kaushansky - Voicebot Podcast Ep. 40

Karen Kaushansky started as a speech technology designer at Nortel in the mid-1990’s and moved on to become a voice user interface designer at Nuance. Later she worked at Tellme and in experience design at Microsoft and Jawbone. Karen co-founded a smart clothing company, Sensilk and more recently founded Robot Futures Consulting where she has worked with self-driving car company NIO and toy maker Lego. Karen earned degrees in Mathematics and Computer Science from the University of Waterloo...


Alexa Developer Panel with Octavio Menocal and Eric Olson - Voicebot Podcast Ep. 39

Amazon has added a lot of features to Alexa Skills Kit over the past year. Voicebot asked two of the most experienced Alexa developers to weigh in on some of the biggest feature additions. Octavio Menocal has developed over 70 Alexa skills both personally and with RAIN Agency. Eric Olson is an Alexa Champion who built some of the first popular Alexa skills and has worked closely with the Alexa developer evangelist team. We discuss the intent history API, notifications, location, lists,...


Chris Messina Founder of Molly Talks Personalized Assistants - Voicebot Podcast Episode 38

Chris Messina is co-founder of the company that makes the personalized virtual assistant Molly. He is a frequent conference speaker and commentator on chatbots and voice assistants and sees Molly as both a tool for individuals and as a vehicle to connect people through a new social assistant model. A former developer experience lead at Uber, developer advocate and UX designer at Google, Chris was also previously a board member of the OpenID and Open Web foundations. Chris is probably best...


Storyline CEO Vasili Shynkarenka - Voicebot Podcast Episode 37

Vasili Shynkarenka is co-founder and CEO of Storyline, the company dedicated to making it easy for anyone to create an Amazon Alexa skill without coding. Vasili started working with conversational interfaces in 2015 as a co-founder, chatbot UX designer and algorithm developer. He later became CEO of Botcube, a chat based applications development firm located in Belarus. Earlier in his career, he was a web developer focused on CMS for news and blogging. Storyline just emerged from the Y...