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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




Amy Stapleton, Dave Kemp, and Pete Haas Discuss First 100 Episodes - Voicebot Podcast Ep 105

There have been so many rich insights offered by Voicebot Podcast guests that I wanted to figure out a simple way to unlock a few of those nuggets in case you missed the episodes. I also wanted to hear some discussion among dedicated and erudite listeners about what was said by past guests and what they thought mattered most. With 100 episodes to choose from, we narrowed it down by asking listeners to let me know their favorite episodes and why. Our panelists also weighed in and by my...


Top Voice News of First Half of 2019 with Ben Fox Rubin, Pete Erickson, and Eric Schwartz - Voicebot Podcast Ep 104

The first half of 2019 started with data around big growth numbers for smart speakers over the previous year, Amazon saying there were more than 100 million Alexa enabled devices, followed within a week by Google announcing there were over 1 billion devices with Google Assistant. That was followed by a lot of voice assistant news across multiple devices ranging from patio umbrellas to motorcycle helmets from the U.S. and China at CES. As the year progressed many more stories followed about...


NYC AI, Bots and Marketing Meetup with Betaworks, Skilled Creative, Vayner Media, and Resemble AI - Voicebot Podcast Ep 103

There are five guests in this week's episode that all attended and presented at the recent AI, Bots, and Marketing meetup in New York City. We are joined by Matt Hartman, a partner at Betaworks. He is followed by Brandon Kaplan, CEO of voice-focused agency Skilled Creative. Those were both recorded on site prior to the event and are followed by some post-event interviews with Claire Mitchell of Vayner Media, Saqib Muhammad and Zohaib Ahmed from Resemble Ai. We conclude with Alec Lazarescu,...


Rupal Patel CEO of VocaliD Discusses Customized Synthetic Voices - Voicebot Podcast Ep 102

Rupal Patel is the founder and CEO of VocaliD. She founded the company in 2014 to provide voice prostheses for people that cannot speak in their own voices. The company continues with that work today and has expanded into customized voices for brands looking for a distinctive sound in their efforts around voice assistants. VocaliD was a Mass Challenge finalist in 2014 where it participated in the accelerator program. Patel has also been a professor at Northeastern University for the past 16...


The Re MARS Interviews with Pulse Labs, Volley, The Cube, Reuters, Bondad, and Philosophical Creations - Voicebot Podcast Ep 101

Today’s episode is a compilation of six interviews captured onsite at Amazon’s inaugural Re: MARS conference earlier this month. MARS stands for Machine Learning, AI, Robots, and Space, and it is designed to showcase what Amazon thinks about the future of tech. We have a great lineup to discuss the Alexa Conversations and the cross-skill goal completion announcements as well as innovations on display ranging from neural detection from wrist movements to drone delivery and how we interact...


Audrey Arbeeny of Audiobrain Talks Sonic Branding and the Rise of Voice - Voicebot Podcast Ep. 100

Audrey Arbeeny is an Emmy Award Winning Executive Producer and Creative Director that is also the founder of Audiobrain, a leading sonic branding agency. Sonic branding is brand strategy and production based on sound. In Audiobrain’s model, sonic branding includes strategy, original composition, sound design, audio identities, music supervision and licensing, research and usability, voice casting, education, UI design and more. Audrey founded the company 16 years ago after many years as a...


Margaret Mayer VP of Conversational AI at Capital One Talks Voice Assistants, Alexa, and Eno - Voicebot Podcast Ep 99

Margaret Mayer is the Managing Vice President, Messaging, Conversational AI & Emerging Technologies at Capital One and has been with the company over 20 years. In her current role, Mayer is well known for her work overseeing Capital One’s Eno AI-based bot and Alexa skill, which was the first banking skill on the platform. Earlier in her career, Mayer was a database administrator. She earned an engineering degree from Cornel University and a PhD in industrial engineering from Lehigh...


Marco Iacono COO of Viv and VP Mobile R&D for Samsung Bixby Talks Voice Assistant Design and Launch - Voicebot Podcast Ep 98

Marco Iacono is COO at Viv Labs and a VP of mobile R&D at Samsung. Viv Labs is the Samsung acquisition that gave us Bixby 2.0 that was introduced last summer with the Galaxy Note 9 Launch. Marco was previously the engineering project manager for Siri at Apple for iOS, CarPlay, and Apple Watch. Earlier in his career, Marco worked at PwC and he started off out of school as a Java Engineer at Dulcian. Marco earned a BS in Computer Science from Syracuse University where he is currently a member...


Amir Hirsh CEO of Audioburst Discusses Audio Content Search and Discovery - Voicebot Podcast Ep 97

Amir Hirsh is founder and CEO of Audioburst. He founded the company in 2014 after a long career in cybersecurity with the idea of transcribing and indexing all audio content to make search and discovery as easy for audio as it is for text. Audioburst currently lists a lot of big names as customers including LG, Microsoft, Samsung, Dentsu, and Hyundai. Before Audioburst, Amir was a founder of Collactive which was acquired by IAI. He was also a founder of Sendoo and Blue Security. Earlier in...


Four Developers React to Google IO 2019 Announcements - Voicebot Podcast Ep 96

The annual Google I/O developer conference had a lot of focus on Google Assistant as expected, but the company's direction is clearly shifting. In this week's Voicebot Podcast, four Google Action developers offer their initial reactions to the Google I/O keynotes and what they indicate about what Google sees as important and where the product line is headed over the next year. Dominik Meissner of 169 Labs talks about Duplex on the web, the on-device Google Assistant, the rise of Google's...


Dave Isbitski Amazon Chief Evangelist for Alexa Talks Voice Adoption - Voicebot Podcast Ep 95

Dave Isbitski became Amazon's first chief evangelist for Alexa in 2014. That’s five years, but in smart speaker time, it’s an eternity. Dave started out hosting office hours in Alexa Slack, going to Meetups and more recently is most commonly seen speaking at conferences around the world. We caught up at the Alexa Live online conference recording session in Seattle shortly after he finished up recording the keynote. Prior to his role on the Alexa team, Isbitski was the chief evangelist for...


Ron Croen, Founding CEO of Nuance and Partner at You and Mr. Jones Brandtech Ventures - Voicebot Podcast Ep 94

Ron Croen was the founding CEO of Nuance who worked with three researchers at SRI to launch the company in 1994. Nuance went public in 2000 and merged with Scansoft a few years later. Today Nuance's market cap is just under $5 billion and for about a decade the company was THE voice company worldwide. Ron had a front row seat to many formative developments and events in the early days of voice technology. Amazon Echo truly impressed him when it came out in 2014 because it broke many tenets...


Voice in the Car Part 2 with John Foster of Aiqudo, Rachel Battish of Audioburst, and Fred Jacobs of Jacobs Media - Voicebot Podcast Ep 93

Voice interaction is becoming a common feature in cars but it is about more than just controlling temperature settings and navigation. Three innovators join Voicebot Podcast this week to share how they expect voice interaction in the car to evolve. John Foster, CEO of Aiqudo, discusses how tasks can be executed by using voice to activate one or more mobile apps while driving. Aiqudo's view is that all of the things you want to do are already reflected on the smartphone and the key is to make...


Voice Assistants in the Car with Amazon Alexa, Nuance Automotive, and Harman - Voicebot Podcast Ep 92

Voice assistants in the car pre-date Siri on iPhone by a decade and smart speakers in the home by even longer. The use cases bring obvious benefits because voice allows drivers to execute key activities in the car while keeping their eyes on the road and hands on the wheel. Recorded live at the first Voice of the Car Summit, Arianne Walker discusses Amazon's Alexa Auto strategy, Adam Emfield reveals what Nuance has learned by bringing voice into the cabins of every major automaker, and...


Smart Speaker Adoption Data for Australia with Matt Ware and Lachlan Pottenger of First and Ava Mutchler - Voicebot Podcast Ep 91

Matt Ware and Lachlan Pottenger of FIRST Digital in Australia join Ava Mutchler and Bret Kinsella to discuss the results of the 2019 Australia Smart Speaker Consumer Adoption Report. The adoption rate is fast, Google Home dominates, and smart speaker users employ the devices with more frequency than their American peers. The Australia experience is instructive for how smart speakers and voice assistants are seeing adoption in countries that have come online after the U.S. We talk use cases,...


Steven Arkonovich Creator of Big Sky on Alexa - Voicebot Podcast Ep 90

Steven Arkonovich is a professor of philosophy at Reed College by day and a leading Alexa skill developer by night. He began developing Alexa skills in 2015 before the ASK SDK was released and is best known for having the top-rated Alexa skill for weather. Big Sky has over 2,500 reviews and a 4.5-star rating. That puts Big Sky in the top 20 for skill reviews overall and number one in the weather category. Number 2 is Alexa’s native weather skill with about one-ninth the reviews and 2-star...


Tom Livne CEO of Verbit Talks Voice and Transcription - Voicebot Podcast Ep 89

Tom Livne is the CEO and co-founder of The company provides an AI-driven transcription service for the legal and academic markets that guarantees 99.9% accuracy through a combination of speech-to-text automated speech recognition and human editors. Verbit recently raised $23 million less than one year after raising a seed round of $11 million on the strength of 400% growth. Previously, Tom was co-founder and President of AppInsight. He is a graduate of the Yale School of...


US Smart Speaker Adoption Trends with Jeff McMahon, Jason Fields and Ava Mutchler - Voicebot Podcast Ep 88

This episode is all about US smart speaker adoption data and trends and what it tells us about the future of voice assistant use worldwide. Jeff McMahon (CEO Voicify), Jason Fields (Chief Strategy Officer Voicify), and Ava Mutchler (Voicebot) join host Bret Kinsella discussing data from the recent 2019 U.S. Smart Speaker Consumer Adoption Report. Topics include the smart speaker rate of adoption, killer app use cases, device market share, changes from 2018, and voice app discovery challenges...


Mark Lippett CEO of XMOS on the Chips that Make Voice Assistants Work - Voicebot Podcast Ep 87

Mark Lippett joined XMOS in 2006 as VP of Engineering and was later promoted to COO and then CEO about three years ago. XMOS is a fabless semiconductor company with a particular emphasis on IP and products for far-field voice recognition. The company claims to be the first Alexa Voice Service certified solution for linear mic arrays and is used in devices ranging from smart speakers Orange Djingo and Deutsche Telekom Magenta to the Freebox Delta streaming media player. Before XMOS, Mark was...


Vijay Balasubramaniyan CEO of Pindrop Security - Voicebot Podcast Ep 86

Vijay Balasubramaniyan co-founded Pindrop Security in 2011 after completing his PhD and presenting his research about verifying identity based on sounds other than voices in telephone calls. He is the current CEO. The company uses voice biometrics to detect phone-based fraud and notably raised a $90 million funding round in December to expand into Europe and to start securing smart speakers and other voice-activated devices. Prior to founding Pindrop, Vijay was a software engineer at IBM,...