One in five of all searches on a mobile phone is now voice activated and the artificial intelligence, conversational interface and user interface market is changing at such a pace that before long, we’ll be taking to buildings and to objects and telling them exactly what we need, artificial intelligence expert and Executive Vice President at Webio, Paul Sweeney, says.

Thousands of new capabilities or skills have been added to Amazon Alexa over the past year alone and that technology is increasingly used in smart homes so humans no longer have to dim their own lights or flick on their own music playlist, he explained. Apple’s Siri has largely made everything from calculators to traditional search engines redundant.

“The future is very much now and the mobile world is over! We are going to be interfacing with the world in ways that we could never imagine. Objects will soon be telling us what they are all about.

“It’s fascinating stuff and far from robots taking our jobs, they will be making them easier and will help boost customer experiences and customer services. The next generation of marketing is extremely exciting and it is unfolding before our eyes,” Sweeney said ahead of the landmark ConverCon Conversational Interfaces conference he and his team at Webio are organising at Dublin’s Science Gallery on May 4.

Business owners and managers charged with embracing such innovations, enhancing customer experiences, digitally transforming their company and interacting with their public in new and engaging attending ConverCon will learn how to survive, grow and increase their market share at the global event with direct help from experts from Intercom, Google, Facebook, Webio, Microsoft HoloLens and more.

Instead of communicating with a computer on its own inhuman terms – by clicking on icons and entering syntax-specific commands – we’re increasingly interacting with them on our terms, by telling it what to do, whether by voice or by text, Paul Sweeney added.

“With rapidly evolving technology impacting how we are engaging with each other, now companies must think about how they, in turn, should interact with their customers. Companies need to deliver more engaging, simple and effortless interactions. At the forefront of these changes are conversational interfaces.

“When we ask Amazon Alexa to put an item on our shopping list, dim the lights or turn the music up or we’re using one of those new chatbots on Facebook messenger to check when a bill is due, we are using conversational interfaces.

“Many people see them as the next generation of the internet in a post-mobile app world. The implications of these changes will be profound and the move to new ways of interacting could happen very quickly.

“ConverCon is the first event of its kind. It’s not just for tech experts. Businesses need to be there. It includes a practical, pragmatic focus on why conversational interaction is a problem worth solving. We will look at achieving the right messaging; why companies need conversational interfaces and we will get advice from experts on what to avoid and how to deliver amazing experiences in a real world,” Mr Sweeney explained.

The event is supported by Swrve and is being run in conjunction with Webio, ESB and the internationally recognised centre of excellence for ICT research and innovation, the Telecommunications, Software & Systems Group (TSSG) at Waterford Institute of Technology.

For tickets and further information, visit www.convercon.ie and www.webio.com.

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