Software voice recognition firm Nuance has updated its Nuance interactive natural assistant (Nina) tool to make it able to better understand complex voice commands and conversations in customer service operations.
The firm said Nina makes for more natural conversation and easier authentication in voice biometrics between virtual assistants, so there's no need to go through a routine of "yes or no" questions in customer service situations, such as establishing your identity to banks.
Nuance also announced Nina, which was originally rolled out as a mobile virtual assistant last August, is expanding and moving towards "a more generic web definition", adding interactive voice response (IVR) and text based virtual assistance capabilities to assist customer web browsing.
"Nina will support speech and text entries, being the first multi-channel virtual assistant platform that offers such services in the market and is designed to make it as easy as possible," the firm's director of Strategy for EMEA Sebastian Reeve told V3.
The web service adds interactive sales oriented virtual assistants to businesses' web pages, offering options for buyers via interactive experiences where they can ask a virtual agent questions instead of searching the website, which will in turn recognise context, give answers and offer options.
Nuance also announced that the Nina service is now multi-lingual, offering voice for 38 languages and text input support for 13 languages.
Reeve noted that the revamped Nina comes as the firm has noticed a "fast ramp in consumer adoption" of the technology in a number of channels and in the cloud.
"Across all of those, it's a very strong growth curve," he added. "Over the last 12 to 18 months, we've seen the highest ramp up of demand than we have ever seen in this technology."
The largest sector adopting this service is banking, for which Reeve said a key driver is usually an attempt by the firms to differentiate themselves from competitors.
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