In a recent guest post for Voicebot.ai, Todd Mozer — the CEO of AI-enhanced speech recognition specialist Sensory, Inc. — argues that though tech giants Google, Apple, and Amazon hold a near insurmountable lead in the smart voice assistant game, it’s still possible for smaller companies to compete with specialized products of their own.
In his post, Mozer points out that the big players in the game hold a massive advantage that is based on a number of factors including infrastructure, ownership of the necessary cloud components, and work force. But, as Mozer also points out, the main reason these companies can’t be caught in the smart assistant game is the sheer amount of data they have collected, a process that has been sped up by undercutting themselves on the cost of their own hardware, or, as Mozer puts it, “selling hardware at near breakeven to build a user base and collect more data.”
Despite this, the key to competing with the Big Three is to focus on specialized domain for AI assistants. This serves the dual purpose of requiring less data, while not putting these specialized assistants in direct competition with the more generalist ones made by the Big Three.
“I already have an Alexa or Google Home or Apple HomePod in many of the rooms in my house… and I carry my phone around with me if I need access to information,” writes Mozer. “I don’t need more generalist assistants. I need specialists that can help with specific problems or products.”
He argues that this need for a more specialized assistant extends to most companies, and points out that in a smaller and more specialized data sample test Sensory was able to compete with the likes of Google.
He also notes that due to recent technological advances, the amount of data required for a specialized domain could soon shrink, further leveling the playing field for newer and smaller entrants.
“Recent advances with generating and training with synthetic data have enabled accurate models without the need for live data collections,” he writes. “The combination of domain-specific assistants and training with synthetic data is opening up new opportunities and might be the path forward for companies that want to own their voice experience.”