Conversations Squared #9 Andrew Muir

Conversations Squared #9 Andrew Muir 1120 840 Rebecca Christie

We’re used to hearing Text To Speech in conversational AI, but that’s not the only option available. Voice assistants don’t have to use synthetic speech – they can use recordings of a live voice talent instead.

Andrew Muir, Lead Dialogue Designer at PolyAI, explains the benefits of using voice talents. One of his points really resonated with me – why voice talents ease users into the experience!


In this episode

00:00 Start
00:24 Tell me about yourself?
02:38 What’s your favourite bot?
03:26 What are your biggest concerns about ChatGPT?
05:58 What journalistic skills do you use in conversation design?
08:42 Why do you choose to use voice talent at PolyAI?
13:10 So voice talent eases users into the experience?
13:52 Where would you choose to use synthetic voices?
15:56 Are you using voice talents and cloned voices?
17:03 Please tell me about your relationship with the voice talents?
19:14 Do you give the voice talent freedom to create their work?
19:50 Do voice talents push back against being used in AI projects?
21:36 Voice talents could get left behind by synthetic voices
22:46 Are voice talents proactively cloning their voices?
23:21 How do you approach updates to avoid spiralling costs?
26:24 Do you adjust the design based on a voice actor’s performance?
30:40 Is a synthetic assistant with an empathetic voice a design sweet-spot?
31:51 Do you think there’s scope for non-human character design?
36:38 The way words are said matters
38:56 The user observes everything about the bot
41:16 How do you approach voice localisation at PolyAI?
45:44 Personas are received differently in different locales
46:43 You have to know the culture intimately to localise
48:47 We have to expect we will keep updating our work
50:35 Where can people find out more about you?

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