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How Did Marie Curie Take Notes?

Marie Curie’s note-taking technique involved keeping separate journals for research and personal matters. Her lab notes are the most dangerous piece of writing in the world: due to continued exposure to radium and polonium, the paper will stay too radioactive to handle for the next 2,000 years.

 

On the flip side, the reckless experiments allowed her to win two Nobel Prizes in the span of eight years.

Marie Curie: Note Taking Gone Nuclear

 

Marie Curie was a very private person, and most of what we know about her life and note taking we owe to a biography written by her daughter Ève Curie. It’s titled “Madame Curie” and makes for a great read.

 

As for Curie’s note-taking habits, there are several things we know for sure.

 

First of all, Marie Curie kept her work notes separate from the personal journal, and her personal journal from the journal on her daughters’ development. This allowed her to focus on one thing at a time. Three journals allowed for three perspectives.

 

Curie would always write in a thick notebook and draw plenty of sketches (just like Thomas Edison). Interestingly, her physics notes were structured like a diary, or a school copybook. Each note was preceded by date. She numbered pages by hand.

 

marie-curie-note-taking-notes-journal

 

(As radioactive as they are, some of Marie Curie’s notes have been digitized. You can find them here.)

 

Secondly, Marie Curie would use journaling as a method of self-reflection. When her husband Pierre died, she started a new diary, describing her mourning in a detached manner. According to Ève Curie, it helped her mother process the tragic event and stay productive at the laboratory.

 

Marie Curie’s routine was so strict she did not let herself rest unless said break had been scheduled beforehand. Judging from the way she talks about her journals, it is highly likely the note taking time was scheduled as well.

The Power of Genius

 

One thing that stands out about Marie Curie as a person is her ability to maintain laser focus. When she was a teenager, her siblings would challenge each other to distract Curie from her books. It never worked. Sometimes she would admit she didn’t hear the family talking to her.

 

When Curie moved to France to study physics and mathematics, she was so poor she had to ration her food. Again, she did not let the physical hardships distract her from pursuing science.

 

And through it all, she would keep a journal.

 

Dedication, unwavering focus, and firmly separating work from personal life: these are the main lessons we can learn from Marie Curie’s note-taking techniques and productivity secrets. And as long as we do not carry radioactive material in our pockets like Curie did, we should be fine.

 

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How to Write Good Field Notes

If your job involves any amount of field work, knowing how to take field notes is a must. Unfortunately, Field Notes 101 was never on the curriculum, so everyone I’ve ever met just wings it.

 

And I’m not opposed to winging it, don’t get me wrong; but.

 

The problem is that eventually people start making identical mistakes which could be easily avoided.

 

Carefully storing The Very Important Journal in a zip-lock bag is for weirdos, nobody does that. (Until you lose half your work to some water.)

 

Why would I remember where I put my notes from 2016? (Until you need them ASAP; they are across the map. Bonus: the ink has faded to a ghost of its former self.)

 

Who needs my tattered notebook? (Until your whole suitcase goes missing.)

 

All of the above have an obvious solution:

TAKE DIGITAL NOTES

 

Personally, I would suggest voice notes. The reason is very practical: typing is slow. It requires you to look at the screen and keeps your hands busy. Scripter here is a good way to make sure you record accurate voice-to-text notes. It works offline, too, which is a plus.

 

Digital field notes have another advantage: you can use hashtags and keywords to sort them by topic. Create a short list of your keywords to keep the system efficient. It functions much, much better than a physical notebook.

 

Sketching by hand is great, but you should always take photos of your sketches after you’re done. You can store them online for extra assurance, and Google Drive is your friend.

 

(Same goes for videos. You should always keep the backup copies in the cloud.)

 

Scan your old field notes and save them both locally and online. Do not store journals in a humid place like the basement. Avoid direct natural light.

 

And if you are not sure how to take field notes like a pro, there are always your colleagues. Do not hesitate to pick their brains on the subject even you think they might not like it. You might be surprised by how much people enjoy sharing note-taking techniques, life hacks, and general advice.

 

Finally, consider buying a water- and fade-resistant ballpoint pen for your writing. As I mentioned before, it really pays off in the long run.

 

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Are You Safe From the AI Web Scraping?

The concept of the AI web scraping entered the public consciousness very recently, even by the tech world standards. It happened somewhere between the Cambridge Analytica scandal in 2018 and the time when ChatGPT went mainstream in 2022. 

 

Since then, we have learned one simple truth: the AI must get its knowledge from somewhere. It must be trained. It must absorb large quantities of information. And what is the easiest way to obtain information?

That’s right, by collecting data from the internet, or “scraping the web”.

 

As a pro-privacy tech company, we have been keeping a very close eye on this problem. Here is what we have to say.

 

AI: The Fastest Reader on the Web

 

The main problem with web scraping is that the AI can scrape anything. It could be Wikipedia – or your tax records. It could be your voice and facial data.

  • in 2019, IBM was caught scraping a million images from Flickr
  • Clearview AI has amassed more than 20 billion (!) photos from the web, including social media (and sought every US mugshot from the past 15 years)
  • Midjourney scraped ‘a hundred million’ artworks without the artists’ permission
  • Stable Diffusion is being sued for scraping millions of files from Getty Images
  • around 2014, Cambridge Analytica collected 50 million Facebook accounts to profile users and influence the US presidential election

And the list goes on.

 

ai-web-technology-mark-zuckerberg-meme

The thing is, most AI scraping goes unnoticed. No one is held accountable. Of course, the law protects your personal data to an extent, but you’re not going to know you’ve been “scraped”.

Wait, So the AI = Evil, Right?

The AI web scraping is not a bad thing, quite the opposite. You do it too when looking for the best deal in your area or booking a flight. 

 

When done ethically, automated web scraping is a great way to improve a neural network, which can help many people in the future.

However, anyone can write a piece of code and scrape the web. It’s fast. It’s simple. It’s our new reality.

 

There are 15-minute tutorials on the subject.

 

Your Facebook photo can be used by a compsci student for their semester project – or by a scammer who wants to construct a deepfake.

Let’s take voice data. It can be obtained from videos and sound files. You need around a minute of good quality audio to mimic a voice. We can expect the technology to grow, and a few seconds might be enough.

In the wrong hands, your voice can be cloned to arrange a spoofing scheme, steal your identity, ruin your reputation, identify you on the internet, or simply run pranks. Neither option sounds good.

Even With AI Web Scraping, Privacy Is Achievable

The brute force solution is: don’t put your voice or face on the internet. Ever.

 

But… come on.

 

555-come-on-now meme

Going “stealth” is rarely feasible. To many users, getting scraped by the AI would be preferable to deleting their photos. Most people need their online presence, either for work, business, or personal reasons.


The good strategy is to keep your sensitive data off the public internet. The AI might record your YouTube travel blog, but it won’t get your travel schedule, encrypted in a secure note taking app.

 

As a company, we have invested years into making wearables that can record sensitive data. We have gone to great lengths to protect our users. Data scraping has been another important challenge to solve. Luckily, our team is very good at encryption. Company policy is another crucial part of the effort.

  • secure software
  • secure hardware
  • appropriate policy

These are the key elements that ensure you will be safe from data scraping. Choose the apps to trust based on their encryption and transparent policies.

Web scraping is not the end of the world. It can be controlled, harnessed, and avoided. In the end, it’s not really the AI that’s collecting data but the humans behind the machine.

 

This article has been brought to you by Senstone. Our voice-to-text recorder is a leading solution on the productivity market. Learn more about our products here. To continue reading our blog, head over here. Stay secure – and stay awesome!

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Top 5 Unexpected Benefits of Wearable Technology

wearable-recording-device-technology

While wearables offer many benefits we’re familiar with, like helping us stay in shape, they have some underrated, surprising advantages. Even the devices you already know and love can impact your life positively in more ways than you expect.

This article is 100% good news, no flavor enhancer needed.

Benefit #1. Improved mental health.

The overabundance of technology is often cited as a source of stress, but many wearables benefit a user by reducing their stress levels.

 

For example, wearables can help alleviate anxiety. A device like Senstone Scripter minimizes your time online without sacrificing productivity, so you can take a break from the notifications and still get things done.

 

Fitness bracelets calm you down just by providing real-time statistics on your vitals, which makes you feel in control. In the long run, they help you make better lifestyle decisions, which again impacts mental well-being.

Breathing patterns is another thing wearable tech can track and notify you about. This can be used for breathing exercise and stress monitoring.

Benefit #2. Better posture.

 

Counting steps is one thing, but did you know wearables can correct your posture? This particular market is a diverse niche that offers many good options: from a gadget that vibrates when you start slouching to posture trackers that send detailed statistics to your phone. Whatever you choose, your back is going to thank you.


Benefit #3. Enhanced learning.

Wearable technology is a boon to educators because it gives them more options. VR and AR are especially useful in the classroom. They allow for truly interactive lessons, which gives students a better grasp on scientific concepts.

Voice-to-text wearables are another helpful innovation, and we have covered them in more detail here.

Benefit #4. Healthier relationships.

 

Another benefit of wearable technology that might surprise you is this: it can help you maintain a healthy relationship.

Again, this might seem counterintuitive to some people. We are used to computers and phones taking away from our family time, and a promise to solve this problem with more technology seems suspicious. And yet, wearables have succeeded.

Some of them make communication easier. Others are designed for couples, like the device that lets you feel your partner’s heartbeat in real time. “Friendship lamps” are a thing as well, a concept that is both incredibly neat and heart-warming.

 

And, of course, we have to mention virtual reality. With VR, you get to share a virtual space with another person. You can talk, explore the interactive environment, and play video games together. Physical distance doesn’t matter.

 

Benefit #5. Environmental awareness.

 

Wearables can help our planet in a number of creative ways, raising awareness on a personal level and actually making an impact. For instance, there is a cotton apron that captures carbon dioxide. There are also CO₂ tracker wristbands, and nothing makes climate change a more pressing issue than watching your carbon dioxide meter go haywire in the middle of the street.

 

To sum up, wearable technology is expanding. It’s gone beyond basic fitness bands. Now we can use its advantages, such as mobility, to solve problems in new, unconventional ways.

 

And you know what? Unconventional is our speciality. This article has been brought to you by Senstone. Check out this homepage to learn more about cutting edge wearables. Follow us on social media or contact us at team@senstone.io if you have any questions. Stay cool!

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How Do Wearables Connect to Your Smartphone?

Have you ever wondered how wearables connect to your smartphone? How do they “know” to send data to your phone specifically? What type of connection do they use? How does it work? Read on, and we’ll do our best to answer these questions.

 

Why Do Wearables Connect to Other Devices?

 

Before we get into how wearables connect to smartphones, let’s establish why they need to connect to your phone at all.

Unlike your laptop, most wearables are highly specialized. That means they were designed to perform only a certain amount of functions. For example, Senstone is a wearable voice-to-text recorder. Its functions are: 1) record audio on demand, 2) store the recordings, 3) make sure audio is transferred to the cloud storage and processed by artificial intelligence. As you can see, step 3 relegates the data to a more generalist and powerful machine.

 

This “division of labor” is what makes wearables so efficient. They connect to other devices and access their computing power. The ability to connect is a core feature, and wearables rely on it a lot.

  • Notifications are sent and received.
  • Commands allow you to control other devices.
  • Data is collected for storage and analysis. This is how you get your activity stats in real time.
  • More functions, such as AI spell checking, can be accessed by sending the data for processing to another computer.

In short, wearables really do need to connect to other devices. And your phone is perfect for the job!

Wearables & Wireless Connection(s)

 

We’ve come closer to answering the original question: how do wearables connect to smartphones? The reason why people ask this a lot is because they cannot see a visible proof of connection, i. e. wires.

 

Wireless technology shaped wearables as we know them. There would be no wireless headphones without a way for them to receive the music they are supposed to play.

With the many types of wearables we have today, there are several different technologies used to connect a gadget to your phone.

  • Bluetooth Low Energy (BLE) and Bluetooth Classic. These two standards are the most common ways for your wearable to connect to your phone. Devices supporting Bluetooth connect using ultra-high frequency radio waves. You need to enable Bluetooth on  both devices and pair them so that they automatically exchange data when nearby. The BLE standard is cheaper and better suited for low-power gadgets, and this is why most Bluetooth wearables run BLE.
  • Wi-Fi. Some wearables can connect to your smartphone via the regular Wi-Fi. This allows for a greater range and faster data transfer speeds. To connect your wearable to your smartphone via Wi-Fi, you usually need to connect both devices to the same Wi-Fi network and  then pair them.
  • Near Field Communication (NFC). NFC is a short-range technology that allows for contactless communication between two devices in very close proximity (4 cm or less). Some wearables have NFC capabilities, allowing you to pair them with your smartphone by simply holding the devices close together. Contactless payments is the usual reason for running NFC on a wearable.
  • ANT+. An ultra-low-power protocol. Unlike others on the list, ANT is meant for sports wearables.

Some wearables can use more than one protocol. The specific methods of connectivity will heavily depend on the make and model of wearable and smartphone, so you can always refer to the user manual for more information on how to connect your gadgets.


This post has been brought to you by Senstone. As a company, we have been actively contributing to wearable technology for years. You can visit our homepage – or read another article about cutting-edge inventions and trends. Stay cool!

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The Digital Divide & Why We Should Fight It

Our world is facing another challenge: the so-called digital divide. This term is used to describe the growing technological disparity between certain countries or social strata, the gap in technology access between the richer areas and those who didn’t luck out.

 

The divide can be caused by several factors:

  • Physical location. Lack of imported gadgets or parts, low economic development, remote and/or inaccessible regions, isolated economies, little to no infrastructure all contribute to the digital divide.
  • Low income. Many people cannot use new technology simply because they cannot afford it. 24% of adult people with household incomes below $30,000/year don’t own a smartphone. 40% of those with lower incomes don’t have home broadband services or don’t own a PC. Location influences income also, with certain regions being poorer and/or experiencing low purchasing power.
  • Low literacy. College graduates have a much better grasp on tech due to their education, and they usually own more gadgets.
  • Low motivation. Some people possess the necessary income and education to use the full potential of technology, but choose not to. Mostly this is due to the lack of motivation (“I don’t need it”) and age (“This is too different from what I’m used to”). Luckily, there are one-button gadgets like Senstone Scripter, but they are far and few.

All of the above can be countered with policies, reforms, and awareness campaigns. While such sweeping measures can seem too drastic, they are completely justified.



Why Closing the Digital Divide Is Worth the Effort

The digital divide concerns everyone, even those who don’t experience its immediate effects. Since the industry has become globalized, with supply chains spanning the entire planet, a physically distant event or phenomenon can influence the unsuspecting citizens around the globe.

Let’s consider a city that experiences a bad case of digital divide, such as the lack of internet access. It creates all sorts of problems for the state:

  • problems implementing digital solutions such as eID, remote education, billing, mobile banking
  • creating a real-life divide between those who can access technology and those who can’t
  • fewer citizens can become skilled workers
  • low income cycle: cannot afford new technology – cannot make money using it – cannot afford new technology

uninformed voters are easier to manipulate into supporting backwards and/or harmful policies

 

 

Reversing the trend will bring a lot of benefits to the tech industry of the city and, by extension, the rest of the world.

  • more clients
  • more demand
  • more skilled workers
  • more opportunities


The community will directly profit from the policies aiming to close the digital divide, and the effects are going to last for generations.

  • better education
  • higher income
  • job opportunities
  • easier communication

Everybody wins.

 

How to Bridge the Digital Divide?

The digital divide is a relatively recent trend, and governments and companies are only just starting to catch up with reality.

In the US, policies are being implemented to ensure access to the broadband internet for all Americans. The issues are mostly local, with rural and tribal areas overrepresented in the statistics, and the percent of Americans without broadband access ranges between 6 and 12% depending on the study.

 

The US solution can be boiled down to a few bullet points:

  • federal programs that help cover the cost of communication services
  • broadband service discounts
  • promoting mobile and satellite internet
  • avoid unnecessary regulation of ISPs
  • e-learning vouchers for students

Other countries, like India, where the digital divide problem is much more severe (half the Indians don’t have access to broadband), have had moderate success when dealing with it. A lesson we can learn from them is simple: lack of systemic approach undermines all effort.

To conclude, it’s important to remember that the digital divide can be reversed, but fighting it has to become the business of policymakers. As regular netizens, we can do our best to draw attention to the problem and support the candidates who focus on communities and infrastructure.

 

This article has been brought to you by Senstone Inc. We are dedicated to making advanced technology accessible to everyone regardless of age and technical know-how. Visit our homepage at senstone.io to learn more.

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Inclusive Design in Tech: Top 5 Examples

If you’re looking for examples of inclusive design, you might be surprised to learn that many features we now take for granted were invented with the goal to promote inclusivity. In this article, we showcase some of them to illustrate just how deeply inclusivity has impacted the world of tech.

 

Inclusive Design Vs. Universal Design

 

Before we start listing examples of inclusive design, there is one more thing. Inclusive design does not equal universal design. The latter is aimed at the average user. In fact, universal design removes any possible adjustments that could be made for a certain audience (size, shape, even color) to make the item usable to as many people as possible.

 

On the other hand, inclusive design improves the product for a specific subset of consumers while representing as many of those subsets as possible. Most manufacturers do their best to combine both principles. You could even argue that inclusiveness is a different approach to universal.

 

Here are top 5 examples of inclusive design in tech.

1. Transcription & Voice Input

 

There are many reasons why a person can find it hard to input text via conventional means. Voice technology is one of the best ways to ensure typing is accessible to everyone.

Speech-to-text has become the staple of many apps, both general-purpose (Google Keyboard) and specialized (Senstone). While the former focuses on simple texts and commands, the latter is capable of smart editing and formatting.

All in all, artificial intelligence has made voice input a full-fledged alternative to regular typing.

2. Support For Non-English Symbols

 

This inclusivity feature is especially important because it helps people from around the world access products and services developed with English language in mind.

Many surnames feature hyphens, apostrophes, and/or various diacritics. Some full names are simply too long if you only account for English (for example, Picasso is short for Pablo Diego José Francisco de Paula Juan Nepomuceno María de los Remedios Cipriano de la Santísima Trinidad Ruiz y Picasso). Not to mention the Roman script is not the only one in the world.

3. Font Size

 

One of the most common inclusivity features is font size adjustment. According to WHO, more than 2 billion people suffer some form of vision impairment, so it’s safe to say the demand is high.

 

Bigger text allows to reduce eye strain, helping your eyesight in the long run and preventing the discomfort caused by squinting. And those who only wear glasses or contacts on special occasions can avoid reaching for their glasses every time they’d like to check a notification.

4. Automatic Subtitling

 

Automatic subtitles is another great instance of inclusive design. YouTube, for example, is famous for its instant speech-to-text and translation of video subtitles. While the quality is pretty great as of now, it just keeps getting better as Google improves and upgrades the software.

Subtitles are important for many people, most of all for the hard of hearing. But they are also helpful if you have trouble understanding the language or simply watch your videos on mute.

5. Color Adjustments

 

Inclusive design examples encompass certain options that can completely alter the experience. Color blindness mode is one of them. Be it a web browser or a video game, letting users adjust the colors to their liking is a good idea. 1 in 12 men are color blind, so the number of consumers who process visuals differently is always significant. For many of them, the regular color scheme can render the product unusable.



This article has been brought to you by Senstone Inc. We are dedicated to making advanced technology accessible to everyone regardless of age and technical know-how. Visit our homepage at senstone.io to learn more.

 

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Miniaturization of Technology & How It Affects You

Progress never stands still, and the miniaturization of technology is one of its most significant steps; like the Moon landing but less flashy. It has revolutionized the way we interact with the world, but a revolution can be hard to spot when you’re immersed in it.

 

In this article we will explore the ways miniaturization has changed our lives for the better.

 

What is the Miniaturization of Technology?

 

Miniaturization of technology could also be called “shrinking”. Devices shrink, that is, we successfully manufacture them to be smaller. Remember when the TV looked like a box and weighed like a small elephant?

 

 

TV sets evolved in several steps. They strived not only for image quality but also the miniaturization of the whole set.

 

  • 410 kg, or 903 lbs – weight of the first TV (try to mount that on a wall)
  • 40 kg, or 88 lbs – weight of an old 25” CRT TV
  • 5.3 kg, or 11.6 lbs – weight of a 32” QLED TV

And TV is not the sole example. Pretty much everything tech keeps getting reduced in size. Phones, personal computers, cameras, headphones, data storage devices, even cars.

 

Advances in electronics have made it possible to fit an enormous quantity of transistor nodes on a square nanometre of space. This means the actual working component can be minuscule and the body surrounding it can be scaled down and/or enhanced.

 

The Impact of Miniaturized Tech

 

Apart from the fact that the miniaturization of technology has enabled us to create new types of gadgets, it has also changed our perceptions and expectations. This effect is not very obvious, but its importance is often understated.

 

When faced with two gadgets of otherwise identical features, we are going to pick the smaller one.

 

 

No one would buy an old-school brick-like smartphone. As consumers, we steer the manufacturers with our money. We also recognise (sometimes subconsciously) the direction in which the world of technology is headed.

 

Is this a good thing?

 

Personally, I think it’s great, and I know many people would agree with this opinion. We have set the bar for portable, miniaturized tech, because it’s convenient. If you can take your whole archive of documents and fit it onto a tiny chip, there is no reason to deny yourself the efficiency. Once you get a taste of the freedom, you make it your standard.

 

But we also dream of something more. The era of wearables is beginning in earnest, with AI-powered wearable recorders and consumer-grade exoskeletons. Reduction in size combined with the increase in power seems to be one of those inspiring trends that you just hope keeps on keeping on.

 

This post has been brought to you by Senstone. As a company, we have been actively contributing to the miniaturization of technology for years. You can visit our homepage – or read another article about cutting-edge inventions and trends. Stay cool!

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HoloLens in the U.S. Army: Failed?

Although Microsoft has successfully adapted its HoloLens for the military, it seems something has gone wrong in the recent months. When Joe Biden signed the $1.75 trillion government funding bill, it became clear that the Army’s request for another batch of the Microsoft headsets had been denied.

 

Why? Has the whole idea been scrapped? What’s going on?

 

Augmented Reality Warfare

 

HoloLens and the military are not an unusual pairing by any means, nor is it unexpected. Microsoft Inc. and the U.S. army have been making deals since 2018 – this much has been made public. The corporation reworked its “civilian” HoloLens headset into Integrated Visual Augmentation System (IVAS) suited for the battlefield. It brought Microsoft a contract that could be worth the whopping $21.8 billion.

 

According to the news, IVAS’ primary purpose is displaying data such as low-light vision, mission data, location map, and other parameters. The goal is to increase situational awareness of a soldier, in transit or dismounted. Of course, a wearable like that is also going to be very useful for training and simulation…

 

Provided it makes the cut.

 

In October 2022, a leaked report caused quite a stir describing multiple shortcomings of the updated HoloLens as field tested by thousands of U.S. soldiers over the course of (at least) two years. According to the report, testers experienced nausea and headaches in addition to eye strain, and the symptoms persisted for hours. The glowing display was visible enough from outside that it could have “gotten us killed” in real life combat.

 

And so the Congress has ostensibly reacted to these findings. When the Army requested $400 million to buy 6,900 modified HoloLens headsets from Microsoft in 2023, the answer was “no”.

 

The Future of IVAS

 

Despite the difficulties and “low acceptance”, the HoloLens military tests are going to continue. Instead of the above-mentioned $400 million, the Congress approved $40 million to spend on the 1.2 version of the headset. And shortly before that, $125 million were allocated to spend on fixing the old model’s weak spots.

 

The new HoloLens for the Army promises an updated form factor (less of a helmet and more of a goggles), presumably to make the device less conspicuous. A range of improvements to the display aim to remove the negative symptoms experienced by the wearer. There is even talk about integrating IVAS to the Bradley platform, making the soldier retain their connection to the vehicle upon dismount and see what the Bradley sensors see when inside the car.

 

One thing is clear: the military needs wearable AR goggles. All the data gathered by sensors has to be delivered to the unit on site as efficiently as possible. The old-timey radios no longer suffice. We’re looking at yet another cutting edge technology entering the military.


This article has been brought to you by Senstone Inc. If you want to learn about wearable technology and its impact, visit our homepage or follow us on social media. Your productivity is our mission.

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Here Is Why Speech Recognition Is the Future of Customer Service

As companies seek new ways to improve customer experience, it looks like speech recognition and customer service work great in tandem. While many voice technology solutions are still being explored, some of them have already made their way into call centers all over the world.

 

Speech Recognition: the What & the How

 

On the whole, speech recognition is the technology that allows a program to identify and “decipher” human speech.

 

The key difference from simply recording audio is that by processing your voice the computer “understands” what you’re saying. This is usually referred to as natural language processing (NLP). Complex algorithms process the audio, breaking it apart into words and phrases. They assess the context of every response and even the speaker’s emotions.

 

The data retrieved by processing speech can be used for many purposes.

 

Most commonly, speech is transcribed. Speech-to-text conversion allows for manual transcription. This is how you get voice typing (dictation), YouTube’s automatically generated subtitles, and audio translation.

 

Using voice commands to control software is the next logical step.

 

This is where customer service comes in.

 

Voicebots and You

 

Speech recognition in customer service as of 2022 works through “voicebots”.

 

Widely used by call centers, a voicebot is a piece of software that allows the customer to communicate with an interactive voice response (IVR) system.

 

You can still find older IVRs that don’t use voice recognition. Instead you are prompted to press 1, 2, or 3 to pick an option from the menu. On the other hand, the new conversational IVRs don’t require you to touch the phone at all.

 

A conversational IVR processes natural language and uses it as input. Based on whether the caller’s audio contains certain cues, the IVR can respond by providing information, asking questions, or performing actions.

 

Examples:

  • Contacting ISP to report internet connection issues. Before you get through to the human operator, IVR is going to ask you what happened. Then it’s going to suggest you first try to switch your router on and off or check the integrity of the cable.
  • Automating sales calls, phone surveys. As a business owner, you can utilize a voicebot to have it call a list of numbers and offer the product to those interested, addressing their questions and helping them complete the purchase.

As you can see, a voicebot can help your call center operators deal with the deluge of calls by filtering out simple requests that can be handled automatically. This enhances the customer experience by miles: the caller doesn’t have to form the queue waiting for an available operator to finally pick up the phone.

 

All in all, voicebots offer many perks, especially if you’re working to optimize and improve your customer service.

 

  • instant communication; voice recognition makes it easier for customer and business to connect right away, no time and effort wasted
  • reduced costs; with a good voicebot, call centers can hire fewer operators-or scale up
  • out-of-the-box, easily integrated solutions
  • automated troubleshooting; changing user info, providing information, and so on can be done without engaging company employees

As voice technology continues to improve and evolve, we can expect voicebots to grow more sophisticated. If things keep progressing at the current rate, soon voicebots are going to become indistinguishable from human custom service workers.

 

If you want to know more about voice technology, visit our homepage at senstone.io.