Voice User Interfaces to Bridge the Digital Divide
We are building voice-based systems for rural populations in developing countries that lack internet access. Our aim is to create voice user interfaces (VUIs for short) usable with any conventional telephone, providing rural areas in developing countries with access to web-based services they have until now been excluded from.
Millions of people all around the world do not have access to information technology, including, and most importantly, the internet – a situation which constitutes a major inhibitor to social, educational and financial inclusion. This disconnect most strongly affects poor rural regions in developing countries. We are working on solutions that bridge this digital divide: Our technology enables these communities to access internet-based applications via voice input using conventional phones.
We are researching and applying machine learning tools and methodologies to create tailor-made, unique voice interfaces for developing countries and underrepresented languages & dialects. Voice is becoming the interface of the new generation in industrial countries, controlling automated homes and self-driving cars. We aim to take this technology to places where the difference it can make is not merely one of convenience, but of participation.