Tech giant Amazon has launched a new text-to-voice service that uses artificial intelligence technology to adapt to a brand’s unique persona.
Amazon Web Services has already worked with the National Australia Bank (NAB) through the new Brand Voice feature to develop a friendly Australian English AI voice for its customer service branch.
The new service comes from AWS’ Amazon Polly, a team of artificial intelligence research scientists and linguists.
It is an “exclusive, high-quality, neural text-to-speech voice built exclusively to represent a brand’s persona”.
The service aims to provide a more unique artificial voice that better represents a company’s brand and is tailored to their offerings.
Brand Voice can translate text into realistic speech, and links companies with Amazon’s engineers to build AI-generated voices that represent the personas.
It utilises the same deep learning technology that powers Amazon’s Alexa service to allow the voices to acquire intonation patterns from natural speech data and reproduces the voice in a similar style or tone.
“Emerging technology like neural text-to-speech leverages machine learning tools to turn customer interactions such as contact centre calls or virtual assistants into engaging and human-like experiences designed to reflect a brand’s persona,” AWS APAC head of cognitive CX Philip Zammit said.
“With KPMG’s latest Annual Experience Excellence Report revealing Australians rank personalisation as a key driver of brand advocacy, we are encouraging customers to consider how they can invest in this next-generation technology to create memorable customer connections.”
The new service “opens up a breadth of opportunities” for companies across a range of industries, an Amazon Polly blog post said.
“Amazon Polly uses neural text-to-speech technology and generative AI techniques to not only create better-quality voices, but also apply or match speaking styles of a persona you want the voice to reflect,” the blog post said.
“This deep learning model enables voices to acquire intonation patterns from natural speech data and reproduce utterances in a similar style or tone.”
To mark the launch, Amazon Polly has worked with NAB to develop a unique AI voice for the big bank.
The end product is a friendly Australian English neural text-to-speech voice for NAB, as part of the bank’s broader contact centre migration to Amazon Connect.
NAB general manager of Digital and Assisted Channels Laurent De Segur said it was important for the company to retain its own unique persona when utilising cutting-edge technologies.
“We are looking to Amazon Connect to help us improve the experience customers have when they contact our call centres,” De Segur said.
“For that reason, it was also important that the voice we created using Amazon Polly Brand Voice felt both uniquely NAB and consistent with our position and what our customers expect when they call us.
“We’re thrilled to be a global leader using this voice-first digital innovation – and even more excited to see how our customers interact with the voice and experience as we gradually roll this out.”
Amazon has also worked with Kentucky Fried Chicken Canada to create a voice-activated Southern US English Colonel Sanders that users can talk to through any Alexa-enabled Amazon device.
Through this, chicken lovers in Canada can chat with the Colonel and even order food from KFC.
Amazon Polly is part of the AWS Cognitive CX suite, which includes data-driven, AI-enabled CX capabilities, offering machine learning and AI services for customers including Village Cinemas, Reckon, Queensland Health and New South Wales Health.
With Village Cinemas, AWS implemented a customised text-to-voice session time recording system which now saves the company up to 30 hours each week which had been spent manually recording the movie session times to a hotline daily.