What comes to mind when you think of a virtual digital assistant (VDA)? Is it Cortana or Siri, or perhaps you envision something more futuristic like Tony Stark’s remarkable personal assistant Jarvis? There is an interesting new report about how these VDAs will be in our lives more and more in the near future.
While they may range in form and technological capabilities, VDAs by definition are automated digital systems that assist the human user through understanding natural language in written or spoken form.
Also varied is how assistance is delivered. For instance, speech recognition technology (e.g. Siri) can manage scheduling, dictation for emails, or text messages, while VDA can also be accessed online when searching a company’s site for answers. Self-service assistance can help users navigate through a backend database of frequently asked questions (FAQs) to deliver instant and personalized customer service.
“Virtual digital assistants represent the fusion of speech recognition, natural language processing (NLP), and artificial intelligence (AI) and hold the potential to have a transformative impact on consumer and enterprise user interfaces,” says principal analyst Peter Cooney.
Usage of VDAs in the enterprise is expanding rapidly. In fact, a new report from market intelligence firm Tractica forecasts that annual enterprise VDA systems will more than triple by 2020.
Banking and financial services was estimated to be the largest market in 2014, however, strong growth is anticipated for all end markets as VDAs are deployed more widely on enterprise websites, in call centers and as enterprise assistants for remote workers.
Among a key driver for growth is technology, and perhaps most important among that is Natural Language Processing (NLP), a field of computer science, artificial intelligence, and computational linguistics that focuses on the human–computer interaction. NLP is an essential technology for any VDA solution as it enables a system to actually learn and understand how humans actually speak rather than using keywords or language structure.
Annual enterprise VDA systems will more than triple by 2020.
Tractica’s report, “Virtual Digital Assistants”, examines the market and technology surrounding VDAs for consumer devices and enterprise applications. Detailed profiles are included for 10 VDAs as well as 26 key industry players – including Inbenta.
If you would like to learn more about Inbenta’s Virtual Assistant offerings, click here.
An Executive Summary of the report is available for free download on the firm’s website.
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