AI voice services: Productivity, safety, and compliance for the mobile workforce

By | 2 minute read | December 23, 2019

Enterprise voice services that include push-to-talk (PTT) are useful in industries that require 24/7 communications among colleagues, teams and partners. But what if AI were integrated with PTT voice?

Orion brings those solutions together by embedding IBM Watson services in its enterprise voice solutions for the mobile workforce. Watson enables Orion users to access and act upon contextual information—like worker location, movement and stress levels.

Now, AI helps teams complete safety checks and standard operating procedures. Tone analysis alerts workers to danger. And an alerts workflow triggers an emergency notification upon hearing the keyword “help”—all thanks to the futuristic capabilities of Watson technology.

We deliver this to global enterprise customers today via the Orion Voice Platform, which offers enterprise voice services such as PTT voice, location services and business automation. Similar to walkie-talkies or two-way radio, our platform enables heads-up, real-time voice at the push of a button.

Yet we knew PTT voice could do more if integrated with AI, so we turned to IBM. We’re an IBM Embedded Solutions Partner developing voice apps powered by IBM Watson services from IBM Cloud. They’re so futuristic that people often compare Orion with Watson to a Star Trek communicator badge.

Actionable insights from voice

Watson services with Orion can transform communications in hospitality, transportation, field services, manufacturing, mining, energy, retail and healthcare—wherever analytical intelligence can add value to the spoken word. Smooth AI integration enables the Orion platform to listen to a user’s voice, extract metadata and synthesize it into actionable insights.

As an example, consider an enterprise where teams come together from around the world. Watson language translation understands more than 60 languages and automatically translates them in real time. People are able to communicate regardless of the languages they speak.

The ability to sense stress

Watson analysis of a speaker’s personality and emotions adds another dimension—the ability to identify stress. By tracking a user’s conversations, Watson learns speech patterns, detects stress in tone and sentiment, and triggers emergency workflows. Thus, stress in a manufacturing worker’s voice could alert the team to a dangerous situation.

Similarly, Watson natural language processing powers an Emergency Alerts Workflow for workers that initiates a series of metadata-rich notifications after hearing “help” or other keywords. The message is then transcribed with a GPS location pin so colleagues can directly respond.

Automating standard procedure

Another Watson voice bot increases safety at a mining and energy company. Replacing standard operating procedures (SOPs) like manual calls and paper forms, the bot prompts workers throughout the day about their safety, logs the answers and initiates safety workflows when needed. Similar apps automate environmental inspections, workplace audits, retail inventory lookups and other SOPs.

It’s exciting when customers take a routine task that takes hours or days and with a bot reduce it to seconds or minutes.

A Watson voice bot can also transform how hospital and emergency dispatchers handle routine, repetitive questions from EMTs, such as what is the nearest hospital, or what hospitals have capacity for new patients. Emergency Medical Technicians in major metropolitan areas ask these questions 170 to 200 times a day. With AI, the bot queries the dispatcher’s database and speaks the result. The time saved helps them offer better care and enables the dispatcher to focus on more urgent jobs.

Orion Labs aims to transform voice communications by letting people take AI with them. By combining the Orion platform with Watson services, Orion delivers the future today.

Watch Jesse Robbins discuss the power of adding AI to voice communications: