Wednesday, 10 July 2019 22:39

Nuance's new AI Lightning Engine delivers voice biometrics, understanding and exposes 'deep fakes'


Conversational and cognitive AI innovator, Nuance, has announced a new AI engine "combining voice biometrics and natural language understanding technologies to authenticate people on-the-fly, or to identify deep fake voices—significantly cutting authentication time while anticipating individual needs with a personalised yet automated response".

At a high level, Nuance tells us it is "the first-ever biometrics solution to bypass the industry standard of using a passphrase to validate identity (such as saying “my voice is my password”) to offer frictionless experiences, and while it’s being used by enterprises now, it is a core technology that can be applied to any device, smart speaker, etc. for security and convenience.

The new AI tool "uses 4th generation deep neural nets (DNNs) and combines voice biometrics and natural language understanding to deliver more personalised and human-like experiences across voice channels.

"With the new engine, a single human command to a smart speaker, virtual assistant or IVR is enough for that system to understand who is talking and what it is they want in as quick as half a second".

Nuance notes that "consumers are increasingly using voice to engage with the world around them – from communicating to their cars for directions to accessing their bank accounts via their smart speakers.

"The Nuance Lightning Engine allows consumers to set up a unique voice profile as part of an organisation’s account enrolment. When they contact that organisation on a voice channel, all they need to do is speak naturally and their identity is confirmed almost immediately, and a personalised interaction begins. No passwords or knowledge-based questions are required.

"Until now, the industry standard for authenticating someone through voice biometrics analysis with so little speech was through a specific passphrase. The Nuance Lightning Engine cuts that standard speech time in half, allowing organisations to validate a given person’s identity through natural utterances faster than the human ear."

Brett Beranek, the general manager of Security Business at Nuance's Enterprise Division, said: "Voice biometrics not only secures the voice channel, but when combined with NLU, is the foundation to frictionless experiences for consumers.

“With the engine, organisations don’t have to spend time checking to see if a customer is who they say they are when they engage on voice channels. Instead, they can immediately start personalising the interaction as soon as that person speaks, making it an effective, enjoyable and natural engagement.”

Nuance said its Lightning Engine "has been made available to a number of strategic customers through the Nuance Intelligent Engagement Platform", and that "the technology is expected to be generally available" in the US Autumn, which is Spring in the Southern Hemisphere.

More information on Nuance’s Conversational AI and Biometrics capabilities is here

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Alex Zaharov-Reutt

One of Australia’s best-known technology journalists and consumer tech experts, Alex has appeared in his capacity as technology expert on all of Australia’s free-to-air and pay TV networks on all the major news and current affairs programs, on commercial and public radio, and technology, lifestyle and reality TV shows. Visit Alex at Twitter here.

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