VOICE Summit 2020, Virtual Edition Roundup

Moshe Beauford

Over 50 sessions and lots of content to sort through at this year's VOICE Summit

Amazon Google
VOICE Summit 2020, Virtual Edition Roundup

Held this year, Oct. 5-15, 2020’s virtual lineup included several sessions meant to engage attendees, as well as plenty of insightful keynotes. Even though the event was virtual, there were several hands-on workshops for attendees to learn how to create, build, as well as market some of the most contemporary innovations in voice technology. In total, conference organizers say there were more than 5,000 developers, startups, and executives who attended the online event, making it, by their claim, the largest voice-technology conference.


Jeff Blankenburg

Starting the summit off with this year’s opening keynote was Jeff Blankenburg from Amazon’s Alexa Development Team. Alexa was also on display for two full days on the event’s virtual main stage. Conference organizers also teamed up with Google Assistant for ‘Google Assistant Developer Day.’ There, attendees learned about many new capabilities Google’s creating for developers.

Back in 2016, Google introduced Google Assistant, and today over 500 million people use Google Assistant each day to perform daily tasks at work and in their personal lives. At the conference, Google launched several features and integrations including the fact that the Google Assistant can now control Android Apps.

“We’re extending the convenience of simple Assistant voice commands to work with your favorite Android apps”

Google also made the announcement on stage, which got virtual attendees excited about the future of voice technology gauging from the chatter I saw on social channels. The new experience from Google means that opening and searching within Android apps using the voice prompt ‘Hey Google’ is today a possibility for all Assistant-enabled Android phones.

Google Assistant users can not only open and search apps, but they can play music, post on social media, order food, pay back a friend, and hail a ride. The list of possibilities is extensive. This experience is available via more than 30 apps located within the Google Play Store. It is, however, only available in English (albeit on a global scale), with more languages to come. With the announcement, Google pretty much stole the show, but there were a lot more valuable chats that happened, too.

Over the past few weeks, there have been a ton of sessions that, for anyone who attended, likely proved incredibly valuable to them. Chuong K. Nguyen, Voice Product Designer, Comcast Corporation, Rebecca Rolfe, Voice Platforms Product Designer at NPR, Noelle Silver, Founder of WomenIn.AI, and the AI Leadership Institute, as well as David Code, AI/VIU Writer at LinkedIn, all spoke at the conference this year. Curious about what you missed? You can get a ‘Summit Pass’ free of charge which gives you access to select talks, panels, roundtables, as well as keynotes.

Google Assistant Developer Day video:

A ‘Premium Access Pass’ extends all the perks of a Summit Pass but also offers unlimited access to all sessions and keynotes, live workshops held throughout the duration of the summit. There are even on-demand sessions available following the conference. This month is packed with more virtual events than one could have imagined, so stay tuned for continued event coverage of some of tech’s biggest conferences that now take place in digital forms because of the COVID-19.



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