Get What's Appening - your weekly tech roundup, and more!
From the Blog_

A Revolution in UX: Developing Conversational Apps with Generative AI

January 17, 2024

Generative AI, like ChatGPT, has revolutionized the way we work. It has empowered us to enhance the functionality of our apps and save valuable time through functional tasks and APIs. However, the true revolution lies in the user experience, and this revolution is happening right now.

The first iteration of the World Wide Web allowed us to share information like never before. However, it was static and challenging to maintain, lacking interactivity. Then came Web 2.0, which, despite still being clunky, introduced interaction and data input through web forms. Over the years, data input screens have evolved from long and cumbersome single-page forms to user-friendly, step-by-step wizards. TypeForm has led the charge by creating an entire product around this. Although these improvements have made forms less intimidating, typing is still a tedious task, especially on the small screens of our smartphones.

Over 7 Billion Voice Messages Sent Per Day.

Enter Generative AI, and the related voice-to-speech, and speech-to-voice technology. Human-like conversations are on the verge of replacing traditional forms. It has already begun organically, with masses of people already opting to send voice messages instead of typing within their messaging apps. On WhatsApp alone, there are over 7 billion voice messages sent every single day! The demand for a more natural and effortless communication method is undeniable.

Meanwhile, in just the past few months, text-to-speech engines have made incredible strides forward. Startups like Eleven Labs and WellSaid labs offer remarkable text-to-speech capabilities with incredibly human-sounding voices, that are also now available through open APIs. This means any application can leverage these capabilities. Not only can we choose from a wide range of off-the-shelf voice options, but we can also train these models to replicate our own voices or those of celebrities (with permission of course). Soon, we will even be able to enjoy any digital book as an audiobook read by our favorite celebrity (this will be a licensing market in itself)  or a loved one who has passed away. This seemingly strange concept can be truly beautiful and comforting for those grieving. For Christmas last year, a St Louis man surprised his mom with a message from his deceased Dad offering a gift that no one could have imagined just a few years ago.

Hey Siri, Do that Thing When I Arrive at that Place.

On the other side of the equation, there's speech-to-text transcription. Companies like Apple and Google have made huge progress in this area, making our phones extremely accurate in converting spoken words into written text. Voice has replaced text for many writers, as well as, of course, just managing reminders in to-do lists - “Hey Google, remind me to move the laundry!”. Incidentally, this entire blog was not written but dictated. We practice what we preach. :)

Completing the puzzle is Generative AI, and of course ChatGPT. It excels at interpreting our communication, even when we're not very articulate. This tech enables us to categorize and extract answers from streams of text, making it easier to organize and reuse data. Structured data can be stored, queried and shared easily. It’s been at the core of all modern day applications, and still with Generative AI, this remains crucial.

With these three components combined, we can create magic. At 3Advance, our expertise lies in designing and developing user experiences for mobile and web platforms. Until now, it’s been variations of traditional forms - input fields and submit buttons - but now we can engage in conversations. Rather than tediously typing, users can simply answer questions just as they would in a normal conversation with a real human. These are the types of apps we are building today.

Bye Bye, Web Forms. Hello, Human Conversations.

So, how does it work you ask? Well, it's simple. Apps we design will present users with a series of questions one by one. These questions can be displayed on the screen or read out by a generated voice that resembles that of an expert. Just imagine sitting in a doctor's office, where the doctor asks you simple questions with intelligent follow-ups. Whether you're holding your phone or wearing AirPods, you can listen to each question and provide your answer as best as you can. If you’re not being clear enough, additional details are required, so more questions can be automatically generated and asked until all the necessary information is collected. Before submitting your final response, you'll have the opportunity to review the structured data to ensure its accuracy. Or not.

The possibilities are endless. Conversational apps will replace cumbersome forms and significantly reduce waiting times. It no longer matters what language you speak either. Generative AI is destroying that barrier that has existed since the beginning of time (or the failed Tower of Babel project, whatever). Administrative overhead is about to be drastically reduced, along with our frustration, and isn’t that the promise of technology after all?

At 3Advance, we are thrilled to be at the forefront of this user experience revolution. We have already integrated this cutting-edge technology into our apps, with upcoming releases including doctor-patient pre-diagnosis tools. While it won't replace the expertise of a doctor, it will expedite the intake process and flag situations where immediate intervention is needed. This is just one example of how these conversational apps can revolutionize various industries.

Enough Frustration. Join the UX Revolution.

If you're an innovator, entrepreneur or your organization is screaming out for digital transformation, we invite you to connect with us today. AI will be part of your solution, no doubt, but we can advise on how, and figure out together where life can be simplified - for your staff or your customers. Let's discuss how we can integrate voice conversations into your applications or workflows. It's time to move beyond typing and embrace the power of natural conversation.