Most anyone who’s talked to me in the past couple of years knows my interest in AI. The more I looked into AI and it’s potential impact on marketing, the more fascinated I became with the voiceweb. Accessing content currently on the web, via a voice interface.
While voice offers challenges that text and graphic information doesn’t, it’s also the most natural interface developed so far. If you’ve played around with either of the two major devices — Amazon’s Echo or Google’s Home — you’ve no doubt seen the potential. And the likely challenges.
Given how reliant these systems are on AI, how much AI stands to progress in the very near future, and how early we are in the voicebot game, I think it’s pretty clear that we’ve only scratched the surface of the voiceweb.
So for me, the personal challenge was, How to immerse myself in this new channel of established growth and greater longer-term potential?
After considering a number of content types to develop, I came to the idea of a simple, short-form comedy podcast about two voicebots.
Homie & Lexy.
As the website says:
Homie & Lexy is a podcast about two voicebots residing in the same house. When their owners step out, the voicebots discuss the perplexing human world around them.
The show integrates themes arising from the growing presence of artificial intelligence in our lives. Each episode is about 2 minutes.
Meet the stars of the show.
The podcast’s short format is, by design, well-suited for the voiceweb, as I’m currently in development on voice apps for both Amazon and Google’s platforms. Once finished, the podcasts can be easily played on either platform. (Yes, podcasts can be played on Echo’s and Home’s currently, but having an app streamlines the process and makes it more reliable that episodes will be played upon invocation.)
The short comedy format is also a kind of return to one of my favorite advertising mediums, radio. Something I did a lot of in my early days of advertising. My radio-writing background, combined with my years of digital marketing experience and lifelong early adoption of technology, makes Homie & Lexy feel like the completion of a circle. The weekly episode process involves comedy writing, digital audio production, and then distribution and promotion.
The voices are generated using Amazon’s Polly text-to-speech technology, using Speech Synthesis Markup Language (SSML) to push, pull and wrangle the right prosody out of the voices.
If you listen to podcasts, or if this sounds interesting, please listen and subscribe at any of the providers below. Thanks.