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April 2020

Monopoly top hat

Aiqudo + Banking = Voice To Transaction

By App Actions, Voice, Voice Search No Comments

We all remember playing playing the game Monopoly as kids right? Well I recently stumbled upon a version of the game that uses voice commands to control the game flow and act as the “bank” – a role most of us avoided so we wouldn’t have to deal with all the annoying transactions such as selling properties and buildings, collecting taxes, exchanging currency, and paying out people as they passed “GO”. Admittedly, it’s a novel use for voice commands in a classic game. But what about using voice to manage apps controlling our real money?

Voice to power more than games

Back in June of last year, we wrote a blog post that talked about the power of voice to perform activities in mobile banking apps. The post specifically referenced Bank of America’s Erica virtual voice assistant as a tool to help users accomplish common, often time-consuming banking activities without the need to memorize complex menus or worse, speak to the dreaded online customer service representative.  The net result of this; a simple, pleasant, user experience that builds brand loyalty and customer retention.  

Enter Aiqudo Voice to Action®

Well, that got me thinking. I’ve been an E*Trade banking customer for years and all this time I’ve never really used voice to make payments, transfer money or check balances. 

Nonetheless, I decided to see if I could recreate and hopefully improve upon my previous experience – this time using our very own Q Actions app.  The following video highlights some of my efforts. 

But can I trust this new way of banking?

Yes. You may have noticed in the video that I am not providing credentials to access my account in E*Trade.  That’s because I’m already authenticated. Previous to shooting the video, I had provided credentials, by way of fingerprint biometric, as part of the very first action execution.  Note that Aiqudo did not manage this process; it was handled completely by the mobile app. And because of this, the data used to hold the credential, lives entirely in the app itself and is neither passed to nor processed by Aiqudo systems at all.  This separation of duties maintains privacy of user data and hence increases trust in using the technology.

A personalized experience

Personalization is a word typically used to describe how an app or other system function adjusts to provide an experience tailored specifically to a user.  It’s often used in conjunction with AI and machine learning systems as the end result of acquiring, processing and suggesting courses of action or data upon which to act.  We enable personalization in the previous actions a couple of ways. If you have, say, more than one voice-enabled banking app on your mobile device (similar to what I have), our system can be configured to remember the user’s preferred app action.  For instance, if I were to say the command “check my balances” Aiqudo suggests actions from both E*Trade AND Wells Fargo. If I choose the E*Trade action, the next time I say the command it will remember E*Trade and perform the action right away – no need to ask again.  Likewise, whenever the action requires the user to provide input such as account number or payee, the system can store these away for subsequent use. These are simple examples but add a nice touch to an already-useful integration. 

What if I don’t bank with E*Trade? What can I do with other apps and is it safe?

Aiqudo maintains similar actions for apps like Venmo and Paypal that allow “send money to <username>” type actions. In each of these cases, Aiqudo defers authentication to the app before completing the transaction and also ensures that the data used by the action in the app, e.g., the payee’s phone number or email address never leaves the device or the app. The following video illustrates this.

With the proper integration of our ActionKit SDK into a banking app such as E*Trade,  the end user reaps the benefits of a trusted, highly- useful voice-powered interface that enables complex and often multi-step operations with ease and reduces Time to Action® for many activities within the app.

Actionable Knowledge

Q Actions 2.4: “Under the Hood” improvements for Productivity and Utility

By App Actions, Artificial Intelligence, Digital Assistants, Voice, Voice Search No Comments

Q Actions 2.4 now available on Google Play

The recent release of Q Actions 2.4 emphasizes Aiqudo’s focus on productivity and utility through voice. As voice assistants are becoming an increasingly ubiquitous part of our daily lives, Aiqudo aims to empower users to get things done. Many of the improvements and enhancements are “under the hood” – we’ve increased personalization and expanded the knowledge that drives our Actions.

Actionable KnowledgeTM

Our content-rich Q Cards leverage Actionable Knowledge to extend functionality into popular 3rd party apps. Start by asking about an artist, music group, sports athlete, or celebrity: “who is Tom Hanks. Aiqudo’s Q Card not only presents information about the actor, but will ask “what next?”. You say “view his Twitter account” or “go to his Instagram”, Actionable Knowledge will drop you exactly where you want to go!

Sample Actionable Knowledge Flow:

  • Ask “who is Taylor Swift?”
  • Select one of the supported Actionable Knowledge apps
    • “listen to her on Spotify”
    • “go to her Facebook profile”
    • “check out her Instagram”

Personalization … with privacy

Q Actions is already personalized, showing you Action choices based on the apps you already trust. We can now leverage personal data as signals to personalize your experience, while still protecting your privacy. It’s another iteration of our continued focus and dedication to increase productivity and augment utility using voice.  For example, if you checked in to your United Airlines flight, and then, the following day, say “show my boarding pass”, the United Airlines action is promoted to the top – exactly what you’d expect the system to do for you.

Our new Personal Data Manager allows secure optimization for specific apps. If you have a Spotify  playlist called “Beach Vibes”, and you say “play Beach Vibes”, we understand what you want and we will promote your personal playlist over a random public channel by that name. Your playlists are not shipped off the device to our servers, but we can still use the relevant information to short-cut your day!  If “Casimo Caputo” is a friend in Facebook Messenger, Messenger will trump WhatsApp for “tell Casimo Caputo let’s meet for lunch”. But “message Mark Smith let’s play Fifa tonight” brings up WhatsApp since Mark Smith is your WhatsApp buddy.

Simply do more with voice! Q Actions is now available on Google Play.