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Nuance launches new voice biometric engine eliminating need for passphrase

Nuance launches new voice biometric engine eliminating need for passphrase

Nuance Communications has unveiled a new artificial intelligence tool using fourth generation deep neural networks (DNNs) and combining voice biometrics and natural language understanding (NLU) for more personalized and human-like experiences across voice channels.

The new Nuance Lightning Engine enables a smart speaker, virtual assistant, or IVR to understand who is talking and what they are asking for in less than half a second with a single human command, according to the announcement.

With voice an increasingly common means of interaction with smart devices and systems, organizations can implement the Nuance Lightning Engine to allow users to set up a unique voice profile during account enrollment. In subsequent interactions, Nuance says the customer’s identity is confirmed almost instantly through natural speech, with no passwords, knowledge-based questions, or the specific passphrase which has become industry standard for voice biometrics. The Nuance Lightning Engine cuts the amount of speech needed for identity verification in half, the company says.

The threat of deepfakes may make businesses cautious about identity verification technologies working with the relatively small amount of data that can be captured in half a second, though Pindrop CEO Vijay Balasubramaniyan told Biometric Update earlier this year that the quality and quantity of source audio used to create deepfakes makes a significant difference in how effective they are.

“Voice biometrics not only secures the voice channel, but when combined with NLU, is the foundation to frictionless experiences for consumers,” says Brett Beranek, General Manager, Security Business, Nuance Enterprise Division. “With the engine, organizations 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 personalizing the interaction as soon as that person speaks, making it an effective, enjoyable and natural engagement.”

The technology is currently available to select customers through the Nuance Intelligent Engagement Platform, and is expected to reach general availability this fall.

The global market for voice biometrics was recently forecasted by KBV Research to reach $2.7 billion by 2024.

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