Pandora Launches New Voice-Enabled Smart Assistant

January 17 2019, 00:50
Pandora introduced Voice Mode, a new, native smart assistant powered by Houndify Voice AI platform that allows listeners to control Pandora’s mobile app and enjoy new music discovery using simple voice commands, providing an intuitive, hands-free experience tailored for the unique tastes of each user. Pandora will roll out access to Voice Mode to select listeners on iOS and Android, with general availability for all mobile users coming soon.

“Pandora is the leader in personalized audio entertainment, and millions of our listeners are already loving the experience we’ve created on smart speakers and other voice-enabled connected devices,” says Chris Phillips, Chief Product Officer, Pandora. “With Voice Mode, we are introducing an even more natural and conversational way for listeners to discover new music and enhance their experience directly in the Pandora mobile app, like getting recommendations from a friend who really knows you.”

By saying the wake phrase “Hey Pandora” followed by a request, users can effortlessly control and continually refine their listening experience by just speaking naturally. Voice Mode allows listeners to seamlessly enjoy the full range of their Pandora experience hands-free whether they’re driving, cooking, working out, or entertaining friends.

Voice Mode uses advanced Natural Language Understanding technology to respond to a wide array of requests with the perfect music for each user’s personal tastes, via Pandora’s pioneering music recommendation technology. Types of controls include requests to change stations, control volume, skip or pause music, and other basic navigation commands, as well as thematic requests delivering personalized music based on each user’s unique tastes, moods, and favorite activities like “play something for my workout” or “play music for relaxing.” But the agent also supports open-ended requests like “play something different,” “play something I like” or “play more like this,” and requests for a specific artist, song, station, podcast or playlist like “play new music by…” or “play my happy jams playlist.”

The Voice Mode also supports interactive requests like “what song is this?” or directional requests like “add this song to my party playlist” or “I like this” to give a thumbs-up. Pandora’s predictive understanding of individual listener preferences is powered by its Music Genome Project, a rich dataset of music-listening information. For Voice Mode, Pandora combines this deep user knowledge, an expert in-house curation team, and advanced natural language search and personalized machine learning search algorithms to provide the best and most personalized listening experience available.

For Voice Mode, Pandora has partnered with SoundHound, using the Houndify voice and conversational AI platform featuring its proprietary Speech-to-Meaning and Deep Meaning Understanding voice recognition technologies. Through the Houndify integration, in addition to the custom wake phrase “Hey, Pandora…,” SoundHound also collaborated on an exclusive and customized branded voice, designed to represent the Pandora experience and demographic. |
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