Trump Appointee Is Turning Voice of America Into Partisan Outlet, Lawsuit Says

WASHINGTON — Five officials suspended from the government’s global media agency sued its chief executive and top aides on Thursday, claiming they broke the law in repeatedly seeking to turn a news service under its purview into a mouthpiece for pro-Trump propaganda.

The 84-page lawsuit asserts that Michael Pack, the chief executive of the U.S. Agency for Global Media, or his aides have interrogated journalists at the Voice of America who have censured Mr. Pack or written articles top officials believed were critical of President Trump, instilling fear across the agency.

Mr. Pack’s aide, Samuel E. Dewey, for example, began a retaliatory investigation against the Voice of America’s White House bureau chief, Steve Herman, after he signed a letter in August saying Mr. Pack risked “crippling” the news outlet.

As part of that investigation, Mr. Dewey and another aide scrutinized Mr. Herman’s “private social media activity for any hint of

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Google Assistant voice commands work with Android apps now

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Juan Garzon/CNET

Google is bringing Google Assistant voice controls to select third-party Android apps, the company announced in a blog post Thursday.

Examples of new, app-specific voice commands Android users can take advantage of.


Google

“Opening and searching within Android apps using ‘Hey Google’ is now available to all Assistant-enabled Android phones,” wrote Google product manager Adam Coimbra. “For example, you can now say, ‘Hey Google, search cozy blankets on Etsy’ and get right to what you’re looking for. Or if you’re looking for something (or someone) specific within an app, just say, ‘Hey Google, open Selena Gomez on Snapchat.'”

Beyond just opening and searching within apps, Google adds, users can also ask the assistant for help with specific app-based tasks, like playing music, starting a run, paying a friend or ordering food for delivery. 

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Five Australian universities launch project to improve voice assistants for kids

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A joint project between five Australian universities, called AusKidTalk, has been launched to improve the performance of voice recognition systems when being used by children.

The universities involved in AusKidTalk are University of New South Wales, the University of Sydney, Western Sydney University, Macquarie University, and the University of Melbourne.

As part of the project, they aim to build a database of Australian children’s voices by recording samples of typical speech, including the repeating of words, digits, and sentences, as well as disordered speech such as unscripted storytelling spoken by 750 children aged between three to 12.

UNSW School of Electrical Engineering and Telecommunications senior lecturer Beena Ahmed explained that up until now, speech recognition software, which underpins virtual assistant technologies such as Google Assistant, Alex, and Siri, have always relied on samples of adult voices and the accuracy of these systems had been poor when it came to interacting

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Twitter will add transcriptions for voice tweets to promote accessibility

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Twitter is working on adding transcriptions to voice tweets.


Angela Lang/CNET

Twitter said it’s working on adding transcriptions to voice tweets in order to make the feature, which it began testing in the summer, more accessible. This comes after many criticized the social media platform for not taking all users’ needs into consideration before the release.

“We’re rolling out voice Tweets to more of you on iOS so we can keep learning about how people use audio,” the company said in a tweet on Tuesday. “Since introducing the feature in June, we’ve taken your feedback seriously and are working to have transcription available to make voice Tweets more accessible.”

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Hiya Enables Quantum Assurance International, Inc. to Connect With Customers With a New Voice Performance Strategy

Hiya Connect drives higher answer and conversion rates while delivering industry-leading intelligence to the Quantum Assurance team

Hiya, the leading call performance management cloud, today announced a new partnership with Quantum Assurance International, Inc. to drive higher answer and conversion rates with the Branded Calls feature and proactive reputation management. With the new voice performance strategy, Quantum Assurance has significantly improved customer experience, increased workforce productivity, and boosted brand awareness.

As an independent insurance company that makes more than 500,000 calls per month, Quantum Assurance has seen an immediate business impact with Hiya Connect’s Branded Calls and reputation management services, including:

  • Answer rates have increased 17%, enabling agents to more efficiently reach customers who are actively shopping for insurance quotes;

  • Call durations have increased 19%, providing for more engaging conversations that lead to higher sales conversions;

  • Calls answered on the first attempt have increased 10%, optimizing the agents’ calling efforts

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Modev Announces VOICE Summit, The World’s Largest Voice Tech Event | News

ARLINGTON, Va., Oct. 1, 2020 /PRNewswire/ — The 2020 VOICE Summit will be held virtually this year from Oct. 5th-15th. This year’s program includes engaging talks, insightful keynotes and hands-on workshops to help create, build and market the latest innovations in voice technology.

You won’t want to miss one of the top five virtual tech conferences to attend this fall, according to Starter Noise. The world’s largest voice-tech conference will attract 5,000+ developers, conversational designers, startups, brands, agencies and executives at the forefront of the voice-first era.

This year’s conference opening keynote will be on October 6, 2020 and feature Jeff Blankenburg of the Amazon Alexa team. As VOICE’s Diamond Sponsor, Amazon Alexa will have a designated stage for two full days of content on the 6th and 7th of October.

Kicking off the 8th, VOICE is teaming up with Google Assistant for Google Assistant Developer Day

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Modev Announces VOICE Summit, The World’s Largest Voice Tech Event

ARLINGTON, Va., Oct. 1, 2020 /PRNewswire/ — The 2020 VOICE Summit will be held virtually this year from Oct. 5th-15th. This year’s program includes engaging talks, insightful keynotes and hands-on workshops to help create, build and market the latest innovations in voice technology.

You won’t want to miss one of the top five virtual tech conferences to attend this fall, according to Starter Noise. The world’s largest voice-tech conference will attract 5,000+ developers, conversational designers, startups, brands, agencies and executives at the forefront of the voice-first era.

This year’s conference opening keynote will be on October 6, 2020 and feature Jeff Blankenburg of the Amazon Alexa team. As VOICE’s Diamond Sponsor, Amazon Alexa will have a designated stage for two full days of content on the 6th and 7th of October.

Kicking off the 8th, VOICE is teaming up with Google Assistant for Google Assistant Developer Day

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Twitter’s voice tweets are rolling out to more iOS users, and transcriptions are on the way

Twitter has just expanded its voice tweets feature, which lets you record a snippet of audio to include with a tweet, to more users on iOS. But perhaps more significantly, Twitter is now saying it plans to add transcriptions to voice tweets to improve accessibility, which could help address criticisms from the feature’s June 17th launch.

If you want to get an idea of how voice tweets work right now, just press play on the below tweet to hear a voice clip from my colleague Tom Warren. There’s currently no way to see captions or a transcription of what he’s saying. (Note: Tom is not actually sharing exclusive next-gen console news.)

Without any way to see a transcription, voice tweets were quickly criticized for not being accessible. Then it came to light that there wasn’t a dedicated team at Twitter for accessibility — instead, the company asked employees to volunteer

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DAILY VOICE | Recent IPO activity points to ample liquidity, investor sentiment: Prasanna Pathak of Taurus MF



a man wearing a suit and tie: DAILY VOICE | Recent IPO activity points to ample liquidity, investor sentiment: Prasanna Pathak of Taurus MF


© Kshitij Anand
DAILY VOICE | Recent IPO activity points to ample liquidity, investor sentiment: Prasanna Pathak of Taurus MF

The type of responses that we have seen in recent IPOs point towards not only ample liquidity in the system but more importantly towards investor sentiment, Prasanna Pathak, Head of Equity, Taurus Mutual Fund, said in an interview with Moneycontrol’s Kshitij Anand.

Edited excerpts:

Q) US Fed plans to keep interest rates low for a long time. What is the kind of impact it will have on emerging markets like India as well as the currency?

A) The plan to keep the interest rates low for a long time, indicates that the US Fed is skeptical of demand revival in the economy and hence the revival of inflation in the short to medium term.

Though this does point to a weak economic recovery. The low-interest rates coupled with the central

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