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SoundHound unveils Hybrid Voice AI and Natural Language Understanding System for cars

SoundHound Inc., an innovator in voice enabled AI and conversational intelligence technologies, unveiled its large vocabulary, hybrid voice and natural language understanding interface for in-vehicle infotainment systems at the NVIDIA GPU Technology Conference (GTC) 2019. The event marks the first time the technology has been shown to the public, and highlights the NVIDIA DRIVE ecosystem collaboration between SoundHound Inc. and NVIDIA.

Leveraging the patented Speech-to-Meaning and Deep Meaning Understanding technologies from SoundHound Inc.’s Houndify Voice AI platform, running on NVIDIA DRIVE IX, the solution enables real-time responses to voice queries in vehicles, even without Internet connectivity. This is achieved with high speed and accuracy through a hybrid speech recognition system that processes voice requests both in the cloud and locally on the embedded system (for when an internet connection is not available) to return fast responses. The embedded system also enables drivers to control their car’s functions when a connection to the cloud is unavailable including the car’s climate control, window controls, radio, navigation, and more.

NVIDIA DRIVE AGX integrates the high-performance, energy-efficient compute of the NVIDIA Xavier system-on-a-chip (SoC) and full stack AV software to monitor surroundings and the driver, localise to an HD map, and plan a safe path forward. Within DRIVE software, NVIDIA DRIVE IX is a framework for the full cockpit experience. It combines the system, tools, and algorithms to enhance the driver’s situational awareness, assist in driving functions and provide intelligent interactions between the vehicle and its occupants. This is the ideal platform for integrating the voice technology that Houndify can provide, enabling the vehicle to seamlessly respond to human voice commands.

“The NVIDIA DRIVE platform has enabled us to create an embedded solution for interacting with cars using voice and natural language,” said Keyvan Mohajer, Founder and CEO, SoundHound Inc. “By using NVIDIA GPUs for deep learning training, and the DRIVE IX platform for embedded computation using the GPU inside the Xavier SoC, we are able to scale to large vocabulary in natural language with the Houndify platform, maintaining speed and accuracy, even without a cloud connection.”

“Low-latency speech recognition is an important aspect of intelligent experiences in the vehicle,” said Danny Shapiro, Senior Director of Automotive at NVIDIA. “SoundHound’s innovative solution on our open DRIVE IX platform will allow carmakers to offer systems that have an enormous vocabulary, understand a wide range of topics, and respond conversationally.”

With Houndify, drivers can now interact with hundreds of domains—programs that provide users with relevant information or actions related to their queries. These include: navigation, weather, stock prices, sports scores, flight status, local business searches, and hotel searches with complex criteria, among others.

SoundHound Inc.’s Houndify technology is already being utilised by leading manufacturers including Mercedes-Benz, Groupe PSA, Hyundai, Honda, and others.

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