Five Reasons Seattle is the Voice Capital of the World
Is Seattle the voice-first capital of the world?
It’s quite the title for any city to claim, but someone had to say it.
With voice exploding as the fastest adopted technology in history, companies are heavily investing to become the household name everyone shouts. Whether it’s Alexa, Hey Google, or Cortana, we decided to take a look at why the Emerald City might be the place to be when it comes to voice.
Check out our five reasons why Seattle is the voice capital of the world:
1. Voice Pioneers
The history of voice in Seattle began at the 1962 World Fair when IBM introduced the Shoebox and displayed the device to the public for the first time. The wooden box could recognize simple inputs of numbers and basic math to produce an output shown on a printed roll. While interactions to solve math problems have evolved, pioneers - anyone in the voice space - near and far still either live or meet in Seattle.
2. Alexa and Cortana Live Here
Did you know that Alexa and Cortana share an umbrella in the Pacific Northwest? It helps that the headquarters for both Microsoft and Amazon are in the Seattle area. The two can often be seen crossing paths in the various recruiting efforts for NLP, ML, and AI developers. In fact, over two-thirds of the current job openings for both of the voice services are listed in the Seattle region. Let’s not forget that 100% of the jobs listed for Jargon are also in Seattle. :)
3. Apple and Facebook are building in the Pacific Northwest
Hey Siri, do you live in Seattle, too? With increasing competition around voice, it comes as no surprise two other tech giants are interested in building teams in Washington State. Apple recently announced plans to grow to 2,000 employees with jobs currently focusing on AI and Siri. In addition, Facebook recently confirmed reports of a team focused on their version of a voice assistant in the Seattle area.
4. Voice-first Companies take off in Seattle
Conveniently located in the Emerald City, the Amazon Alexa Accelerator powered by Techstars brings together up to 10 companies with a focus on voice. Through the 13-week program, early-stage startups take advantage of the support offered to gain traction, network, and engage with investors. It’s a program Jargon took advantage of as a graduate of the Accelerator in 2018. As Jargon’s CEO Milkana Brace noted, “…for startups advancing voice-powered technologies, the program offers a game-changing advantage.” Other graduates of the Alexa Accelerator, such as Pulse Labs, Novel Effect, and Roby, are still rooted in Seattle today.
5. A Community for Voice
For any city to truly claim the title, there needs to be a community. Fortunately, in Seattle, the city brings together some of the best innovators and builders in the world to collaborate and grow the ecosystem. On the community-driven website, Meetup.com, there are three active groups, including Women in Voice, who actively host talks and sessions around voice technology. Additionally, the community provides a warm and welcoming atmosphere for curious tinkerers to explore the possibilities of voice.
Whether you’re in Seattle, on the opposite coast, or across an ocean or two, the voice community continues to grow. To learn how to get started in voice, check out our article here. If you find yourself in the voice capital of the world, don’t hesitate to reach out to the Jargon team on Twitter @JargonJourney!
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