Speech customization

You can customize various speech features, as discussed in below.

Language and voice name

Speech-to-text and text-to-speech services interface with the user using a selected language (e.g., English US, English UK, or German).

Text-to-speech services also use a selected voice to speak to the user (e.g., female or male). In addition, you can also integrate VoiceAI Connect with Azure's Custom Neural Voice text-to-speech feature, which allows you to create a customized synthetic voice for your bot.

How to use this?

This feature is configured per bot by the Administrator, or dynamically by the bot during conversation:

Parameter

Type

Description

language

String

Defines the language (e.g., "en-ZA" for South African English) of the bot conversation and is used for speech-to-text and text-to-speech functionality. The value is obtained from the service provider.

  • Speech-to-text:

    • Azure: The parameter is configured with the value from the 'Locale' column in Azure's Speech-Text table (e.g., "en-GB").

    • Google: The parameter is configured with the value from the 'languageCode' (BCP-47) column in Google's Cloud Speech-to-Text table (e.g., "nl-NL").

  • Text-to-speech:

    • Azure: The parameter is  configured with the value from the 'Locale' column in Azure's Text-to-Speech table (e.g., "it-IT").

    • Google: The parameter is configured with the value from the 'Language code' column in Google's Cloud Text-to-Speech table (e.g., "en-US").

    • AWS: The parameter is configured with the value from the 'Language' column in Amazon's Polly TTS table (e.g., "de-DE").

Note:

  • This string is obtained from the speech-to-text and text-to-speech service provider and must be provided to AudioCodes, as discussed in Text-to-speech service information and Speech-to-text service information.

  • If different languages are used for the text-to-speech and speech-to-text services, use the ttsLanguage and sttLanguage parameters instead.

sttLanguage

String

Defines the language (e.g., "en-ZA" for South African English) of the bot conversation and is used for the speech-to-text service.

The parameter is required if different languages are used for the text-to-speech and speech-to-text services. If these services use the same language, you can use the language parameter instead.

The value is obtained from the service provider.

For VoiceAI Connect Enterprise, this parameter is supported from Version 3.2 and later.

ttsLanguage

String

Defines the language (e.g., "en-ZA" for South African English) of the bot conversation and is used for the text-to-speech service.

The parameter is required if different languages are used for the text-to-speech and speech-to-text services. If these services use the same language, you can use the language parameter instead.

The value is obtained from the service provider.

For VoiceAI Connect Enterprise, this parameter is supported from Version 3.2 and later.

voiceName

String

Defines the voice name for the text-to-speech service.

  • Azure: The parameter is configured with the value from the 'Short voice name' column in Azure's Text-to-Speech table (e.g., "it-IT-ElsaNeural").

  • Google: The parameter is configured with the value from the 'Voice name' column in Google's Cloud Text-to-Speech table (e.g., "en-US-Wavenet-A").

  • AWS: The parameter is configured with the value from the 'Name/ID' column in Amazon's Polly TTS table (e.g., "Hans").

  • Almagu: The parameter is configured with the value from the 'Voice' column in Almagu's TTS table (e.g., "Osnat").

Note: This string is obtained from the text-to-speech service provider and must be provided to AudioCodes, as discussed in Text-to-speech service information.

ttsEnhancedVoice

String

Defines the AWS text-to-speech voice as Neural Voice or Standard Voice.

  • true: Neural Voice

  • false: (Default) Standard Voice

Note:

  • Refer to the Voices in Amazon Polly table to check if the specific language voice supports Neural Voice and/or Standard Voice.

  • This parameter is applicable only for AWS.

For VoiceAI Connect Enterprise, this parameter is supported from Version 3.0 and later.
ttsDeploymentId

String

Defines the customized synthetic voice model for Azure's text-to-speech Custom Neural Voice feature. Once you have deployed your custom text-to-speech endpoint on Azure, you can integrate it with VoiceAI Connect using this parameter.

For more information on Azure's Custom Neural Voice feature, click here.

By default, this parameter is undefined.

Note:

  • This parameter is applicable only to Azure.

  • This string is obtained from the text-to-speech service provider and must be provided to AudioCodes, as discussed in Text-to-speech service information.

For VoiceAI Connect Enterprise, this feature is supported only from Version 2.6 and later.

Language recognition for speech to text (Microsoft)

At any stage of the call, the bot can dynamically trigger a language detection for speech to text. Only the next utterance spoken after the trigger will be analyzed. The bot attempts to recognize the language spoken by comparing it to up to three possible alternative languages, and by meeting or exceeding a set confidence level.

This feature is supported only by Microsoft.
How to use this?

This feature is configured per bot by the Administrator, or dynamically by the bot during conversation:

For VoiceAI Connect Enterprise, this feature is supported only from Version 3.4 and later.

Parameter

Type

Description

languageDetectionActivate

Boolean

Enables the language detection feature.

  • true: Enables language detection.

  • false: (Default) Disables language detection.

alternativeLanguages

Array of Objects

Defines a list of up to three alternative languages (in addition to the current language) that will be used to detect the language spoken.

Object example:

{
  "language": "de-DE",
  "voiceName": "de-DE-KatjaNeural"
}

languageDetectionMinConfidence

Number

Defines the confidence level that a language recognition must reach to enable a language switch. For example, a value of 0.35 indicates that a 35% or above confidence level of a language match must be reached to enable a language switch.

The valid value range is 0.1 to 1.

languageDetectionAutoSwitch

Boolean

Enables the language switch to an alternate language if languageDetectionMinConfidence value has been reached.

  • true: Enables language switch.

  • false: (Default) Disables a language switch even if the languageDetectionMinConfidence value has been reached

For Example:

{
  "languageDetectionActivate": true,
  "alternativeLanguages": [
    {
      "language": "de-DE",
      "voiceName": "de-DE-KatjaNeural"
    },
    {
      "language": "fr-FR",
      "voiceName": "fr-FR-DeniseNeural"
    }
  ],
  "languageDetectionAutoSwitch": true
}

Continuous automatic speech recognition (ASR)

By default, the speech-to-text service recognizes the user's end of utterance according to the duration of detected audio silence (or by other means). Each recognized utterance is sent by the VoiceAI Connect to the bot as a separate textual message.

Sometimes, the detection of end of utterance occurs too quickly and the user is cut off while speaking. For example, when the user replies with a long description that is comprised of several sentences. In such cases, all the utterances should be sent together to the bot as one long textual message.

Continuous automatic speech recognition enables the VoiceAI Connect to collect all the user's utterances. When it detects silence for a user-defined duration or a configured DTMF key (e.g., the # pound key) is pressed by the user, it concatenates the multiple speech-to-text detected utterances, and then sends them as a single textual message to the bot. In this way, the user can configure a longer silence timeout.

This feature is controlled by the Administrator, but the bot can dynamically control this mode during the conversation.

How to use it?

Parameter

Type

Description

continuousASR

Boolean

Enables the Continuous ASR feature. Continuous ASR enables the VoiceAI Connect to concatenate multiple speech-to-text recognitions of the user and then send them as a single textual message to the bot.

  • true: Enabled

  • false: (Default) Disabled

continuousASRDigits

String

This parameter is applicable when the Continuous ASR feature is enabled.

Defines a special DTMF key, which if pressed, causes the VoiceAI Connect to immediately send the accumulated recognitions of the user to the bot. For example, if configured to "#" and the user presses the pound key (#) on the phone's keypad, the device concatenates the accumulated recognitions and then sends them as one single textual message to the bot.

The default is "#".

Note: Using this feature incurs an additional delay from the user’s perspective because the speech is not sent immediately to the bot after it has been recognized. To overcome this delay, configure the parameter to a value that is appropriate to your environment.

continuousASRTimeoutInMS

Number

This parameter is applicable when the Continuous ASR feature is enabled.

Defines the automatic speech recognition (ASR) timeout (in milliseconds). The timer is triggered when a recognition is received from the speech-to-text service. When the device detects silence from the user for a duration configured by this parameter, it concatenates all the accumulated speech-to-text recognitions and sends them as one single textual message to the bot.

The valid value range is 500 (i.e., 0.5 second) to 60000 (i.e., 1 minute). The default is 3000.

continuousASRHypothesisTimeoutInMS

Number

This parameter is applicable when the Continuous ASR feature is enabled.

Defines the timeout (in milliseconds) between hypotheses and between the last hypothesis to the recognition. This timer is triggered when a hypothesis is received from the speech-to-text service. When the timer expires, the last utterance from the user is discarded and the previous speech-to-text recognitions are sent to the bot.

The valid value range is 500 to 6000. The default is 3000.

For VoiceAI Connect Enterprise, this feature is supported only from Version 2.4 and later.

Speech-to-text models and contexts

To improve the accuracy of speech recognition, some speech-to-text service providers such as Google Cloud allows you to dynamically associate speech-to-text contexts with each speech-to-text query. They also allow you to adapt to the specific use case jargon.

Google Dialogflow's Speech-to-Text service also provides specialized transcription models based on audio source, for example, phone calls or videos. This allows it to produce more accurate transcription results.

How to use it?

Parameter

Type

Description

sttContextId

String

  • Azure speech-to-text service: This parameter controls Azure's Custom Speech model. The parameter can be set to the endpoint ID that is used for accessing the speech-to-text service. For more information on how to obtain the endpoint ID, see Microsoft's Speech Service. Once you have successfully created your custom endpoint in Azure, click the name of the new endpoint, and then copy the value in the 'Endpoint ID' field, as shown in the following example:

  • AudioCodes DNN speech-to-text service: This parameter controls the context.

  • AudioCodes generic speech-to-text API: If this parameter has a value, this JSON parameter is added to the “start” message (which is sent from the VoiceAI Connect to the STT engine each time a speech recognition session begins) with the parameter value:

"sttContextId": "<context ID value>"

Note:

  • The parameter can be used by all bot providers, as long as the speech-to-text service is any of the above.

  • For Azure speech-to-text service, the Custom Speech model must be deployed on the same subscription that is used for the Azure speech-to-text service.

  • When using other speech-to-text services, the parameter has no affect.

sttGenericData

String

AudioCodes generic speech-to-text API:

This optional parameter is used to pass whatever data is needed from the bot to the STT. 3rd party vendors can use this to pass any JSON object they want to implement.

Note: Only relevant for AC-STT-API.

For VoiceAI Connect Enterprise, this feature is supported only from Version 3.0 and later..

sttEndpointID

String

This parameter was deprecated in Version 2.2 and replaced by the sttContextId parameter.

sttSpeechContexts

Array of Objects

When using Google's Cloud or Microsoft Azure speech-to-text services, this parameter controls Speech Context phrases.

The parameter can list phrases or words that is passed to the speech-to-text service as "hints" for improving the accuracy of speech recognitions. For example, whenever a speaker says "weather" frequently, you want the speech-to-text service to transcribe it as "weather" and not "whether". To do this, the parameter can be used to create a context for this word (and other similar phrases associated with weather).

For Google's Cloud speech-to-text service, you can also use the parameter to define the boost number (0 to 20, where 20 is the highest) for context recognition of the specified speech context phrase. Speech-adaptation boost allows you to increase the recognition model bias by assigning more weight to some phrases than others. For example, when users say "weather" or "whether", you may want the speech-to-text to recognize the word as "weather". For more information, see https://cloud.google.com/speech-to-text/docs/context-strength

You can also use Google's class tokens to represent common concepts that occur in natural language, such as monetary units and calendar dates. A class allows you to improve transcription accuracy for large groups of words that map to a common concept, but that don't always include identical words or phrases. For example, the audio data may include recordings of people saying their street address. One may say "my house is 123 Main Street, the fourth house on the left." In this case, you want Speech-to-Text to recognize the first sequence of numerals ("123") as an address rather than as an ordinal ("one-hundred twenty-third"). However, not all people live at "123 Main Street" and it's impractical to list every possible street address in a SpeechContext object. Instead, you can use a class token in the phrases field of the SpeechContext object to indicate that a street number should be recognized no matter what the number actually is.

For example:

{
  "sttSpeechContexts": [
    {
      "phrases": [
        "weather"
      ],
      "boost": 18
    },
    { 
      "phrases": [
        "whether",
      ],
      "boost": 2
    },
    { 
      "phrases": [
        "fair"
      ]
    },
    {
      "phrases": [
        "$ADDRESSNUM"
      ]
    }
  ]
}

Note:

  • The parameter can be used by all bot providers when the speech-to-text service is Google or Azure. When using other speech-to-text services, the parameter has no affect.

  • For more information on Google's speech context (speech adaptation) as well details regarding tokens (class tokens) that can be used in phrases, go to https://cloud.google.com/speech-to-text/docs/speech-adaptation.

  • For more information on Microsoft's Azure Phrase Lists for improving recognition accuracy, click here.

  • This parameter replaces the sttContextPhrases and sttContextBoost parameters (now deprecated).

  • AudioCodes generic speech-to-text API: This optional parameter is passed as-is whatever data is needed from the bot to the STT.

sttDisablePunctuation

Boolean

Prevents the speech-to-text response from the bot to include punctuation marks (e.g., periods, commas and question marks).

  • true: Punctuation is excluded.

  • false: (Default) Punctuation is allowed and if present, included.

Note: This feature requires support from the speech-to-text service provider.

sttContextPhrases

Array of Strings

When using Google's Cloud speech-to-text service, this parameter controls Speech Context phrases.

The parameter can list phrases or words that is passed to the speech-to-text service as "hints" for improving the accuracy of speech recognitions.

For more information on speech context (speech adaptation) as well details regarding tokens (class tokens) that can be used in phrases, go to https://cloud.google.com/speech-to-text/docs/speech-adaptation.

For example, whenever a speaker says "weather" frequently, you want the speech-to-text service to transcribe it as "weather" and not "whether". To do this, the parameter can be used to create a context for this word (and other similar phrases associated with weather):

"sttContextPhrases": ["weather"]
This parameter was deprecated in Version 2.4. Please use the sttSpeechContexts parameter instead.

Note:

  • The parameter can be used by all bot providers when the speech-to-text service is Google.

  • When using other speech-to-text services, the parameter has no affect.

sttContextBoost

Number

Defines the boost number for context recognition of the speech context phrase configured by sttContextPhrases. Speech-adaptation boost allows you to increase the recognition model bias by assigning more weight to some phrases than others. For example, when users say "weather" or "whether", you may want the speech-to-text to recognize the word as weather.

For more information, see https://cloud.google.com/speech-to-text/docs/context-strength.

This parameter was deprecated in Version 2.4. Please use the sttSpeechContexts parameter instead.

Note:

  • The parameter can be used by all bot providers when the speech-to-text service is Google.

  • When using other speech-to-text services, the parameter has no affect.

azureSpeechRecognitionMode

String

Defines the Azure STT recognition mode.

Can be one of the following values:

  • conversation (default)

  • dictation

  • interactive

Note: The parameter is applicable only to the Microsoft Azure STT service.

googleInteractionType

String

Defines the Google STT interaction type.

Can be one of the following values:

  • INTERACTION_TYPE_UNSPECIFIED

  • DISCUSSION

  • PRESENTATION

  • PHONE_CALL

  • VOICEMAIL

  • PROFESSIONALLY_PRODUCED

  • VOICE_SEARCH

  • VOICE_COMMAND

  • DICTATION

By default, the interaction type is not specified.

For more information, see Google speech-to-text documentation.

Note: The parameter is applicable only to the Google STT service.

sttModel

String

Defines the audio transcription model for Dialogflow Speech-to-Text.

  • command_and_search

  • phone_call

  • video

  • default

By default, the parameter is undefined.

For more information on Dialogflow's different transcription models, click here.

Note:

  • For the enhanced speech recognition model, see the sttEnhancedModel parameter.

  • The parameter is applicable only to Google Dialogflow.

  • If the chosen model is not supported (e.g., no enterprise Google account), calls may fail.

For VoiceAI Connect Enterprise, this feature is supported only from Version 2.6 and later.
sttEnhancedModel

Boolean

Enables Google Dialogflow's Speech-to-Text enhanced speech recognition model. There are currently two enhanced models - phone call and video. These models have been optimized to more accurately transcribe audio data from these specific sources.

  • true

  • false (default)

If configured to true, select the model for transcription (only phone_call or video), using the sttModel parameter. If the model is not selected, VoiceAI Connect automatically sets the sttModel parameter to phone_call.

For more information on Dialogflow's enhanced speech recognition model, click here.

Note:

  • If the chosen model is not supported (e.g., no enterprise Google account), calls may fail.

  • The parameter is applicable only for Google (but not supported for One-Click integration with Dialogflow ES).

For VoiceAI Connect Enterprise, this feature is supported only from Version 2.6 and later.

Nuance advanced speech services (Legacy WebSocket API)

When using Nuance's speech-to-text services (WebSocket API for Krypton), you can configure the bot to use Nuance's special features to transcribe text. Nuance Krypton uses a data pack and optional dynamic content. The data pack provides general information about a language or locale, while optional items such as domain language models (LM), wordsets and speaker profiles specialize Krypton's recognition abilities for a particular application or environment.

For more information (description and configuration) about these advanced Nuance features, please contact Nuance.

For VoiceAI Connect Enterprise, this feature is supported only from Version 2.6 and later.

How to use it?

This feature is controlled by the VoiceAI Connect Administrator, or dynamically by the bot during the conversation (bot overrides VoiceAI Connect configuration):

Parameter

Type

Description

nuanceSessionObjects

Array of Objects

Defines the value of the sesssionObjects field of the CreateSession message. The sesssionObjects field is an array of objects -- wordsets, domain LM, and/or speaker profiles -- to load for the duration of the session. In-call updates will send a Load message with this value in the objects field.

For example, for a Nuance domain-specific language model (LM):

nuanceSessionObjects = [
   {
      "id":"dlm_bank",
      "type":"application/x-nuance-domainlm",
      "url":"https://host/dropbox/krypton/banking-dlm.zip",
      "weight":100
   },
   {
      "id":"ws_places",
      "type":"application/x-nuance-wordset",
      "body":"{\"PLACES\":[{\"literal\":\"Abington Pigotts\"},{\"literal\":\"Primary Mortgage Insurance\",\"spoken\":[\"Primary Mortgage Insurance\"]}]}"
   }
]

Note: This parameter is applicable only to Nuance STT.

nuanceRecognizeFieldsObject

Object

Fields in this object can set the fields builtinWeights, domainLmWeights, useWordSets and recognitionParameters (except audioFormat) of the Recognition message.

For example, to set the formatingType field of the recognitionParameters field of the Recognize message to "num_as_digits":

nuanceRecognizeFieldsObject = {
   "recognitionParameters":{
      "formattingType":"num_as_digits"
   }
}

Note: This parameter is applicable only to Nuance STT.

enableSTTRecording

Boolean

Sets the Nuance Krypton session parameter enableCallRecording, which enables Nuance's call recording and logging speech-to-text feature.

  • true

  • false (default)

Note: This parameter is applicable only to Nuance STT.

Nuance advanced speech services (gRPC API and Nuance Mix)

When using Nuance's speech-to-text services (gRPC for Krypton and Nuance Mix), you can configure the bot to use Nuance's special features to transcribe text.

Nuance Krypton and Nuance Mix use a data pack and optional dynamic content. The data pack provides general information about a language or locale, while optional items such as domain language models (LM), wordsets and speaker profiles specialize Krypton's and Nuance Mix's recognition abilities for a particular application or environment. For more information (description and configuration) about these advanced Nuance features, please contact Nuance.

Click here for GRPC documentation.

For VoiceAI Connect Enterprise, this feature is supported only from Version 2.8 and later.

How to use it?

This feature is controlled by the VoiceAI Connect Administrator, or dynamically by the bot during the conversation (bot overrides VoiceAI Connect configuration):

Parameter

Type

Description

nuanceGRPCRecognitionResources

Array of Objects

Defines the parameters field value in the RecognitionRequest sent to the Nuance server.

For example, for a Nuance word set:

nuanceGRPCRecognitionResources =

[
  {
    "inlineWordset": "{\"PLACES\":[{\"literal\":\"Abington Pigotts\"},{\"literal\":\"Primary Mortgage Insurance\",\"spoken\":[\"Primary Mortgage Insurance\"]}]}"
  }
]

Note: This parameter is applicable only to Nuance STT gRPC.

nuanceGRPCRecognitionParameters

Object

Defines the resources field value in RecognitionRequest sent to the Nuance server.

For example, to set the formatting field to "num_as_digits", disable punctuation and call recording:

nuanceGRPCRecognitionParameters = 
   {
  "recognitionFlags": {
    "autoPunctuate": false,
    "suppressCallRecording": true
  },
  "formatting": {
    "scheme": "num_as_digits"
  }
}

Note: This parameter is applicable only to Nuance STT gRPC.

Silence and speech detection

By default, VoiceAI Connect activates the speech-to-text service when the bot's prompt finishes playing to the user. In addition, when the Barge-In is feature is enabled, the speech-to-text service is activated when the call connects to the bot for the duration of the entire call.

VoiceAI Connect relies on automatic speech recognition (Speech-to-Text) services, which are billed for by the cloud framework provider. As billing is a function of the amount of time the connection to the speech-to-text service is open, it is desirable to minimize the duration of such connections between VoiceAI Connect and the speech-to-text service.

When a caller speaks, the speech may contain gaps such as pauses (silence) between spoken sentences. VoiceAI Connect can determine, through AudioCodes Session Border Controller's Speech Detection capability, when the caller is speaking (beginning of speech) and to activate the speech-to-text service only as needed. Disconnection from the speech-to-text service occurs when the speech-to-text service recognizes the end of the sentence.

This speech detection capability can reduce connection time to the speech-to-text service by as much as 50% (sometimes more), depending on the type and intensity of background sounds and the configuration of the system. The largest savings are realized when the bot is configured to allow “Barge-In” or when using the “Agent Assist” feature.

How to use it?

This feature is configured using the following bot parameters, which are controlled only by the Administrator:

Parameter

Type

Description

speechDetection

String

Enables VoiceAI Connect's speech detection feature.

  • disabled: (Default) Speech Detection feature is disabled and VoiceAI Connect activates speech-to-text according to the default behavior (as mentioned above in Silence and speech detection).

  • enabled: Speech Detection feature is enabled and VoiceAI Connect activates the speech-to-text service only when voice of the user is detected.

  • on-bot-prompt: This option is applicable only when the Barge-In feature is enabled (bargeIn parameter configured to true). Enabling on-bot-prompt mode disables speech detection while the speech recognition action takes place.

Speech detection (verifying that speech is taking place) is performed on VAIC machines and uses Session Border Controller resources, while speech recognition (recognizing what words are being said) is performed by an external service.

speechDetectionSilencePeriodMS

Number

Defines the timeout (milliseconds) for silence detection by the SBC of the user. If silence is detected for this duration, VoiceAI Connect stops the speech-to-text service.

The valid value is 10 to 10,000. The default is 500.

Fast STT recognition

For some languages, the STT engine requires a longer time to decide on 'end of single utterance' (this can result in a poor user experience).

If the fast STT recognition workaround is enabled, VoiceAI Connect will trigger a recognition event after a specified time after the last hypothesis.

Only enable this feature if users are experiencing a long pause until the recognition due to short utterances from the user.
This feature is applicable only to Google STT (supported since ver. 2.8), Azure STT (supported since 3.8.032), and Nuance STT (supported since 3.8.032).
For VoiceAI Connect Enterprise, this feature is supported only from Version 3.0.010 and later.
How to use it?

These parameters are controlled by the VoiceAI Connect Administrator, or dynamically by the bot during the conversation (bot overrides VoiceAI Connect configuration):

Parameter

Type

Description

sttFastRecognition

Boolean

Enables fast STT recognition.

If the parameter is enabled, use: {"singleUtterance": false }

  • true

  • false (default)

Note: This parameter is only applicable to the following:

  • Google STT

  • Azure STT

  • Nuance STT

sttFastRecognitionTimeout

Number

Defines the maximum time (in milliseconds) that the VoiceAI Connect waits for a response from the STT provider since last hypothesis to activate recognition.

The valid value is 10 to 600,000. The default is 1,000.

If no new response is received between the last hypothesis and timeout expiration, VoiceAI Connect will trigger a recognition event.

Note: This parameter is only applicable to the following:

  • Google STT

  • Azure STT

  • Nuance STT

Barge-In

The Barge-In feature controls VoiceAI Connect's behavior in scenarios where the user starts speaking or dials DTMF digits while the bot is playing its response to the user. In other words, the user interrupts ("barges-in") the bot.

By default, the Barge-In feature is disabled and VoiceAI Connect ignores user speech or DTMF input, from the detection of end of utterance until the bot has finished playing its response (or responses if the bot sends multiple consecutive response messages). Only after the bot has finished playing its message does VoiceAI Connect expect user speech or DTMF input. However, if no bot response arrives within a user-defined timeout, triggered from the detection of end of utterance, speech-to-text recognition is re-activated and the user can speak or send DTMF digits again.

When Barge-In is enabled, detection of user speech or DTMF input is always active. If the user starts to speak or presses DTMF digits while the bot is playing its response, VoiceAI Connect detects this speech or DTMF and immediately stops the bot response playback and sends the detected user utterances or DTMF to the bot. If there are additional queued text messages from the bot, they are purged from the queue.

To avoid accidental stopping of the bot response playback, VoiceAI Connect relies on the speech-to-text engine to detect the start of speech (i.e., a partial or intermediate speech recognition). This incurs an inherent delay (about one second) with the stopping of the playback after the user starts talking.
How to use it?

These features are controlled by the VoiceAI Connect Administrator, or dynamically by the bot during the conversation (bot overrides VoiceAI Connect configuration):

Parameter

Type

Description

bargeIn

Boolean

Enables the Barge-In feature.

  • true: Enabled. When the bot is playing a response to the user (playback of bot message), the user can "barge-in" (interrupt) and start speaking. This terminates the bot response, allowing the bot to listen to the new speech input from the user (i.e., VoiceAI Connect sends detected utterance to the bot).

  • false: (Default) Disabled. VoiceAI Connect doesn't expect speech input from the user until the bot has finished playing its response to the user. In other words, the user can't "barge-in" until the bot message response has finished playing.

bargeInOnDTMF

Boolean

Enables barge-in on DTMF. For more information on DTMF, see DTMF digits.

bargeInMinWordCount

Number

Defines the minimum number of words that the user must say for VoiceAI Connect to consider it a barge-in. For example, if configured to 4 and the user only says 3 words during the bot's playback response, no barge-in occurs.

The valid range is 1 to 5. The default is 1.

No user input notifications and actions

You can configure a timeout within which input from the user (speech or DTMF) should occur. If the timeout expires without any user input, VoiceAI Connect can play a prompt (audio or text) to the user, asking the user to say something. If there is still no input from the user, VoiceAI Connect can prompt the user again (number of times to prompt is configurable). If there is still no input, VoiceAI Connect disconnects the call and can perform a specific activity such as playing a prompt to the user or transferring the call (to a human agent).

VoiceAI Connect can also send an event message to the bot if there is no user input. the event indicates how many times the timeout elapsed. For more information, see No user input.

How to use it?

These features are controlled by the VoiceAI Connect Administrator, or dynamically by the bot during the conversation (bot overrides VoiceAI Connect configuration):

Parameter

Type

Description

userNoInputTimeoutMS

Number

Defines the maximum time (in milliseconds) that VoiceAI Connect waits for input from the user.

If no input is received when this timeout expires, you can configure VoiceAI Connect to play a textual (see the userNoInputSpeech parameter) or an audio (see the userNoInputUrl parameter) prompt to ask the user to say something. If there is still no input from the user, you can configure VoiceAI Connect to prompt the user again. The number of times to prompt is configured by the userNoInputRetries parameter.

If the sendEventsToBot parameter is configured to noUserInput (or, the userNoInputSendEvent parameter is configured to true) and the timeout expires, VoiceAI Connect sends an event to the bot, indicating how many times the timer has expired.

The default is 0 (i.e., feature disabled).

Note:

  • DTMF (any input) is considered as user input (in addition to user speech) if the sendDTMF parameter is configured to true.

  • If you have configured a prompt to play when the timeout expires, the timer is triggered only after playing the prompt to the user.

userNoInputRetries

Number

Defines the maximum number of allowed timeouts (configured by the userNoInputTimeoutMS parameter) for no user input. If you have configured a prompt to play (see the userNoInputSpeech or userNoInputUrl parameter), the prompt is payed each time the timeout expires.

The default is 0 (i.e., only one timeout).

For more information on the no user input feature, see the userNoInputTimeoutMS parameter.

Note: If you have configured a prompt to play upon timeout expiry, the timer is triggered only after playing the prompt to the user.

userNoInputSpeech

String

Defines the textual prompt to play to the user when no input has been received from the user when the timeout expires (configured by userNoInputTimeoutMS).

The prompt can be configured in plain text or in Speech Synthesis Markup Language (SSML) format:

By default, the parameter is not configured.

Plain-text example:

{
  "name": "LondonTube",
  "provider": "my_azure",
  "displayName": "London Tube",
  "userNoInputTimeoutMS": 5000,
  "userNoInputSpeech": "Hi there. Please say something"
}

SSML example:

{
  "name": "LondonTube",
  "provider": "my_azure",
  "displayName": "London Tube",
  "userNoInputTimeoutMS": 5000,
  "userNoInputSpeech": "<speak>This is <say-as interpret-as=\"characters\">SSML</say-as></speak>"
}

For more information on the no user input feature, see the userNoInputTimeoutMS.

Note:

  • If you have also configured to play an audio prompt (see the userNoInputUrl parameter), the userNoInputSpeech takes precedence.

  • This feature requires a text-to-speech provider. It will not work when the speech is synthesized by the bot framework.

  • The supported SSML elements depend on the text-to-speech provider:

  • For more information on using SSML for text in the message activity, see message Activity.

userNoInputUrl

String

Defines the URL from where the audio prompt is played to the user when no input has been received from the user when the timeout expires (configured by userNoInputTimeoutMS).

By default, the parameter is not configured.

For more information on the no user input feature, see the userNoInputTimeoutMS.

Note: If you have also configured to play a textual prompt (see the userNoInputSpeech parameter), the userNoInputSpeech takes precedence.

userNoInputSendEvent

Boolean

Enables VoiceAI Connect to send an event message to the bot if there is no user input for the duration configured by the userNoInputTimeoutMS parameter, indicating how many times the timer has expired ('value' field). For more information on this event, see Speech customization.

  • true: Enabled.

  • false: (Default) Disabled.

This parameter is deprecated. The sendEventsToBot parameter should be used instead.

Note:

  • The feature is applicable only to Azure, Google, and AudioCodes API (ac-api).

  • For more information, see No user input.

Sentiment analysis

Google Dialogflow’s sentiment analysis feature inspects end-user input and tries to determine an end-user's attitude (positive, negative, or neutral). For more information, see sentiment analysis for Dialogflow CX and Dialogflow ES.

For VoiceAI Connect Enterprise, this feature is supported only from Version 2.6 and later.

How to use it?

These features are controlled by the VoiceAI Connect Administrator, or dynamically by the bot during the conversation (bot overrides VoiceAI Connect configuration):

Parameter

Type

Description

SentimentAnalysis

Boolean

Enables the sentiment analysis feature.

  • False: (Default) Sentiment analysis speech detection is disabled.

  • True: Sentiment analysis speech detection is enabled.

Note: This parameter is applicable only to Google Dialogflow.

Profanity filter

Profanity filter provides a few options in dealing with profane words in the transcription.

For VoiceAI Connect Enterprise, this feature is supported for Azure, Google and Yandex STT providers only from Version 3.6 and later.

How to use it?

These features are controlled by the VoiceAI Connect Administrator, or dynamically by the bot during the conversation (bot overrides VoiceAI Connect configuration):

Parameter

Type

Description

sttProfanityFilter

String

Defines the profanity filter options as one of the following values:

  • mask: (Default) Replaces letters in profane words with star characters.

  • remove: Removes profane words.

  • keep: Does nothing to profane words.

Note: Google STT mask replaces all letters with asterisk (*) characters except the first letter.