CEO reveals the future of HR tech - and it was inspired by his daughter

by Emily Douglas21 Aug 2018

There seems to be a plethora of HR Tech on the horizon, with many employers still unsure how and when it will impact their organization.

AI, face recognition, hyper-personalization – just when you thought you’d seen it all a new contender enters the arena. Welcome, voice technology.

At the helm of this impending new tool sits Shawn Kanungo, founder of Silver. Shawn is an industry veteran when it comes to that tricky intersection between creativity, business and technology, despite being relatively young for an industry entrepreneur.

We caught up with Shawn recently, to pick his brains over how this new voice technology, primed by Silver, will be disrupting your workplace very soon.

“Silver is a voice technology company,” he prefaced. “Essentially, we’re trying to create the next generation of services on top of Amazon Alexa and Google Home. The reason why I jumped into this voice tech space actually came down to my daughter. She’s almost two years old, and it’s just so interesting to see how she interacts with voice technology, specifically with Google and Alexa. She already knows that’s the interface which makes everything happen; it tells us the weather, it turns on the TV, it answers all of our questions. And whilst my daughter doesn’t have many words in her interface, Google and Alexa are in there.”

On the flip side, Shawn tell us, Silver was also was inspired by his mother.

“She’s an immigrant who missed the mobile revolution, and yet she uses voice a thousand times a day. So, I’m looking at these two people in my life who’ve missed the tech revolution due to their respective ages, but they’re still super comfortable using voice recognition on a day-to-day basis.”

It’s not a big jump for Shawn to then consider applying this world-changing technology to a business platform. He told us that, as a society, we’re really just at the starting point of what we can do with this new tech – not only in terms of integrating it into existing businesses but building whole new apps on top of these platforms.

“Consider Apple’s iOS –people have built thousands of apps on top of that platform,” explained Shawn. “Right now, we have Amazon Alexa and Google Home – what we want to do is help businesses create workplace apps on top of these two products.”

It’s a billion-dollar industry; a sleeping giant, Shawn describes it, just waiting to be unleashed on the world.

“It’s what I dream about,” he quipped. “It really is amazing. I thought really hard about what I wanted to spend the next decade of my life working on. As someone who worked with all other types of HR tech, from AI to Blockchain to AR, I never came across something with so much potential as voice.”

One aspect that is continually enhanced and changed by technology is culture. Shawn tells us that the best place to deal with all of this emerging new digitalization is to build an already pre-existing strong company culture. “For me, this is the only way you fight disruption. Start with small teams and small problems and look at how you can move the needle.”

To hear more about building t=strong company cultures and thinking creatively within a restrictive organizational structure, make sure you buy your ticket to see Shawn speak at our upcoming HR Leaders Summit.

 

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