The 2016 Speech Industry Luminaries: Kate Dilligan

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Kate Dilligan

executive vice president, KnuVerse

In 2005, Kate Dilligan gave up a career in politics as a campaign manager, fundraiser, and strategist to pursue her passion for speech technologies. She joined KnuVerse, a provider of military-grade voice recognition and authentication technologies, as executive vice president and has been an ardent proponent for speech processing technology ever since.

After 10 years in stealth mode, KnuVerse, a division of neural technology company KnuEdge, emerged this spring and released patented authentication technologies that now make the security of voice biometrics possible in even the noisiest of environments. After five years in production in mission-critical battlefield conditions, KnuVerse’s solutions became commercially available in June.

With KnuVerse, it is now possible to carry out voice authentication to computers, Web and mobile applications, and Internet-connected devices with only a few words spoken into a microphone in any language and situation.

“Anyone who has tried to navigate a call center voice menu on a busy sidewalk or with kids in the room knows the frustrations around voice recognition and authentication,” said Nik Rouda, senior analyst at ESG, in a statement at the time of the release. “KnuVerse has taken a novel, ground-up approach to real-time voice analytics, solving for ease of use, security, and real-world connection and noise problems.”

KnuEdge’s voice authentication and recognition can identify speakers in environments up to 80 decibels. Four initial deployments are available: Active, Background, DNA, and AudioPIN. Active enables users to authenticate via utterance. Background lets users run constant voice recognition in enabled systems to identify individuals within conversational speech. DNA enables users to tag and alert utterances if known threats are identified in audio streams. Finally, AudioPIN combines voice authentication with written and visual cues to create a secure biometric authentication that minimizes the threat of playback attacks.

Reportedly, the company already has a multimillion-dollar revenue stream and interest from several big-name companies in the financial services, healthcare, and entertainment industries. In the past few months since the launch, Dilligan and her team have demonstrated to leaders in the hospitality industry how speech authentication can transform the guest experience.

From spiral development for very specific customers to the current customer-facing technologies, KnuVerse, under Dilligan’s guidance, has pushed its technology forward and propelled the industry toward the new, connected generation.

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