The State of Voice with U.S. Bank and


In any other year, Voice may have continued to be used primarily as a consumer-first platform oriented around Alexa Skills and Google Actions. But 2020 has not been any other year.

Voice has moved to the forefront in the technology world, with Voice capabilities added to existing digital properties like web and mobile apps and IVR systems. More and more brands are building their own custom Voice systems, too, in an effort to reach customers in new and more convenient ways.

Join Richard Weeks and Steve Taylor of U.S. Bank, Bret Kinsella of and Ben Anderson of Applause as they examine the state of Voice in 2020. They will lead a discussion on the latest trends in Voice, how to effectively test Voice systems and apps, and explore how U.S. Bank utilized a voice-first design in its new Smart Assistant.


  • How leading brands are succeeding with Voice experiences
  • Where the Voice market has been, and where it’s going: Headless Devices, IVR, Chatbots, Mobile
  • The challenges and opportunities of testing Voice


Richard Weeks

Richard Weeks

Head of Conversational Experiences - Consumer Digital OfficeU.S. Bank

Richard is the Head of Conversational Experiences at U.S. Bank, where he oversees the development of conversational experiences for U.S. Bank customers, most recently around the new voice-forward U.S. Bank Smart Assistant and COVID-19 bot. He has more than 25 years of experience in Product Management and Customer Strategy roles in financial services.

Steve Taylor

Steve Taylor

VP, Journey Owner, Voice and Conversational AIU.S. Bank

Steve is the Journey Owner of Voice and Conversational AI experiences at U.S. Bank, leading the strategy and execution of voice-forward products and driving the development of the Smart Assistant, focusing on conversational language and business logic. He has held roles at U.S. Bank in Product, Omnichannel and Digital Services.

Bret Kinsella

Bret Kinsella

Founder and

Bret is founder, CEO, and research director of He was named commentator of the year by the Alexa Conference in 2019 and is widely cited in media and academic research as an authority on voice assistants and AI. He is also the host of the Voicebot Podcast and editor of the Voice Insider newsletter.

Ben Anderson

Ben Anderson

AI and Voice LeadApplause

As the AI and Voice Lead at Applause, Ben Anderson is responsible for a virtual team of AI and Voice experts across some of Applause's largest accounts, along with leading the Global Sales Go-To-Market Program for the company's AI and Voice practices.

A veteran of the Sales organization at Applause, Ben works with global accounts where he evangelizes digital quality and crowd-powered feedback to provide the best possible customer experiences for some of the world's top brands.


Applause is the worldwide leader in enabling digital quality. With the Product Excellence Platform, Applause provides a harmonized approach to quality that drastically improves testing coverage, reduces costs and speeds time-to-market for websites, mobile apps, IoT and in-store experiences.