By Kate Hickman, Head of Global Communications
Headquartered in Los Angeles, Faraday Futures (FF)'s vision is to create a shared intelligent mobility ecosystem that empowers everyone to move, connect, breathe and live freely. In June 2022, we announced the company selected Cerence to provide natural, human-like voice for its in-car assistant in the new FF 91 EV – its ultra-luxury electric vehicle.
To celebrate our partnership, Cerence CTO Prateek Kathpal was invited to participate in FF’s Born in California, Global DNA campaign, which highlights the company’s key suppliers from around the globe. Joining FF’s Kevin Wang, Prateek talked conversational AI, the future of EVs and the global team of talent advancing both. Here are some highlights from the discussion; you can also check out the video here.
Kevin (FF): What do you work on at Cerence?
Prateek (Cerence): We have about 450 million plus cars on the road with Cerence technology today. We provide the AI and deep learning voice platform within the car along with the audio AI capabilities. While voice assistants have been around for a while, the more capable hardware available in the car and the advances in AI and deep learning are enabling a new, innovative approach to voice in the car. In the case of Faraday Future, for example, we are providing neural network text-to-speech technology that is very humanlike. It presents to you a virtual human personality in the car.
Kevin: Impressive. It's like you mentioned, it's very natural. You can hear the breaths between the words. And that's what really gives it that natural feeling because something like the Google Translate might have this AI voice, but you can recognize that it's really robotic. But for something like this, you're able to, again, feel this excited emotion where the AI is introducing itself.
Prateek: Exactly. We already know about the car, right? We know we have access to sensors in the car. We know the conditions on the road around the car. And we know about you as a user, as a driver, and a passenger in the car. What if you could put all these things together? The voice assistant becomes much more intelligent and intuitive. Instead of invoking the wake-up word saying, "Hey FF or Faraday Future" it proactively does the action for you. For example, it knows the speed you are going. It knows the weather conditions. It could say, “slow down because the roads are going to be icy” or, “it's going to be rainier in the next few miles." If you stopped at a stop sign but you didn't stop long enough, it could actually learn and help you be a better driver and say, "hey, you only stopped for one second, it would've been better if you'd stopped two more seconds."
Kevin: Like you mentioned, we do not even have to invoke the voice command anymore. The car will be able to recognize certain circumstances and learn what the driver or passenger is looking for. We also have a sound control system where each independent zone is operated by itself. Cerence can also pick up on that, correct?
Prateek: Yes, not only does the driver gets the best experience, but also the passengers. They get a very similar and enhanced experience in the car from a voice assistant perspective. It identifies where you are sitting, and can, for example, understand if you say “change the temperature” it means only for your seat, not the whole car. We offer true multi-zone, multi-seat intelligence. Where you can be talking say on a conference call as the driver in the front seat and the system can mute your passengers in the back. It really allows you to take the experience to the whole next level.
Kevin: This campaign, we refer to it as our Born in California, Global DNA campaign. Do you want to just share a little piece of your mind about what this means for you?
Prateek: Sure. Well, so I'm based in California, and we have offices from San Jose all the way to Tokyo. The collaboration we have done with you guys, anywhere from California to Germany to Japan, we're bringing all that together. The global DNA that Cerence embodies is all about learning from the different cultures, the different countries, the different drivers all across the world and offering that capability to partners such as Faraday Future. With Cerence, you get not only the capabilities which are just North America focused, but across the world.