Nuance Communications has unveiled a new AI tool that uses fourth generation deep neural nets (DNNs) and combines voice biometrics and natural language understanding (NLU) to deliver more personalised and human-like experiences across voice channels.

With Nuance Lightning Engine, a single human command to a smart speaker, virtual assistant or IVR is enough for that system to understand who is talking and what it is they want in as quick as half a second.


The Nuance Lightning Engine allows consumers to set up a unique voice profile as part of an organisation’s account enrolment. When they contact that organisation on a voice channel, all they need to do is speak naturally and their identity is confirmed almost immediately, and a personalised interaction begins. No passwords or knowledge-based questions are required.

Until now, the industry standard for authenticating someone through voice biometrics analysis with so little speech was through a specific passphrase. The Nuance Lightning Engine cuts that standard speech time in half, allowing organisations to validate a given person’s identity through natural utterances faster than the human ear.

“Voice biometrics not only secures the voice channel, but when combined with NLU, is the foundation to frictionless experiences for consumers,” said Brett Beranek, general manager, Security Business, Nuance Enterprise Division.

“With the engine, organisations don’t have to spend time checking to see if a customer is who they say they are when they engage on voice channels. Instead, they can immediately start personalising the interaction as soon as that person speaks, making it an effective, enjoyable and natural engagement.”

The Nuance Lightning Engine has been made available to a number of strategic customers through the Nuance Intelligent Engagement Platform. The technology is expected to be generally available this Autumn.

Nuance is exhibiting at IBC2019 on Stand 15.MS36