Listen to the future

Beata Nylén, Conversational Solutions and Analytics Manager at Telia in Sweden

Meet Beata who is creating natural language interfaces, just like Siri and Alexa. She studied linguistics and computational linguistics at university, and later she became a leading expert in conversational solutions.

“I am leading a team with a clear agenda to understand how artificial intelligence can improve and empower the solutions that Telia is creating for our corporate customers. Understanding the value is one part, another is to keep on delivering state of the art voice controlled systems and solutions. We need to leverage the best technologies and deliver state of the art conversational self-services like chat bots and other speech solutions. Right now, we see a great demand of new ways of using AI-empowered self-service for customer care and support applications.”

Teaching computers to read between the lines
“We do research on artificial intelligence, machine learning, deep learning and voice control that we share with our whole organization. Basically, my team focus on getting insights in how computers understand human language – what we say, but increasingly importantly, what we don’t say. All our findings are then put to use in our customers systems and solutions.”

Delivering tailored solutions
“The structure and core of all our voice controlled systems are developed by Telia. We build a foundation, including the logic behind smart AI dialogues. Then our customers add their needs and input, to create a completely tailored solution.”

I was there at the very beginning
“After my degree, I was set to stay at the university to do research, but I was hand-picked by Telia Research that collaborated with an American company to build two of Sweden’s first voice controlled systems. One was for the national railway company to deliver train timetables over phone. And the other one was for the public car register. The challenge we solved was that the telephones back then didn’t have alpha numerical system. The train solution didn’t fly. But the car registration system that I was part of developing, is still working today.”

What role models and/or mentors have you had?
“My time working with smaller start-ups taught me a lot of things and shaped my way of thinking. Back then, all business models were global from day one and the sky was the limit. Telia is no start-up, but we share many things with smaller companies – the team is key and we always have a mindset where anything is possible. Looking back, I can’t name a specific mentor, but I have always surrounded myself with people who has the ability to combine great skills with a passion for technology and business.”

My husband is my most important supporter
“I think that the most important support I have nowadays is from my husband and the fact that we respect both our careers equally. His career is not considered more important than mine, which unfortunately is still something I see a lot of even though it is 2018. We both have jobs that we love and because of that, we are both supportive to each other. Having children of course mean that we cannot always prioritize work – but that goes for both of us. Having a supportive partner especially as a woman has far more impact than any career coach because your partner is the person who has the power to make it happen for you.”

More and more systems are controlled by voice today. We talk to chat bots almost daily – often without even knowing it. And now voice control is moving into our homes quickly. All over the world people are asking for their favorite tune on Spotify, requesting Netflix to change film or paying bills by telling the bank what and how it should be done. Say hello to the future of voice!

Advice I wish I got when I was at University

  1. Dare to challenge and rethink the way things work
  2. First focus on the true customer need, then find the right solution to solve it. That’s when you’ll find innovation!
  3. Follow your inner drive – passion wins!
Facts

 

Education

Degree in Economy from the University of Växjö and a master’s degree in Business Strategy and Marketing from the University of Greenwich.

Life before Telia

I have worked with a variety of companies, from startups to big banks, but always with new technology, innovation and payments. Before Telia, I was with Swedish bank SEB for eight years as Head of Mobile, Head of Digital Strategy and Head of Business development.

Life outside work

Sports (a background as an athlete in Track & Field and Gym instructor). And I enjoy great food and wine.

Family?

Husband and three kids (12, 11 and 5 years old).

Something you didn´t know about me

Before Telia, I had never held a position that was defined or already existing. This has been both positive and demanding. Positive because the roles were tailored for me and from what I wanted to achieve. At the same time demanding, since I had to explain the meaning of the role to the organization, why a new role was needed and what results it was going to provide.
I believe I have a constant desire to disrupt and move into areas that have not been entered before.