Ever since the inception of computers, tech enthusiasts have striven to improve how these machines interact with the world around them. To some extent, improvements have sprung from the idea of mimicking the creator’s way of thinking that gave birth to what we know now as artificial intelligence (AI). As the gap of “intelligence” gets smaller and smaller, several industries have nurtured interest in this technology.
For weeks, we have reviewed innovations around AI. But day by day, there seems to be no stopping the experts on delivering new discoveries and innovations. One article is not enough to roundup countless of updates and news. This makes me realize that artificial intelligence is a booming monster business. In the very near future, it is clear that business models’ make or break point could largely depend on it. The uprising of smart devices is a good example on the massive opportunities for AI.
In his blog, Ben Bajarin of Techpinions noted: “What it will really boils down to is that our smart devices will move from being useful to also being helpful. That, I feel is the root, of the artificial intelligence element of the smart device future. A world where smart technology is helpful as well as useful is a vision I can get behind. And by helpful I mean able to anticipate the user needs and preferences and offer up assistance based on context and situation.”
He added, “Many things, from more advanced semiconductors, better predictive software and artificial intelligence, and cloud technology need to come together to make this future a reality. As I survey the landscape today we still have a long way to go before this vision of the future is realized, and I can’t wait until this happens.”
The enormous field that is AI attracted scientists to get involved in researches as creative as possible. The idea of a fiction story telling a tale of a robotocist is a very entertaining example. David Dufty chronicled a journey of an Android replica of the sci-fi author, David Hanson. His book is entitled “How to Build an Android”.
While AI enthusiasts and experts have been quite successful in imitating some of the human brain’s function, the sophisticated and ingenious skills of interaction is what the technology lacks. Many believed that even the amazing dexterity of Google when it comes to search and other facets are one way—it’s all about the planning stage. Analyzing part is where it falls short. Professors that joined the World Science Fair held in NYC argued AI as rote learning with zero understanding of new situations. They even noted that they would be very ecstatic if they will be able to build an AI device that is as smart as a rat.
Josh Tenenbaum, an AI researcher said, “That whole context of communication intelligence, of getting inside another person just by the data of what they say and you say back, that’s the heart of human intelligence.”
Arguably, the entrée of Siri approves that Apple heading to the AI path. This breakthrough has also spun the competition in the mobile battleground to three hundred sixty degrees. The virtual assistant exclusively for iPhone 4S has separated the brand from the rest of world. Although SIRI has experienced few setbacks, the IBM ban being one of the newsmakers, it turned into a benchmark in mobile technology. A report also mentioned that Siri is possibly coming to iPad via iOS 6. Sources claimed that one of tentpole of the latest version is the support on the world’s most bankable tablet.
“Unlike on the iPhone 4S, Siri for iPad is not a full screen experience. This makes sense given the device’s larger, 9.7-inch display. Siri on the iPad is activated by a quick hold of the home button, just like on the iPhone 4S. The interface slides up from below the display with a clever animation. Siri is built into the iPad as a small window on top of whatever interface the user is currently interacting with. This Siri window with rounded corners sits at the bottom center of the display, as you can see in our mockup above. The Siri iPad interface takes very little space over the iPad interface currently in use, and is designed with the same linen texture as on the iPhone 4S. Siri for iPad also works from the lock screen.”
As they continue treading the AI direction, it is said that Apple is already investing in Natural Language Processing and Semantic Analysis.
Siri’s popularity as evident by the record-breaking iPhone 4S sales has inspired several other companies to launch researches and products within the same wavelength of idea. Exetel and the Sri Lanka Institute of Information Technology teamed up to develop the Calliope, a new customer support system that makes use of AI to resolve technical and online issues of users. The company regards this service as “Siri of the corporate world.”
Exetel CEO Steve Waddington told the media: “Siri is exactly the sort of intelligent agent that Calliope is on a commercial basis. You could say Siri is to Calliope what a spreadsheet is to Oracle database.
Not exactly as Siri wanna-be, an Android app called SwiftKey perhaps run around the same line of humor. The app was recently updated to follow a new language module that will allow users to talk like the royalty, Queen Elizabeth. The language technology processed transcripts of the Queen since the early 1950’s. The launch was in time for the Diamond Jubilee celebration of the England’s monarch.
Those who are following the footsteps of Siri must know one thing—artificial intelligence. While various studies have been launched and completed to unveil secrets and techniques, the technology still is not commonplace.
There are hefty of investments being poured the AI way. The question now is, will it eventually outsmart its creators? Will it be a tool to solve humankind’s biggest dilemmas in health, economy, defense, education or technology? Or, will it pose a mass destruction by means of robots as depicted in Hollywood flicks? Will IBM Watson and Siri be the parents of modern-day AI? The next 50 years will be very crucial.