The Race to Artificial Intelligent Assistants


So, what is the next big thing in technology? If the experts are right, you will soon be able to use the next big thing in technology to get the answer to that question.

Okay, that is probably an over-complicated way of saying the next big thing in technology, according to many experts, are artificial intelligent assistants.

These are tools that allow you to interact with your device just by voice. That means no typing, tapping, clicking, or searching. So, when the technology moves to the next level in a few years’ time, and you are again asked what will be the next big thing, you can turn to your phone and ask it.

Who’s in the Race?

Many of the world’s tech giants are involved in creating artificial intelligent assistants. We already know about many of the early versions of the technology – Apple’s Siri as well as Microsoft’s Cortana and Google Now. Facebook and Amazon are also investing in the space.

There are exciting new start-ups making significant progress in the sector too. This includes Viv, a company whose founders originally built Siri and sold it to Apple.

Siri remains one of the most popular and widely used virtual assistants, but it is mostly a novelty. You can, for example, ask Siri to buy cinema tickets and she will give you a link to where you can do that. This saves you time from typing in the question in a search page, but Siri can’t complete the action.

That is where the next stage of intelligent virtual assistants is going.

The Business Case

Just making a cool tool that improves and humanizes the way you interact with your device is not the ultimate goal of artificial intelligent assistants. Instead, it is about adapting to changing user behavior in order to grow businesses and increase market share.

The app world is one area where this is easiest to understand. Apps are now available to do just about anything. You can have apps on your phone to order services, make purchases, communicate, catch up with friends, make bookings, and more.

This in itself presents a problem, however – a problem that businesses are only now starting to come to terms with. The reality is that users simply have too many apps to deal with, too many accounts, and too many login credentials. It has reached the point where they are choosing not to deal with them. In fact, users today spend 88 percent of their time using just five apps.

For the vast majority of businesses in the world, becoming one of those five apps is simply not possible.

Future artificial intelligent assistants will offer an alternative approach. They could order a pizza, book cinema tickets, send an email to your boss, a message to your boyfriend/girlfriend, and check the weather tomorrow, all without opening a single app. Also, they will complete the actions, not just bring you to web pages or apps where you complete them manually.

This is beneficial to both and, potentially, businesses seeking to get their products and services in front of consumers.

The Challenge

Challenges still exist – this is where the main action of the development race is happening. Those challenges include understanding the nuances of human conversation and decision making. That said, advancements are being made with artificial intelligent assistants. For example, current versions feature improved comprehension and conversational abilities.

With so many of the world’s big players involved and the benefits on offer, the race is probably closer to the finishing stages than the start.