recentpopularlog in

jerryking : voice_interfaces   15

Alexa: how can I be a better office worker?
March 12, 2018 | FT | Richard Waters in San Francisco

Amazon has announced that its Alexa voice service was now ready for business use, four months after it first disclosed the technology was being adapted to become a language interface for general work tasks.

The attempt to turn Alexa into a mainstream interface for office computing opens a new front in the battle with Microsoft, already its main rival in the cloud computing market.

“It looks as though Amazon is stomping all over Microsoft’s patch even though they did an alliance between Alexa and Cortana,” said Richard Windsor, an independent tech analyst.

The alliance linking the two company’s digital assistants, announced in August last year, was meant to let Alexa users call on tasks handled by Cortana, and vice versa. However, it has yet to result in a working link, and Amazon’s push to win over office workers — Microsoft’s core users — has intensified competition between the two companies.....To prepare Alexa for office use, Amazon had added a management layer and allowed companies to create applications, or “skills”, that can integrate with the voice interface while at the same time keeping them private.
Amazon  Microsoft  Alexa  workplaces  Cortana  voice_assistants  personal_assistants  chatbots  voice_interfaces  Richard_Waters 
march 2018 by jerryking
Amazon Echo Review: Second Generation, Still in First Place
Oct. 25, 2017 | WSJ | By Joanna Stern

Head of the Class

The real reason to buy an Echo has nothing to do with good looks or mics. It’s all about invisible Alexa. Generally speaking, all of Alexa’s smarts work on all the devices. And in the AI-assistant race against Google and Apple, Amazon has kept its early lead in some key areas:

* A deep ecosystem. With over 25,000 voice apps, or “skills,” and multiple hardware partners integrating Alexa, Amazon’s AI platform has become the most advanced voice operating system. Google has made some headway with third-party apps, but Alexa still has the edge with more news, ride-hailing, to-do list and kitchen-friendly apps. Google’s Assistant, however, does excel at answering random questions better. Come on, Alexa, you should know wool doesn’t go in the dryer.
* A smarter smart home. Amazon still has Google beat in smart-home control. Case in point: Alexa devices work with more connected thermostat brands than Google Home does. If you are especially interested in smart home, check out the $150 Echo Plus. It has all of the new Echo’s refinements, plus built-in wireless technology for home control without the need for third-party hubs.
* A stream of new features. Earlier this month, Echos got the ability to recognize multiple voices; your voice becomes a password. When I want to reorder breath mints, Alexa knows me and doesn’t ask for a PIN. Back in May, Amazon turned Alexa into a telephone operator: You can call others with the Alexa app or with an Echo. In June, Alexa got the ability to name different kitchen timers (one for the Brussels sprouts, one for the chicken). Reminder: Google Home has a number of these features as well. And Siri still can’t set multiple timers.

Despite Amazon’s lead, the Alexa apps for iOS and Android are in dire need of a redesign. Finding controls you want is harder than finding your bag at baggage claim. The Settings menu itself feels like an entirely different app. I made a video to show how voice recognition works, partly because it confused me so much at first.
Amazon_Echo  Alexa  Apple_HomePod  Google_Home  virtual_assistants  personal_assistants  voice_assistants  smart_homes  Siri  connected_devices  artificial_intelligence  voice_interfaces 
october 2017 by jerryking
The End of Typing: The Next Billion Mobile Users Will Rely on Video and Voice - WSJ
By Eric Bellman | Photographs by Karan Deep Singh/The Wall Street Journal
Aug. 7, 2017

Instead of typing searches and emails, a wave of newcomers—“the next billion,” the tech industry calls them—is avoiding text, using voice activation and communicating with images. They are a swath of the world’s less-educated, online for the first time thanks to low-end smartphones, cheap data plans and intuitive apps that let them navigate despite poor literacy.

Incumbent tech companies are finding they must rethink their products for these newcomers and face local competitors that have been quicker to figure them out. “We are seeing a new kind of internet user,” said Ceasar Sengupta, who heads a group at Alphabet Inc.’s Google trying to adapt to the new wave. “The new users are very different from the first billion.”
Google  India  video  voice_interfaces  Bottom_of_the_Pyramid  visual_culture  imagery 
august 2017 by jerryking
Toronto's smart thermostat startup Ecobee gets $35-million funding boost - The Globe and Mail
ALICJA SIEKIERSKA
The Globe and Mail
Published Monday, Aug. 22, 2016

A key part of Ecobee's growth strategy includes partnering Ecobee with high-tech home automation systems, including Apple’s HomeKit and Amazon Echo, which uses the company’s Alexa voice-activated artificial intelligence program. These smart home technologies allow users to control such things as lighting, appliances, security, heating and cooling using the Internet.

Ecobee was the first WiFi thermostat system to be compatible with Amazon Echo.
Ecobee  start_ups  thermostats  sensors  Amazon_Echo  Alexa  smart_homes  home_automation  voice_interfaces  artificial_intelligence  funding  Wi-Fi  Toronto 
august 2016 by jerryking
Your Lawyer May Soon Ask This AI-Powered App for Legal Help | WIRED
DAVEY ALBA BUSINESS DATE OF PUBLICATION: 08.07.15.
08.07.15

ROSS Intelligence is a voice recognition app powered by IBM Watson, the machine learning service based on the company’s Jeopardy-playing cognitive system, that doles out legal assistance.

The app is yet another example of the ways machine learning is infiltrating our everyday lives. These days, it’s not just AI algorithms themselves that have improved, but the ability to deliver them across the Internet that has made so many new applications possible.....Asking Natural Questions
Ross works much like Siri. Users can ask it any question the same way a client might—for instance, “If an employee has not been meeting sales targets and has not been able to complete the essentials of their employment, can they be terminated without notice?” The system sifts through its database of legal documents and spits out an answer paired with a confidence rating. Below the answer, a user can see the source documents from which Ross has pulled the information; if the response is accurate, you can hit a “thumbs up” button to save the source. Select “thumbs down” and Ross come up with another response.
technology  law  lawtech  lawyers  law_firms  machine_learning  voice_recognition  voice_interfaces  virtual_assistants  artificial_intelligence  Siri  IBM_Watson 
june 2016 by jerryking
Meet Viv: the AI that wants to read your mind and run your life | Technology | The Guardian
Zoë Corbyn
Sunday 31 January
Viv, a three-year-old AI startup backed by $30m, including funds from Iconiq Capital, which helps manage the fortunes of Mark Zuckerberg and other wealthy tech executives. In a blocky office building in San Jose’s downtown, the company is working on what Kittlaus describes as a “global brain” – a new form of voice-controlled virtual personal assistant. With the odd flashes of personality, Viv will be able to perform thousands of tasks, and it won’t just be stuck in a phone but integrated into everything from fridges to cars. “Tell Viv what you want and it will orchestrate this massive network of services that will take care of it,” he says.....But, Kittlaus says, all these virtual assistants he helped birth are limited in their capabilities. Enter Viv. “What happens when you have a system that is 10,000 times more capable?” he asks. “It will shift the economics of the internet.”....The future, as Etzioni sees it, belongs to the company that can make a personal assistant something like a good hotel concierge: someone you can have a sophisticated dialogue with, get high quality recommendations from and who will then take care of every aspect of booking an evening out for you.
artificial_intelligence  start_ups  Siri  orchestration  virtual_assistants  voice_interfaces  voice_recognition  personal_assistants  bots  chatbots 
april 2016 by jerryking
Google's Data Advantage Over Apple's Siri - NYTimes.com
July 19, 2012, 11:08 am 8 Comments
Google’s Data Advantage Over Apple’s Siri
By QUENTIN HARDY
Google  Apple  data  voice_recognition  Siri  data_driven  voice_interfaces 
july 2012 by jerryking
iPhone 4S unleashes more creative destruction | Considered View | Breakingviews
04 October 2011 | By Robert Cyran.

Apple has an astonishing ability to casually unleash creative destruction. Its latest iPhone, the 4S, offers faster data-processing and downloads, as well as voice-powered software. This may not have lived up to the most feverish expectations of investors: Apple shares fell while the market rallied. But it will do more than enough to create headaches for companies ranging from Research In Motion to American Greetings.

Smartphones started by devouring the personal digital assistant, as any former Palm Pilot aficionado can testify. They terrorized the market for fixed-line phones, which are now in sharp decline. Apple’s newest gadget shows just how hungry smartphone makers, and Apple in particular, are to eat rivals’ lunches.

The new iPhone’s camera offers sharply better video. That will further hurt sales of digital still and video cameras. Its software allows easy and free texting to other Apple devices. That’s bad news for telephone operators, who make fat margins on such services. Instant messaging has also been the killer app for BlackBerry users.
Apple  iPhone  creative_destruction  smartphones  wireline  margins  staying_hungry  RIM  BlackBerry  blindsided  voice_assistants  voice_interfaces  text_messages  free  investors'_expectations  bad_news 
october 2011 by jerryking

Copy this bookmark:





to read