Items tagged with digital assistant

The vast majority of Siri users had no idea that some of their recordings were being listened to by contractors in what Apple said was an attempt to make its digital assistant services better. The contractors were listening to various recordings that Siri made to see if the digital assistant answered the question appropriately. A better idea of the scope of the Apple program has now been unveiled, and it is much larger than many might have expected. Apple was working with a contracting company called Globaltech from Cork, Ireland. The company had over 300 contractors working on the Siri project for Apple, and each of the workers was expected to listen to more than 1,000 Siri recordings per shift.... Read more...
A sneaky photographer managed to snap a shot of a slide on an apparent NVIDIA employee's laptop that points to "Project RON," which looks to be some kind play in the digital assistant space. Nothing has been announced, of course, but if Project RON is real, it may indicate that NVIDIA is making a move into the smart home device category. That would not be surprising, for a number of reasons. Smart speakers are growing in popularity, with Amazon leading the way, followed by Google, Apple, and others (in that order). According to recent data from research firm Consumer Intelligence Researcher Partners (CIRP), there are currently 66 million smart speakers in the US alone. Click to Enlarge (Source:... Read more...
Saint Louis University (SLU) has announced that students will have another roommate living with them when they return to classes this month. SLU will place Amazon Echo Dot smart speakers into each room and apartment that is offered for student housing. Each of the Dots will be running a custom SLU skill that is designed to answer questions that are specific to the university. The idea is to help reduce the number of calls to school helplines and keep students aware of important aspects of campus life. That custom SLU skill, which was developed by n-Powered and is hosted on AWS, can give instant answers to more than 100 questions that new and returning students might have that are specific... Read more...
Amazon is working hard on teaching its Alexa Voice AI some new tricks. Recently Alexa gained the ability to play music that you have heard previously even if you don’t know the track name. Amazon has now rolled something much more useful into its digital assistant with a new "Follow-up Mode." With this new mode, Alexa continues to listen for five seconds after it responds to your command, at which point you can follow-up for more natural dialog with the AI assistant. In function, this means you can say "Alexa, dim the lights" and then within five seconds you can issue another command without having to say "Alexa" again. The blue ring atop the Echo device will stay lit during its... Read more...
Amazon's foray into the digital assistant arena is an interesting one. Apple didn't invent the concept, but it popularized the idea when it bought the technology behind Siri and integrated into iOS with the release of the iPhone 4S. The concept caught on in the mobile world, but Amazon figured (correctly) that it could work in a smart speaker as well. Alexa was born, and now just a little over two years later, Alexa has blossomed with more than 10,000 skills available. David Isbitski, chief evangelist for Alexa and Echo at Amazon, announced the milestone on Thursday in a blog post. To add some perspective to the feat, Isbitski noted that the number of Alexa skills available to users increased... Read more...
For some, digital assistants are a part of everyday life. They're all around us. In mobile, they take the form of Siri, Google Now, and Cortana, depending on your platform of choice, and thanks to Amazon, similar functionality can be had at home without a phone through its Echo speaker. It's been a popular seller for Amazon, so it's no surprise that the company is working on a second version.Supposedly an announcement in imminent in the coming weeks. Early chatter suggests Amazon's second generation Echo speaker, code named Fox, will be smaller and portable. To put it in context, the current generation Echo measures 9.25 inches high and has a diameter of 3.27 inches. It's a slick looking device,... Read more...