AI Assistants - What’s in store in 2017

AI Assistants - What’s in store in 2017 - Lovefone, London

It may sound like the stuff of science fiction, but artificial intelligence is finally here & it's probably already beavering away in a smartphone near you right now!

No longer the stuff of movies or daydreams about flying robot butlers, AI research has at last created technologies which can learn (if not “think”) for themselves. You may not think that Siri, OK Google and Alexa are all that smart, but these virtual assistants are all artificially intelligent in their own right.

Today we'll be taking a closer look at the AI at work in our smartphones and peeking ahead to explore the future of artificial intelligence when it comes to our phones...

AI assistants

We may have been lapping up futuristic movies and novels for decades, but the future of artificial intelligence really did sneak up on us in the 2010s. Machine learning and deep learning became very effective and increasingly commonplace from 2000 onwards, resulting in the helpful assistants we're so used to asking for directions, asking about the weather and even asking about Ed Sheeran's birth date...

This is artificial intelligence. Future developments in this technology will only see our smartphones become smarter, more intuitive and better at predicting our needs.

So what's on the cards? Right now, LG's new G6 is expected to feature Google's AI assistant, while Samsung are working on their very own assistant for the S8. Over at Huawei, the Mate 9 is the first phone to incorporate Amazon's Alexa.

Huawei go all the way

Huawei are especially interested in AI. The company hopes to become the world's dominant smartphone maker, overtaking Apple and Samsung. AI research is their chosen meal ticket to smartphone world dominance. By 2020 the company hope to have released their AI-focussed “Superphone”, but have released very few details about what this will entail.

Judging by their AI-centric Mate 9, incorporating machine learning about user behaviour to keep device's running smoothly without slowing down over time will play an important role, but this aspect of the future of artificial intelligence only scratches the surface of what could be achieved in the next 3 years.

What's coming in 2017?

So what else is on the horizon of our artificial intelligence future? Here are some AI updates to look out for, expected to hit this year...

HTC is working on an AI assistant called Sense Companion.

This major development has been designed to use deep learning to figure out who you communicate with most frequently and offer priority notifications based on this learning. The technology could even provide alerts about when to charge your phone based on your anticipated activities that day, along with a whole host of other handy, predictive extras.

Samsung is building Bixby.

This is another AI assistant, built on technology designed by Viv (the creators of Siri). While all information about the company's AI research and development is seriously under wraps, it's known that Viv has some very good language-learning AI up their sleeves, which can decode and provide answers to insanely complicated questions from human users. For example: “Will it be colder than 10 degrees near the Greenwich Observatory this time next week?”

Do you think the future of artificial intelligence on your smartphone is exciting or a bit spooky? Which current AI assistant do you favour? Have your say below.

April 03, 2017