2017: The Year Of AI
If you don’t know much about Artificial Intelligence, it’s time to find out! Read below to learn what you can expect from AI in 2017.
Published: Saturday, January 28th 2017
Hearing people say these phrases and talk to their smartphones, speakers, and wireless earbuds has become such a common thing that no-one bats an eye when they hear them.
Smart assistants used to be a selling point of smartphones. In fact, Apple's Tim Cook said that when the 4S was released, the S was added with Siri in mind.
These days, a smart assistant is fast becoming a must-have in all high-end smart devices.
Current Players In AI
Arguably, the most advanced smart AI (Artificial Intelligence) assistant is Google's assistant, which is found on the company's current flagship smartphones, the Pixel and Pixel XL.
Rumour has it, that Samsung will be including their own smart AI assistant on the upcoming Galaxy S8 (which will not be unveiled at MWC 2017 in Barcelona).
Apple currently has Siri on all of its devices, from the iPhone to the iPad to Mac. But, despite being the first smart assistant available on a commercial device, it's not quite at the same level as the Google Assistant or Amazon's Alexa.
Amazon.com's surprise smash hit, the Echo, features a smart AI assistant known as Alexa.
In the time since its release, Alexa has accumulated over 7000 skills, which lets her do anything from answer your question about the weather to switch on smart connected devices, order you an Uber or a pizza, and place Amazon orders for you.
Unlike other smart AI assistants, Amazon's Alexa has only been available on the company's own Echo - and select Fire - devices.
That's all set to change thanks to an announcement made by Huawei at CES 2017.
AI In The Future
Alexa On A Smartphone
The world's third largest handset manufacturer announced that its current flagship smartphone, the Mate 9, will be receiving an update in February, which will bring Alexa to the device. This marks the first handset that Alexa will be available on. Taking it out of the home and putting the power of Amazon's AI in your pocket.
Taking Alexa beyond the home is a key thing in expanding Amazon.com's current AI dominance and also forms part of Alexa's overwhelming success. Amazon's willingness to open up and allow developers and OEM's (original equipment manufacturers) to add Alexa to their products has given her a vast range of skills that no other smart assistant, not even Siri, can compete with.
No matter where you went at CES 2017, it was clear that Alexa was the undisputed darling of the show. Not only was she going to be available on Huawei's flagship smartphone, Ford had also begun including Alexa in select car ranges (Ford Fusions and F-150). LG also announced that Alexa would be available in their fridges and their new smart robot. Whirlpool appliances are also receiving Alexa compatibility, and even VW announced that Alexa would be coming their cars.
This now means that no matter where you are, you'll be able to control your smart connected devices. Soon you'll be able to open your garage, switch on your oven, and turn on the aircon inside your house while you're pulling up in the driveway. And, the best part is that you won't have to tap or touch anything to do it.
AI Integration Into All Parts Of Life
It's clear that the way we interact with technology is about to take a huge leap forward. Soon we'll be speaking to our devices as if they're people and we'll be interacting with technology in a far more natural and personal way.
For Amazon, this means that they now have more ways to reach you as a consumer of the services. Whether it be ordering physical items online or interacting with their digital offerings.
For you, it means tighter integration across a range of devices and more ways of controlling your smart home and smart devices, no matter where you are in the world.
Amazon might be leading in the AI market right now, but that doesn't mean that other companies aren't working on improving or launching their own AI assistants.
If there's one thing that's clear, it's that the future is about to get louder thanks to everyone talking to their AI assistants.