inspiral + virtualassistant   133

CES 2018: Real Advances, Real Progress, Real Questions
After my 3 days and 87,207 steps I offer these five observations about the direction of products and technology on display at CES.
CES  review  consumerelectronics  voicerecognition  virtualassistant  Google  GoogleAssistant  television  OLED  headphones  Samsung  LG  strategy  augmentedreality  PCs  laptops  wirelesscharging  Qi  innovation  author:StevenSinofsky  LearningbyShipping  Medium  2018 
january 2018 by inspiral
Boring Google – Stratechery by Ben Thompson
The opening to Google I/O couldn’t have been more different. There was no grand statement of vision, no mind-bending re-framing of how to think about the broader tech ecosystem, just an affirmation of the importance of artificial intelligence — the dominant theme of last year’s I/O — and how it fit in with Google’s original vision.
Google  GoogleIO  review  strategy  GoogleAssistant  GooglePhotos  GoogleLens  virtualassistant  imagerecognition  Stratechery  2017 
may 2017 by inspiral
Amazon unveils the $230 Echo Show, with a screen for calls, shipping June 28 | TechCrunch
Look out, world: Alexa is coming to a screen near you. Today Amazon unveiled the Echo Show, a WiFi-enabled home device with a seven-inch screen that is the newest addition to its Alexa-powered Echo range of home hubs that plays media and responds to voice commands.
Amazon  AmazonEchoShow  AmazonEcho  hardware  virtualassistant  launch  ecommerce  Techcrunch  2017 
may 2017 by inspiral
Google removes audio ads from Google Home hours after introducing them – BGR
Google Home owners were surprised to find themselves bombarded with audio ads for Disney’s upcoming live-action Beauty and the Beast remake this week. On Thursday morning, Reddit user CaptainCaptioni says he was getting ready for work and said “OK Google, good morning” to his Google Home, like he always does. After Google Assistant gave him the time and weather forecast, it started talking about the Disney movie.

Several other Redditors chimed in, saying they had heard it too: “By the way, Disney’s live action Beauty and the Beast opens today,” Google Assistant said. “In this version of the story, Belle is the inventor instead of Maurice. That rings truer if you ask me. For some more movie fun, ask me something about Belle.”

While an ad like this might not be so egregious if someone initiated a conversation about the movie, multiple Google Home owners on Reddit noted that they had never even searched for Beauty and the Beast.
GoogleHome  virtualassistant  onlineadvertising  critique  BeautyandtheBeast  BGR  2017 
march 2017 by inspiral
Voice and the uncanny valley of AI — Benedict Evans
This tends to point to the conclusion that for most companies, for voice to work really well you need a narrow and predictable domain. You need to know what the user might ask and the user needs to know what they can ask. This was the structural problem with Siri - no matter how well the voice recognition part worked, there were still only 20 things that you could ask, yet Apple managed to give people the impression that you could ask anything, so you were bound so ask something that wasn't on the list and get a computerized shrug. Conversely, Amazon's Alexa seems to have done a much better job at communicating what you can and cannot ask. Other narrow domains (hotel rooms, music, maps) also seem to work well, again, because you know what you can ask. You have to pick a field where it doesn't matter that you can't scale.
virtualassistant  voicerecognition  review  critique  artificialintelligence  BenedictEvans  2017 
march 2017 by inspiral
Google's "One True Answer" problem -- when featured snippets go bad
Obama's planning a coup? Women are evil? Several presidents were in the KKK? Republicans are Nazis? Google can go spectacularly wrong with some of its direct answers.
Google  GoogleHome  virtualassistant  search  review  critique  SearchEngineLand  2017 
march 2017 by inspiral
The Google Assistant is coming to more Android phones
Everyone needs a helping hand sometimes. Enter the Google Assistant, which is conversational, personal and helps you get things done—from telling you about your day to taking a selfie. The Assistant is already available on Pixel, Google Home, Google Allo and Android Wear. Now we're bringing it to even more people. Starting this week, the Google Assistant is coming to smartphones running Android 7.0 Nougat and Android 6.0 Marshmallow.
GoogleAssistant  virtualassistant  launch  Android  Google  2017 
march 2017 by inspiral
Amazon’s Alexa isn’t the future of AI—it’s a glorified radio clock and, otherwise, stupid — Quartz
It is, indeed, the greatest clock radio ever made. Nothing more. This much becomes apparent if I grow overzealous and put forth a slightly complicated search query. At moments like these I begin to feel that Alexa’s entire existence is so remarkably counterintuitive and sometimes even suspect she has been put on this planet to thwart me at every turn. Unless, of course, I need to ask her what time it is, or if I want to hear Taylor Swift. On those tasks she always performs marvelously.
AmazonEcho  Alexa  virtualassistant  review  critique  Quartz  2017 
february 2017 by inspiral
Alexa and Google Assistant have a problem: People aren’t sticking with voice apps they try - Recode
Amazon Echo and Google Home were the breakaway hits of the holiday shopping season. But both devices — and the voice technologies that power them — have some major hurdles to overcome if they want to keep both consumers and software developers engaged.

That’s one of the big takeaways from a new report that an industry startup, VoiceLabs, released on Monday.

For starters, 69 percent of the 7,000-plus Alexa “Skills” — voice apps, if you will — have zero or one customer review, signaling low usage.

What’s more, when developers for Alexa and its competitor, Google Assistant, do get someone to enable a voice app, there’s only a 3 percent chance, on average, that the person will be an active user by week 2, according to the report. (There are outliers that have week 2 retention rates of more than 20 percent.) For comparison’s sake, Android and iOS apps have average retention rates of 13 percent and 11 percent, respectively, one week after first use.
virtualassistant  Alexa  AmazonEcho  GoogleHome  critique  voicerecognition  Recode  2017 
january 2017 by inspiral
Police seek Amazon Echo data in murder case (updated)
Amazon's Echo devices and its virtual assistant are meant to help find answers by listening for your voice commands. However, police in Arkansas want to know if one of the gadgets overheard something that can help with a murder case. According to The Information, authorities in Bentonville issued a warrant for Amazon to hand over any audio or records from an Echo belonging to James Andrew Bates. Bates is set to go to trial for first-degree murder for the death of Victor Collins next year.
AmazonEcho  virtualassistant  crime  murder  police  warrant  law  privacy  Engadget  2016 
january 2017 by inspiral
Top 10 Tech Predictions for 2017 | Tech.pinions - Perspective, Insight, Analysis
Predicting the future is more art than science, yet it’s always an interesting exercise to engage in as a new year comes upon us. So with the close of what was a difficult, though interesting year in the technology business, here’s a look at my predictions for the top 10 tech developments of 2017.
tech  forecast  trends  virtualreality  augmentedreality  mobileapps  selfdrivingvehicles  smarthome  AmazonEcho  Alexa  internetofthings  virtualassistant  chatbots  author:BobODonnell  Techpinions  2017 
january 2017 by inspiral
Wynn Las Vegas Announces the Addition of Amazon Echo to All Hotel Rooms
LAS VEGAS, Dec. 14, 2016 /PRNewswire/ -- Wynn Las Vegas and Amazon announce plans to equip all 4,748 hotel rooms at Wynn Las Vegas with Echo, Amazon's hands-free voice-controlled speaker. The introduction of this technology into every guest room, beginning this month with installation in suites, will be an industry first in the world, allowing guests of Wynn Las Vegas to control various hotel room features with a series of voice commands via Alexa, the brain behind Echo. 
Wynn  WynnLasVegas  AmazonEcho  Alexa  virtualassistant  PRNewswire  2016 
december 2016 by inspiral
CoverGirl's Chatbot Is Smart, Funny and Responsive | Digital - AdAge
CoverGirl has released what it claims is the first influencer chatbot marketing campaign, using a program designed to emulate a real person's conversational style.
The make-up brand, which was spun off to Coty from Procter & Gamble in October, invited fans to use the teen-focused messaging app Kik to interact with a chatbot version of Kalani Hilliker, a 16-year-old American dancer, model and TV personality.
CoverGirl  chatbots  creativeshowcase  cosmetics  virtualassistant  AdvertisingAge  2016 
december 2016 by inspiral
Actions on Google  |  Actions on Google  |  Google Developers
Actions on Google let you build for the Google Assistant. Your integrations can help you engage users through Google Home today, and in the future, through Pixel, Allo, and many other experiences where the Google Assistant will be available.
GoogleAssistant  API  launch  virtualassistant  Google  2016 
december 2016 by inspiral
Alexa, Tell Me Where You’re Going Next
Amazon’s VP of Alexa talks about machine learning, chatbots, and whether industry is strip-mining AI talent from academia.
Amazon  AmazonEcho  Alexa  virtualassistant  machinelearning  RohitPrasad  interview  author:StevenLevy  BackChannel  2016 
december 2016 by inspiral
Chatbots with Social Skills Will Convince You to Buy Something
Virtual assistants that can read social cues and nonverbal signals are less jarring—and surprisingly persuasive.
virtualassistant  chatbots  voicerecognition  facialrecognition  bodylanguage  innovation  Sara  TechnologyReview  2016 
october 2016 by inspiral
Daring Fireball: Walt Mossberg: ‘Why Does Siri Seem So Dumb?’
So why does Siri seem so dumb? Why are its talents so limited? Why does it stumble so often? When was the last time Siri delighted you with a satisfying and surprising answer or action?
Siri  review  critique  virtualassistant  author:WaltMossberg  DaringFireball  2016 
october 2016 by inspiral
Echo, interfaces and friction — Benedict Evans
First, sometimes we're unbundling not just components but apps, and especially pieces of apps. We take an input or an output from an app on a phone and move it to a new context. So where a GoPro is an alternative to the smartphone camera, an Amazon Echo is taking a piece of the Amazon app and putting it next to you as you do the laundry. In doing so, it changes the context but also changes the friction. You could put down the laundry, find your phone, tap on the Amazon app and search for Tide, but then you’re doing the computer’s work for it - you’re going through a bunch of intermediate steps that have nothing to do with your need. Using Alexa, you effectively have a deep link directly to the task you want, with none of the friction or busywork of getting there. 

Next, and again removing friction, we’re removing or changing how we use power switches, buttons and batteries. You don’t turn an Echo or Google Home on or off, nor AirPods, a ChromeCast or an Apple Watch. Most of these devices don’t have a power switch, and if they do you don’t normally use it. You don’t have to do anything to wake them up. They’re always just there, present and waiting for you. You say ‘Hey Google’, or you look at your Apple Watch, or you put the AirPods in your ear, and that’s it. You don’t have to tell them you want them. (Part of this is 'ambient computing', but that doesn't capture a watch or earphones very well.)
internetofthings  virtualassistant  chatbots  AmazonEcho  Alexa  friction  review  BenedictEvans  2016 
october 2016 by inspiral
Samsung acquires Viv, a next-gen AI assistant built by the creators of Apple’s Siri | TechCrunch
Samsung has agreed to acquire Viv, an AI and assistant system co-founded by Dag Kittlaus, Adam Cheyer and Chris Brigham — who created Siri, which was acquired by Apple in 2010. The three left Apple in the years after the acquisition and founded Viv in 2012. Pricing information was not available, but we’ll check around.

Viv has been billed as a more extensible, powerful version of Siri.

Viv will continue to operate as an independent company that will provide services to Samsung and its platforms.

The first of two main pillars to Viv’s special sauce is its interconnected nature — other agents like Siri are only starting to allow multiple silos of information across apps and services to start talking to one another and become links in a user’s command chain. This allows more conversational and complex queries that more closely resemble how people actually talk.

The second is the programmatic nature of Viv’s back-end systems. Utilizing “breakthroughs” in program synthesis, Viv says its AI is capable of writing its own code to accomplish new tasks. This “software that builds itself” is not new in many other verticals, but Viv was one of the first big splash announcements using the technique that we had seen in AI. Viv calls this “dynamic program generation,” and it allows Viv to understand the intent of the user and to create programs to handle tasks on the fly, even if it’s never heard that particular one in the past.
Samsung  Viv  takeover  virtualassistant  smartphones  artificialintelligence  review  Techcrunch  2016 
october 2016 by inspiral
Yelling at Amazon’s Alexa - The New Yorker
This spring, I decided to experiment with Alexa myself, at my apartment, which has a beautiful soul but is not smart in the least. In theory, Alexa can adjust your lighting by having you yell into the air; she can open and close your garage door and turn up the heat. I live in a prewar walkup; my lights are rarely far from my hands; I certainly don’t have a garage. My heat is controlled by knob-turning, window-opening, and landlord-e-mailing, which are not compatible with Alexa. My apartment’s brain, sadly, would still have to be me.
Alexa  AmazonEcho  virtualassistant  review  NewYorker  2016 
october 2016 by inspiral
Pixel’s best features aren’t coming to the new version of Android | TechCrunch
Most notably, Android 7.1, the updated version of Nougat that powers the Pixel and Pixel XL, is lacking Google Assistant. This smart virtual helper is Google’s answer to Apple’s Siri, Microsoft’s Cortana, and Amazon’s Alexa. It’s a lot more robust than Google Now, the current digital assistant that ships on today’s Android devices and in the standalone Google app.
GooglePixel  Android  virtualassistant  GoogleAssistant  GoogleNow  launch  review  Techcrunch  2016 
october 2016 by inspiral
Kik Is Now Letting Users Interact With More Than One Chatbot in the Same Conversation | Adweek
Kik has a new way for users to interact with multiple chatbots.
Today, the Canadian messaging app is rolling out a new line of fashion and beauty bots that will be able to help users decide on styles of clothing or makeup—both by themselves or in conversations with friends—in way that could help drive sales for brands like H&M, Sephora and Victoria's Secret.
The first rollout is focused on teenagers, who tend to use the messaging app more frequently and for longer periods of time than other age groups. According to Jaclyn Ling, Kik's director of retail, the goal is to make the messaging experience feel more like shopping in real life. The launch comes just a few months after Kik introduced a way for users to share bots with each other rather than only accessing them through Kik's bot shop.
Kik  chatbots  fashion  H&M  Sephora  VictoriasSecret  virtualassistant  teenagers  mobilecommerce  mobilemessaging  review  AdWeek  2016 
october 2016 by inspiral
Can Google’s new chat app Allo rival Facebook Messenger and WhatsApp? | Marketing Week
Google has finally released its long-awaited chat app Allo, but will AI capabilities be enough to challenge established rivals such as WhatsApp?
Google  GoogleAllo  mobilemessaging  virtualassistant  launch  review  MarketingWeek  2016 
september 2016 by inspiral
Five pioneering examples of how brands are using chatbots | Econsultancy
The chatbots are here, and while it remains to be seen whether they are a useful technology or merely a passing fad, many brands are already putting them to work.
chatbots  virtualassistant  creativeshowcase  Sephora  Uber  BankofAmerica  PizzaHut  FacebookMessenger  Kik  Twitter  Econsultancy  2016 
august 2016 by inspiral
Bots are Better Without Conversation — Medium
It’s also important to note that we don’t think bots are going to replace apps any time soon. That’s not the point. The point is that people are increasingly spending their time in chat apps, so we’re building experiences inside chat that allow people to do more while they’re there. That’s why bots are so interesting.
The good news is that bots are useful even without the conversational element. They have other advantages. To name a few:
Kik  chatbots  KikBotShop  mobilemessaging  virtualassistant  review  author:TedLivingstone  Medium  2016 
august 2016 by inspiral
Toward a smarter software future - Recode
Our smartphones are really not that smart when it comes to the intelligence equation. That is about to change.

Most modern software platforms like iOS and Android are increasingly adding elements of machine learning and beginning to extend more of the core platform intelligence to developers. The software community can now, in more ways, take advantage of platform APIs and start using many of these advancements in deep learning to provide new and more valuable customer experiences.
virtualassistant  machinelearning  innovation  opportunity  personal  communal  comparison  author:BenBajarin  Recode  2016 
july 2016 by inspiral
Messenger Platform gets an update!
Just a little over two and a half months ago we launched the Messenger Platform, and since then many businesses and developers have begun to build bots for Messenger across many different verticals. Since the launch of the Messenger platform, over 11,000 bots have launched on Messenger and over 23,000 developers have signed up for's Bot Engine. We’ve also been listening closely to feedback and learning alongside our partners. We’re really committed to this platform and have just added some great new features and tools for people building bots to use. Take a look!
FacebookMessenger  update  chatbots  virtualassistant  consumerreviews  menu  animatedGIF  onlinevideo  audio  review  Facebook  2016 
july 2016 by inspiral
American Express Is the First Financial Institution to Make a Facebook Messenger Bot | Adweek
Add American Express to the growing list of brands planning for a bot-driven future.
Since the F8 Developer Conference in April, big brands like 1-800-Flowers and the NBA have been working with Facebook Messenger to create chatbots that consumers can use in the app. And earlier this week, snack giant Mondelez said it would start building e-commerce and customer service bots for brands like Oreo and Cadbury.
Now at Cannes Lions, American Express is demoing its Facebook bot, which will roll out in the next few months. The brand is the first financial company to get on board with Messenger and, initially, is experimenting with transaction alerts and purchase-related content.
FacebookMessenger  chatbots  virtualassistant  AmericanExpress  launch  creativeshowcase  AdWeek  2016 
june 2016 by inspiral
Why we might not see an Echo-like device from Apple - Recode
When you start to think about the assistant in the context of home access, it is also interesting to see how differently Apple is positioning its devices compared to Amazon. Apple positions the iPhone, the Apple TV and the iPad as home-remote controllers that are smart and secure, versus Amazon that allows Alexa to be tapped into by different devices. For the user, the final result is the same: Switching off the lights, closing the garage, and so on. The way they get there is very different, and has implications on how consumers will see not just the assistant, but also the brand behind it.

Again, no right or wrong, just a different approach, and one that will likely see Alexa branching out much faster but lose some identity, while Siri might move more slowly — a lot might depend on how quickly Home will develop — but will always bring the user back to Apple.
virtualassistant  AmazonEcho  Alexa  Apple  Siri  comparison  personal  author:CarolinaMilanesi  Techpinions  Recode  2016 
june 2016 by inspiral
Amazon Echo and Alexa really matter — Medium
The Amazon Echo is the first smart consumer electronics product since the smartphone that’s poised to become a daily habit for millions.
AmazonEcho  Alexa  review  virtualassistant  smarthome  security  surveillance  privacy  timer  integrations  branding  author:AnilDash  Medium  2016 
june 2016 by inspiral
Alexa may soon know how irritated you are - Marginal REVOLUTION
Amazon is working on significant updates to Alexa, the virtual helper that lives inside the company’s voice-controlled home appliance, called Amazon Echo. These will include better language skills and perhaps the ability to recognize the emotional tenor of your voice.

Researchers have long predicted that emotional cues could make machine interfaces much smarter, but so far such technology has not been incorporated into any consumer technology.
Alexa  emotions  virtualassistant  userinterface  innovation  impact  MarginalRevolution  2016 
june 2016 by inspiral
How Alexa, Siri, and Google Assistant Will Make Money Off You
While helping us get things done, virtual assistants will also give tech companies valuable new insights into our lives.
virtualassistant  review  opportunity  monetisation  Google  Apple  Amazon  GoogleAssistant  Siri  Alexa  TechnologyReview  2016 
june 2016 by inspiral
Skyscanner's new Facebook Messenger bot
Introducing Skyscanner's latest flight search innovation: the Skyscanner bot for Facebook Messenger. Using the latest technology, we've made it even easier for you to find the best flights, but how does it work? Let us explain...
FacebookMessenger  chatbots  ecommerce  travel  virtualassistant  creativeshowcase  Skyscanner  2016 
june 2016 by inspiral
This Company Might Make Apple and Google Irrelevant — NewCo Shift — Medium
A majority of value on the Internet now passes through the twin orifices of either Apple or Google, with the muscular sphincter of Facebook pushing value through the chain.
Viv  virtualassistant  chatbots  startup  integration  opportunity  NewCo  author:JohnBattelle  Medium  2016 
june 2016 by inspiral
Pebble’s New Core Competency is Alexa — Backchannel
Last week the smart watch company Pebble announced a Kickstarter campaign for a new device that has no watch face and lives on your key ring. While optimized for exercise (it streams Spotify and quantifies your run) the Pebble Core also can be retooled easily to perform a variety of different functions, limited only by the apps that developers might imagine. Buried in the company’s Kickstarter pitch was one of those ideas : “Add a Bluetooth or wired headset to create an always-on walkie-talkie or personal voice assistant.”
The italics are mine, but today Pebble itself is boldfacing those last few words, by announcing that the Core will integrate the capabilities of Amazon’s Alexa super-bot.
Pebble  PebbleCore  virtualassistant  Alexa  integration  PebbleConcierge  BackChannel  Medium  2016 
june 2016 by inspiral
When Products Talk - The New Yorker
How meaningful can a conversation with a product be? Even if we don’t talk with our bots about our existential anxieties—and perhaps we will do so, with our guru-bots—their personalities may affect us. If only for purposes of product differentiation, they are sure to be unique and memorable. Apple’s Siri already has a distinctive personality: she is responsive and helpful, but also wry, tart, and saucy if you overstep your bounds. (Ask her “What are you doing later?,” and she might say she’s working on her pickup lines.) Amazon’s Alexa is less of a know-it-all: she uses just enough “hmms” and “ums” to seem almost relatable and human. Since the personalities of brands like Apple and Disney can already rub off on us, it seems plausible that bot personalities will influence us as well. It’s already the case that Americans spend an average of, by some estimates, 4.7 hours a day on their smartphones. If Siri is sometimes sarcastic, could heavy users of the Siri of the future become a little more sarcastic, too?
virtualassistant  chatbots  communication  brands  impact  author:TylerCowen  NewYorker  2016 
june 2016 by inspiral
Apple Opening Siri, Developing Echo Rival — The Information
Apple is upping its game in the field of intelligent assistants. After years of internal debate and discussion about how to do so, the company is preparing to open up Siri to apps made by others. And it is working on an Amazon Echo-like device with a speaker and microphone that people can use to turn on music, get news headlines or set a timer.

Opening up its Siri voice assistant to outside app developers is the more immediate step. Apple is preparing to release a software developer kit, or SDK, for app developers who want their apps to be accessible through Siri, according to a person with direct knowledge of the effort.
Apple  Siri  virtualassistant  API  launch  TheInformation  2016 
may 2016 by inspiral
Here's how Google Home could be Amazon Echo's worst nightmare | The Verge
Google has some obvious advantages, mostly because it's Google: a company that has been indexing the web and everything you do on it for more than a decade. There's no guarantee its new device will be a hit — anybody remember the Nexus Q? — but there are good reasons to think it can at least offer Amazon some real competition.
GoogleHome  smarthome  virtualassistant  internetofthings  comparison  Alexa  AmazonEcho  review  forecast  TheVerge  2016 
may 2016 by inspiral
Google is making its assistant 'conversational' in two new ways | The Verge
Google would like to remind you that you can talk with it.

Today Google is announcing a "Google Assistant" that essentially performs the same tasks as other Google interfaces do, but in a conversational mode. It doesn't have a name, it just has the power of Google and its deep mine of data behind it.
GoogleAssistant  Google  launch  virtualassistant  chatbots  review  TheVerge  2016 
may 2016 by inspiral
Allo is a messaging app with Google built right in | The Verge
Google is announcing a new messaging app today. It's called Allo and its main feature is a Google assistant that's built right in. Google says it'll be available later this summer — for free — on both iOS and Android.

Allo (pronounced like "Aloe" and not like "'allo, guv'nor!") is a mobile-only app that you might think is meant to replace Google's other messaging app, Hangouts. But you'd be wrong. Allo is explicitly meant to be a fresh start for Google's new communication's division (which also runs Hangouts and Project Fi).

"It's really liberating to start from scratch sometimes," says Erik Kay, director of engineering, communications products. And Allo does feel like a fresh new start. Its interface is clean and easy to understand, with some clever little innovations on what you've seen in other chat apps like WhatsApp or Messenger.
GoogleAllo  Google  mobilemessaging  launch  virtualassistant  TheVerge  2016 
may 2016 by inspiral
Google Home: a speaker to finally take on the Amazon Echo | The Verge
For the past year and a half, the tech world has been recovering from Amazon's surprise announcement of the Echo. Now, Google is finally doing what everybody wanted it to do: release a competitor. It's called Google Home, and it's coming out later this year for an unspecified price. You can sign up to be notified for updates at the Home website.

Mario Queiroz is the executive behind the project. His title, VP of product management, is the sort you hear a lot. But you know him better as the man who has launched the only truly successful living room product Google has ever launched: Chromecast.

You can think of Home as his next act. It's essentially what you'd expect if you were looking for Google to create an Echo competitor. It's a small speaker you plug into the wall with always-listening, far-field microphones that can hear you from across the room. It'll answer your questions, play your music, and control some of your home automation gadgets. To hear Queiroz tell it, the Home will be better at most of those things than the Echo.
GoogleHome  Google  smarthome  launch  virtualassistant  comparison  Alexa  AmazonEcho  TheVerge  2016 
may 2016 by inspiral
Your Personal Sim: Pt 2 — Why Agents Matter — Medium
This is Part 2 in a multi-week series on the five- to twenty-five year future of smart agents, (aka, intelligent software agents, conversational agents, virtual assistants, bots, etc.) and their knowledge bases. Every two weeks we’ll explore a different aspect of the agent-enhanced future. I think smart agents and their knowledge bases are the most important IT development humanity can expect in the next generation.

1. Personal Agents — News & Entertainment, Education, Personal Growth
2. Social Agents — Relationships & Dating, Teams, Poverty and Social Justice
3. Builder Agents — Built Environment, Innovation & Productivity, Science
4. Economic Agents — Shopping, Financial Mgmt, Funding and Startups
5. Environ. Agents — Population, Pollution, Biodiversity & Sustainability
6. Health Agents — Health, Wellness, Dying and Grieving
7. Security Agents — Security, Privacy & Transpar., War, Crime & Corrections
8. Political Agents — Lobbying, Repres. & Tax, Basic Income & Tech Unemp.
virtualassistant  bots  chatbots  forecast  opportunity  review  author:JohnSmart  Medium  2016 
may 2016 by inspiral
Bots versus humans - Inside Intercom
Bots will augment conversations between humans. They will help answer simple questions in win-win scenarios. But thankfully for everyone, they won’t replace humans any time soon.
chatbots  customerservice  virtualassistant  review  critique  comparison  human  InsideIntercom  2016 
may 2016 by inspiral
Uber has a secret weapon: apps and bots - Business Insider
Uber's strategy to be everywhere began in August 2014 when it first launched its API. This is programming method that basically enables apps to talk each other — so a Yelp restaurant page can include a Google map of a restaurant's location or a developer can add the ability to hail a car straight from their app. 

In Uber's case, it opened it up to be everywhere — at least in a primitive form. 

If you work in an office, you can grab an Uber from right within Microsoft Outlook, Slack, or Atlassian's HipChat. You can call an Uber from Microsoft Windows 10, or price one up via Google Maps. 
Uber  chatbots  API  ridesharing  integrations  virtualassistant  FacebookMessenger  Slack  MicrosoftOutlook  HipChat  GoogleMaps  BusinessInsider  2016 
may 2016 by inspiral
The Internet Economy — Medium
Think of the internet economic loop as a model train track. Positions in front of you can redirect traffic around you. Positions after you can build new tracks that bypass you. New technologies come along (which often look toy-like and unthreatening at first) that create entirely new tracks that render the previous tracks obsolete.
internet  strategy  Amazon  Google  Facebook  logistics  mobileapps  onlinevideo  virtualassistant  chatbots  review  author:ChrisDixon  Medium  2016 
april 2016 by inspiral
How to build a better bot — Chatbots Magazine — Medium
Clarity, brevity, direction, momentum, decision guidance, usefulness, attention to detail, doing fewer things better, and above all else, empathy: these are still the key ingredients to crafting great bot experiences.
chatbots  design  userexperience  guide  bestpractice  virtualassistant  author:RyanBlock  Medium  2016 
april 2016 by inspiral
a16z Podcast: Bots and Beyond – Andreessen Horowitz
In this episode of the botcast, a16z partners Benedict Evans and Connie Chan — along with Chris Messina, longtime advocate of the open web and more — pull apart various threads related to the topic of bots, mobile, and beyond: the (evolution?) from web to apps to messaging to bots; chat as an interface; “conversational commerce”; and so on. They also discuss why framing messaging through the lens of WeChat both reveals useful things (what works/ might not work) and not-so-useful things (such as seeking the “WeChat of the West”).

More importantly, how can we keep bots, and what they represent, in perspective — beyond the fad? Especially when it comes to considering innovation on the ‘web’ vs. ‘mobile’ (remember the mobile browser!) and when it comes to removing friction (vs. adding limited interaction). What contexts (like customer service) are most useful for thinking about bots? And how can we even know, given it’s early days yet and we haven’t moved much beyond the command-line interface…

Finally, as computing moves outside the classic work-centric paradigm to room- and urban-scale, how do we think about integrating online and offline, ubiquitous and “diffuse” computing through bots?
chatbots  mobilemessaging  virtualassistant  innovation  review  critique  BenedictEvans  ConnieChan  podcast  AndreessenHorovitz  2016 
april 2016 by inspiral
The Humans Hiding Behind the Chatbots - Bloomberg
A handful of companies employ humans pretending to be robots pretending to be humans. In the past two years, companies offering do-anything concierges (Magic, Facebook’s M, GoButler); shopping assistants (Operator, Mezi); and e-mail schedulers (, Clara) have sprung up. The goal for most of these businesses is to require as few humans as possible. People are expensive. They don’t scale. They need health insurance. But for now, the companies are largely powered by people, clicking behind the curtain and making it look like magic.
virtualassistant  artificialintelligence  humans  chatbots  automation  GoButler  Operator  Mezi  Clara  MAssistant  Bloomberg  2016 
april 2016 by inspiral
Messenger Platform at F8 | Facebook Newsroom
Over the past year as we’ve been expanding what people can do on Messenger, we’ve been laser focused on creating the best and most engaging experiences. Part of this effort has been partnering with a few businesses to build deeper interactions with their customers on Messenger in a way that is contextual, convenient, and delightful, with control at it’s core. Today we are launching the Messenger Platform (Beta) with bots and our Send / Receive API.

We’re excited to introduce bots for the Messenger Platform. Bots can provide anything from automated subscription content like weather and traffic updates, to customized communications like receipts, shipping notifications, and live automated messages all by interacting directly with the people who want to get them.
FacebookMessenger  virtualassistant  chatbots  integrations  botsforMessenger  API  discovery  BotEngine  launch  Facebook  2016 
april 2016 by inspiral
Facebook releases Bot Engine to create much smarter bots | TechCrunch
Messenger is all about bots now. As expected, Facebook unveiled the Send and Receive API at its F8 conference. It lets you create bots for Messenger to search for things and interact with businesses. But what if you want to use machine learning and create more complex scenarios? Meet the Bot Engine, Facebook’s more powerful bot framework.

The Bot Engine is based on’s work. Facebook acquired last year, and later built M for Messenger using’s platform.

But Facebook is adopting a new strategy with the Bot Engine. If developers embrace the framework, Messenger users are going to get a variety of small specialized bots.
Facebook  FacebookMessenger  virtualassistant  chatbots  BotEngine  launch  Techcrunch  2016 
april 2016 by inspiral
How to Prevent a Plague of Dumb Chatbots
The best (and least annoying) chatbots will be those that recognize their limitations, and occasionally turn to humans for help.
chatbots  virtualassistant  voicerecognition  review  critique  TechnologyReview  2016 
april 2016 by inspiral
Why bots are the new apps | The Economist
The market for apps is maturing. Now one for text-based services, or chatbots, looks poised to take off
bot  chatbots  virtualassistant  mobilemessaging  opportunity  review  FacebookMessenger  Microsoft  Telegram  evolution  Economist  2016 
april 2016 by inspiral
Clippy’s Back: The Future of Microsoft Is Chatbots
CEO Satya Nadella bets big on artificial intelligence that will be fast, smart, friendly, helpful, and (fingers crossed) not at all racist.
Microsoft  strategy  chatbots  bot  virtualassistant  innovation  China  WeChat  standardisation  SatyaNadella  Bloomberg  2016 
march 2016 by inspiral
The Future of Conversational UI Belongs to Hybrid Interfaces — Medium
2016 is the year of everything conversational. Messaging apps are taking over the world and app store rankings with incredible retention and engagement rates. Every community, marketplace, on-demand service, dating app, social game or e-commerce product has or will soon have messaging as part of the experience to drive retention, engagement and transaction volume.
messaging  evolution  textmessage  mobilemessaging  virtualassistant  voicerecognition  graphicaluserinterface  bots  userexperience  author:TomazStolfa  Medium  2016 
march 2016 by inspiral
The Echo From Amazon Brims With Groundbreaking Promise - The New York Times
What is most interesting about the Echo is that it came out of nowhere. It isn’t much to look at, and even describing its utility is difficult. Here is a small, stationary machine that you set somewhere in your house, which you address as Alexa, which performs a variety of tasks — playing music, reading the news and weather, keeping a shopping list — that you can already do on your phone.

But the Echo has a way of sneaking into your routines. When Alexa reorders popcorn for you, or calls an Uber car for you, when your children start asking Alexa to add Popsicles to the grocery list, you start to want pretty much everything else in life to be Alexa-enabled, too.

In this way, Amazon has found a surreptitious way to bypass Apple and Google — the reigning monarchs in the smartphone world — with a gadget that has the potential to become a dominant force in the most intimate of environments: our homes.
Amazon  AmazonEcho  review  internetofthings  virtualassistant  advocacy  strategy  NYTimes  2016 
march 2016 by inspiral
7 Trends that Will Shape the SaaS Industry in 2016 — Point Nine Land — Medium
This post is part of our series covering the SaaS industry. To be kept informed of our next stories you can subscribe to our Point Nine Capital Channel
SAAS  startup  forecast  opportunity  SME  mobile  artificialintelligence  machinelearning  virtualassistant  bots  Slack  unbundling  microSAAS  author:ClementVouillon  PointNineCapital  Medium  2016 
february 2016 by inspiral
« earlier      
per page:    204080120160

related tags

3Dprinting  4G  adaptivelearning  AdvertisingAge  advocacy  AdWeek  ageingpopulation  aggregator  AIfirst  AirPods  Alexa  Alibaba  AliPay  alternative  Amazon  AmazonEcho  AmazonEchoShow  ambientcomputing  AmericanExpress  AndreessenHorovitz  Android  AndroidLauncher  AndroidMarshmallow  animatedGIF  anonymity  anticipatorycomputing  API  apple  appstreaming  Aquila  ArsTechnica  artificialintelligence  audio  augmentedreality  authentication  authenticlearning  author:AnilDash  author:ArikSosman  author:BenBajarin  author:BobODonnell  author:CarolinaMilanesi  author:ChrisDixon  author:ChrisMessina  author:ClementVouillon  author:HunyerWalk  author:JanDawson  author:JohnBattelle  author:JohnSmart  author:LaurenSmiley  author:MaryMeeker  author:OmMalik  author:RyanBlock  author:StevenLevy  author:StevenSinofsky  author:SundarPichai  author:TedLivingston  author:TedLivingstone  author:TomazStolfa  author:TomGoodwin  author:TylerCowen  author:WaltMossberg  autism  automation  Aviate  Backchannel  BackChannel  Baidu  BankofAmerica  Barcelona  battery  beacon  BeautyandtheBeast  BenedictEvans  bestpractice  BGR  bigdata  biohacking  bionic  blendedlearning  blockchain  Bloomberg  bodylanguage  Boostr  bot  BotEngine  bots  botsforMessenger  branding  brands  BrianSolis  bringyourowndevice  BroApp  BusinessInsider  BusynessGirl  casualisation  causation  CES  chatbots  children  China  chooseyourowndevice  Clara  Clarks  cloudcomputing  CognitionasaService  collaborativelearning  communal  communication  companion  comparison  conference  ConnieChan  consumer  consumerelectronics  consumerreviews  context  contextual  contextualsuggestions  conversationalcommerce  correlation  Cortana  cosmetics  Cover  CoverGirl  creativeshowcase  creativity  crime  critique  Cue  cultofmac  customer  customerservice  DailyBeast  DanGrover  DaringFireball  dataanalytics  decline  Deloitte  design  development  Digg  digitadetox  digitalbadges  digitaltransformation  discovery  disruption  drones  DuEr  ecommerce  economics  Economist  economy  Econsultancy  edtech  education  email  emdded  emotions  employment  Engadget  engagement  enterprise  ephemeral  eReaders  EvanSellinger  events  Everlane  evolution  Facebook  FacebookHome  FacebookMessenger  facialrecognition  FactorTech  fashion  FastCompany  film  finance  fingerprintreader  fitnesstracker  flexibility  Flurry  Forbes  forecast  friction  future  FutureMediaLab  gamification  gamingconsole  Gartner  Gatorade  GigaOm  GoButler  Goldsmiths  Google  GoogleAllo  GoogleAssistant  GoogleGlass  GoogleHome  GoogleIO  GoogleLens  GoogleMaps  GoogleNow  GooglePhotos  GooglePixel  graphicaluserinterface  graphicdesign  growth  guide  H&M  hardware  headphones  health  healthcare  Her  Here  HipChat  HorizonProject  HuffingtonPost  human  humans  Humin  hybriddevices  hybridlearning  imagerecognition  impact  imported  inairassistant  informationmanagement  innovation  inquirybasedlearning  InsideIntercom  InsidiousChapter3  Instagram  integration  integrations  internet  internetofthings  interview  InvisibleGirlfriend  iOS  IPA  ipad  iPadPro  iphone  journalism  JWTIntelligence  Kik  KikBotShop  KleinerPerkinsCaufieldByers  language  laptops  launch  law  learning  LearningbyShipping  LG  LinkedIn  livestreaming  locationbasedcampaign  locationbasedservices  logistics  loneliness  longform  machinelearning  makerspaces  management  manners  MarginalRevolution  marketing  MarketingWeek  MarkZuckerberg  MAssistant  media  MediaBriefing  Medium  menu  messaging  Method  Mezi  microSAAS  Microsoft  MicrosoftOutlook  MicrosoftSurface  Microsofy  MindMeld  Mindmeld  Mindshare  mobile  mobileadvertising  mobileapps  mobilebrowser  mobilecommerce  mobiledesign  mobilefirst  mobileinternet  mobilemessaging  mobilenews  mobilepayments  mobilesearch  mobilesocial  mobilevideo  MobileWorldCongress  modelling  MondayNote  monetisation  multitasking  murder  NeoLuddism  neuralnetworks  NewCo  NewYorker  NMC  notifications  NowonTap  NYMag  NYTimes  OculusRift  OLED  ondemandeconomy  onlineadvertising  onlinevideo  Operator  opportunity  PCs  Pebble  PebbleConcierge  PebbleCore  peertopeer  penetration  personal  personalaccount  personalfinance  personalisation  personalisedlearning  photosharing  PizzaHut  podcast  PointNineCapital  police  predictiveweb  primaryeducation  privacy  PRNewswire  problembasedlearning  profile  projectbasedlearning  Qi  QRcode  quantifiedself  Quartz  R&D  Recode  recommendationengine  redesign  relationships  research  review  ridesharing  RohitPrasad  SAAS  Samsung  Sara  SatyaNadella  scale  search  SearchEngineLand  searchmarketing  secondaryschool  security  selfdrivingvehicles  semanticsearch  Sephora  service  sharingeconomy  Sherpa  Siri  Skype  Skyscanner  Slack  smarthome  smartlighting  smartphones  smartthermostat  smartTV  smartwatch  SME  Snapchat  socialcommerce  socialmedia  softwareasservice  standardisation  Starbucks  startup  StartupStudyGroup  STEAMlearning  stickers  Stratechery  strategy  studentcentredlearning  SundarPichai  surveillance  SwiftKey  tablets  takeover  Tay  tech  TechCrunch  Techcrunch  technology  TechnologyReview  Techpinions  teenagers  telecoms  Telegram  telephone  television  Tencent  Terragraph  textmessage  The  TheConversation  TheInformation  TheNextWeb  TheVerge  timer  transparency  travel  trends  Twitter  Twoodo  Uber  UK  unbundling  update  USA  USAToday  userexperience  userinterface  utility  VictoriasSecret  videocall  videogames  virtualassistant  virtualreality  visualweb  Viv  voicerecognition  VOIP  Wantful  warrant  WashingtonPost  wearablecomputing  webjournalism  WeChat  WhatsApp  wifi  WinogradSchemaChallenge  Wired  wirelesscharging  Wit.AI  Wynn  WynnLasVegas  Xiaoice  XperiaEar  YPlan  ZDNet  Zirtual 

Copy this bookmark: