Thursday, February 16, 2017

What’s Next for Al Home Assistants



The Article, “What’s Next for Al Home Assistants,” is written by Jamie Condliffe. She writes about how popular assistants like Amazon’s Alexa and Google’s Assistant have become. Perhaps there is still room for improvement though. Condliffe assess the limitations that Andrew Ng mentions in the MIT Technology Review. These limitations include – “while apps for Alexa in particular may be proliferating, it seems that people aren't using them. That’s because keeping users aware of software is tricky: push notifications on audio-only devices are obtrusive, and without any other cue it’s easy to forget that an ‘app for that’ exists.” Another limitation that was mentioned by Andrew is that, “while a 2016 study by Stanford researchers and his own team showed that speech input is three times quicker than typing on mobile devices, ‘the fastest way for a machine to get information to you is via a screen’”. Although these are good points to make and technology companies should always be looking for new and cutting edge ideas, these home assistants should be given a little more credit. It seems to the audience or clients/ customers that Amazon’s Alexa is revolutionary. What is important to recognize is the amount of upcoming and already observed competition in this new market. Companies like Amazon, Google, Baidu, Sony ect., have managed to be very successful in their past innovations, so they are expected to use their abilities and strong teams to maintain their reputation. What should be recognized is Baidu’s development of the Little Fish. The Little Fish is an assistant device with a screen. And it gets better, the device also has a built-in camera that monitors where an individual is to make sure that the screen pints to the correct location. Baidu has already changed the game of the home assistants, which will be a driving force for these other technology companies to come up with the next big thing in home assistance. Although some may be concerned with the idea that landline phones are pretty much dead, what people must remember is that this was bound to happen the second the creation of mobile phones were even thought about. Technology is constantly changing and trying to make people’s everyday lives much easier. The new rise of assistant devices will allow those who still like to make “landline calls” to get a similar experience with a future development of phone calls via their home assistants. So there is no need to panic about calls being made from home because the infamous and revolutionary technology companies will help make this process much easier and improve the lives of everyone who can get their hands on assistant devices.

1 comment:

Matt Lodato said...

Almost all forms of technology that we are currently using or see in the world today are being worked on and improved by someone in some way. If we look at cell phones for example, every year when a new product comes out there is a new aspect to it that the previous model did not include. Tech companies are always looking to improve their own products or improve upon the ideas of another company. They aim to make the lives of their customers easier in as many ways possible. This is what creates competition between many companies that offer similar products. A clear example of this as mentioned in the article is Amazon’s Alexa and Google’s Assistant. These are two products, created by different well respected companies, that seem to offer a very similar service. Another example of this competition of companies offering similar products is in the smartphone industry between Apple and Samsung. They both offer smartphones that have similar features, but consumers will choose one over the other based on how they feel it will improve their personal lives. This is the major goal of all tech companies, to impact their customer’s lives in the best and most ways as possible. Because of this, there is always room for improvement. Amazon’s Alexa and Google’s Assistant have both been very popular since they were publically introduced. People were amazed by what they were able to do and how they could impact their lives. With this being said, they are not perfect and there is room for improvement. This is what causes companies like Baidu and Sony and a few others to make an improved “copy” of the product that will gain more customer attraction. Baidu’s Little Fish is a prime example of this as it includes a screen and a camera while still having the same features as the original home assistant devices. Baidus improvements on original home assistant devices will only motivate larger and more powerful companies like Amazon and Google to improve on that in way that makes the lives of its users easier. As more improvements emerge, more companies will attempt to expand on it and one up them. Because of this, technologies in all industries are constantly being improved and the progression is seemingly endless. While the original home assistant devices like Amazon’s Alexa are revolutionary and very popular, they are not perfect. Because of this, competition will continue to rise as more companies realize ways to improve the product. Over time, we can expect these devices to get more technologically advanced, smarter, and more powerful.