Every week we discuss one of 2017’s technology trends. It’s time to dive into tech trend ‘intelligent applications’. What are we doing with it now, but maybe more important what will be the future? Last week we spoke about artificial intelligence as a trend. Intelligent applications and artificial intelligence go hand in hand (AI blog). Mark Zuckerberg built his own an artificially intelligent, voice-controlled assistant for his home, which is a pretty good example of these trends!
2017’s Tech trend 2: Intelligent Applications
As many modern consumers products have a microprocessor today, expected is that within the next ten years nearly all digital applications will contain a form of artificial intelligence. One can see intelligent apps as an appliance of AI and Advanced Machine Learning in the form of an application. A good example is a VPA (Virtual Personal Assistant), which for instances prioritizes your email and highlights important information.
Several smart assistants are already in development by big tech-companies such as Siri by Apple, Cortana by Microsoft, and Google Now by Google. These assistants have yet limited options but are getting more and more advanced. Organisations as Salesforce and Oracle also use AI increasingly in different sales and marketing products. Gartner (an American research and advisory firm in the information technology sector) expects that a notable part of the 200 biggest companies in the world use intelligent applications for big data, analysis tools, and the improvement of the customer experience. For the consumers market there are also many opportunities, such as providing help for a healthier lifestyle, a personal shopping assistant, a financial advisor, and affairs containing calendar and email management.
Jarvis by Marck Zuckerberg
To give an example of an intelligent application we focus on the Virtual Personal Assistant. We focus not on just any VPA, but on Mark Zuckerberg’s Jarvis, which he built last year. At the end of last year, after a year of coding, Zuckerberg had built a simple IA that he can talk to on his phone and computer. Jarvis can control Zuckerberg’s home, including lights, appliances, music and security. It also learns about the tastes and patterns of Zuckerberg, is able to learn new words and concept, and can even entertain his kid. Jarvis doesn’t just have a voice, but the voice of Morgan Freeman!
It uses several artificial intelligence techniques, including natural language processing, speech recognition, face recognition, and reinforcement learning, written in Python, PHP and Objective C.
Zuckerberg began by building a Messenger bot to communicate with Jarvis, which enabled Jarvis to translate texts and audio clips into demands. When someone arrives at the gate, Jarvis sends him an image to show who’s there. Watch this video to see how Jarvis works, pretty awesome right?
The future of Intelligent Applications
Zuckerberg says in his blog on Facebook that he has always been optimistic about AI bots. His experience with Jarvis has made him even more optimistic that we will all communicate with bots like Jarvis in the future.
And he is right; next to Jarvis –which is, let’s be honest, still pretty basic– other VPA’s are the way to the future as well, such as Amy by x.ai, Shae by Personal Health 360, and Otto by Samsung. In the longer term these sorts of assistants will be able to learn new skills itself, rather than having someone to teach it (by coding) on how to perform specific tasks. Does this mean that our technology is becoming more and more human? And how long will it take before smart homes are normal?