Amazon’s Alexa, Google’s Assistant & AI

These days, you don’t have to look far to find the power of artificial intelligence changing the way that we go about our everyday lives. If you have ever asked Amazon’s Alexa for the weather, or utilized Google’s Assistant to do a voice search, you have experienced the exciting and rapidly developing world of artificial intelligence first hand. While it might not seem like it due to their user-friendly nature, behind the scenes there are numerous different forms of artificial intelligence working to provide customers with a convenient and frictionless experience. But what really is artificial intelligence, and what could it mean for the future of technology?

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Let’s Define Some Important Terms

While artificial intelligence is an exciting new technology, often times it can be extremely confusing to understand without an understanding of some key definitions and topics:

  • First off, let’s define artificial intelligence (AI) itself: Formally, artificial intelligence is defined as the development of computer systems able to perform tasks that normally require human intelligence. While this is a strong definition of artificial intelligence today, the field is constantly changing, meaning that the way we define artificial intelligence today could very well change in the future.
  • Machine Learning, also referred to as intelligent information retrieval, is the practice of training a computer program to automatically “learn” from vast amounts of data introduced to it. In reality, the “learning” that occurs are actually automated changes to the program’s algorithm, which allows it to continually improve its ability to recognize patterns within data.
  • Neural Networks are computer programs that are able to mimic the neural pathways of the human brain through the application of complex mathematics. Interestingly, neural networks have proven to be especially useful in industries like finance thanks to their ability to rapidly adjust to the complex situations that are typical of investment markets.

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How Can Consumers Benefit from Artificial Intelligence?

While talk of artificial intelligence can certainly be interesting to consider, for those of us that are not math geniuses or computer wiz-kids it can be hard to imagine just how artificial intelligence can benefit us in our everyday lives. Apps like Amazon’s Alexa and Google’s Assistant are certainly useful for automating everyday tasks, but they are pretty limited outside of this. So, just how can artificial intelligence benefit consumers, and when might we see such benefits reaching the market?

Google Assistant

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  • As we know, Amazon’s Alexa is currently fairly limited in what she can assist with. Thankfully, Amazon is constantly applying the newest advances in artificial intelligence to consistently improve their offerings.

Amazon Alexa

  • Yelp, the smartphone app best known for its army of restaurant reviewers, is utilizing artificial intelligence right now to help curate custom recommendations for each user based on their preferences, reviews, and past visits to similar restaurants.
  • Facebook has been developing a number of intuitive chatbots that can do everything from help users order foodto assist in planning an upcoming vacation.

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What’s the Future of Artificial Intelligence? 

As we have seen, artificial intelligence seems to be slowly working itself into all types of consumer products and technologies. While the abilities of Alexa and Facebook’s chatbots may seem limited today, this is only the beginning of what is sure to be an exciting technological revolution powered by artificial intelligence. As the market stands today, it is hard to tell just where artificial intelligence will lead us. Regardless of the end point of this exciting computing revolution, consumers can be confident that the technology and features dreamed up by Silicon Valley will serve to make their lives tremendously easier.

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