August 21, 2017 | Digital, User Experience
There are now a variety of mobile personal assistants on offer, including Siri, and Google Now. But in this post, we will be taking a look at Alexa and how it’s given AI a household appeal.
Alexa, which operates via Amazon’s Echo, is voice activated, and responds to our requests, whether we want to play music, order a taxi, find out the football scores, get restaurant recommendations, or pretty much anything else. Digital assistants that work using voice recognition are becoming more and more common, whether they are through smartphones, remote controls, wireless speakers, or a number of other devices, and as a result we are getting more confident in using them in our daily lives.
We are at a point now where AI assistants like Alexa are about to be accepted as standard technology, and currently an increasing majority of users are satisfied with the results, with a huge rise in the adoption of voice-recognition technology over the last year. The speed at which it is gaining popularity and household status is astonishing when you consider that it took almost 30 years before the computer became a household technology for the majority, and the internet taking about 15 years to reach the same level.
One of the benefits of Alexa that has made it so accessible is that it runs through Amazon Echo’s wireless speakers, which are very affordable, making Echo’s voice activated assistant a very attainable piece of technology for retrieving information, controlling other devices, and more. Alexa comes with two options for operating: the Tap, which is a bluetooth speaker which runs via Wi-Fi, and the Dot, which works remotely, with several of them ‘dotted’ around the home.
Several commerce partners are now working with Alexa, including Spotify, Uber, and Dominos – all leaders of their industries – as well as Capital One, broadening the possibilities for Alexa users. As Alexa expands, there are also other bots accelerating AI technology. Meekan and x.ai are great for scheduling, Facebook Messenger and Slack are improving text-based communication, and there is also Conversica which is proving efficient for scheduling and follow-ups. Automated bots like this make great personal advisors, and it is expected that there will soon be resources to do much more, such as handle mortgage payments, and manage travel plans.
There is also VoiceBox Technologies, and Semantic Machines, both set to compete against Alexa. VoiceBox Technologies are known for their impact on the mobile entertainment and automotive industries, whilst Semantic Machines are working on a verbal user interface that is capable of understanding and translating incoherent verbal commands, a common and natural flaw in human conversation.
Voice recognition interfaces like Alexa are no longer a novelty, and are increasingly becoming a staple technology. If you would like to know more about how AI can benefit you, and how we can help, please don’t hesitate to get in touch. We’d love to hear from you.