An “AI Assistant” is an application program that receives natural language voice commands from a user and responds with the best results. Also known as a Digital Assistant or Virtual Assistant, the technology that powers an AI Assistant requires massive amounts of data, which utilize Artificial Intelligence (AI) and Machine Learning (ML) as well as Natural Language Processing (NLP) and speech recognition platforms.
Amazon “Alexa,” Apple “Siri,” Google “Now” and Microsoft “Cortana” are the most well-known AI Assistants. Their aim is to provide ease-of-use and perform personal tasks such as answering questions, setting alarms and calendar events, ordering goods and services, playing music, operating lights, adjusting heat and air conditioning, or managing home security systems.
As the user interacts with an AI Assistant program the embedded sophisticated algorithms learn from data inputs and become better at predicting the user needs or understanding voice commands. For many people with disabilities AI Assistant programs have proven to be transformational, allowing users to easily control lights, appliances, wheelchairs and other necessary devices such as communication tablets with a voice command. No matter the area of application the aim of the AI Assistant is to provide ease to its user.
What is the future of the relationship between ever-evolving AI Assistant programs and humans? While some fear advances in AI programs will affect what it means to be human, to be productive and exercise free will, AI Assistants programs will continue to be a helpful tool that cannot replace or remove people from the equation. With the ever-increasing computational powers and the amount of data available for processing, AI Assistants will continue to provide new and innovative solutions to make our lives easier.