Intelligent personal assistant
An intelligent personal assistant (or simply IPA) is a software agent that can perform tasks or services for an individual. These tasks or services are based on user input, location awareness, and the ability to access information from a variety of online sources (such as weather or traffic conditions, news, stock prices, user schedules, retail prices, etc.). Examples of such an agent are Apple's Siri, Google's Google Now (and later Google Assistant). Amazon Alexa, Amazon's Evi (branded as Evi), Microsoft's Cortana, Braina (application developed by Brainasoft for Microsoft Windows), Samsung's S Voice, LG G3's Voice Mate, BlackBerry's Assistant, SILVIA, HTC's Hidi, IBM's Watson (computer), Facebook's M (app) and One Voice Technologies (IVAN).
According to venture capitalist Chi-Hua Chien of Kleiner Perkins Caufield & Byers, examples of tasks that may be performed by a smart personal agent-type of Intelligent Automated Assistant include schedule management (e.g., sending an alert to a dinner date that a user is running late due to traffic conditions, update schedules for both parties, and change the restaurant reservation time) and personal health management (e.g., monitoring caloric intake, heart rate and exercise regimen, then making recommendations for healthy choices).
Intelligent personal assistant technology are enabled by the combination of mobile devices, application programming interfaces (APIs), and the proliferation of mobile apps. However, intelligent automated assistants are designed to perform specific, one-time tasks specified by user voice instructions, while smart personal agents perform ongoing tasks (e.g., schedule management) autonomously.
Aspects of an intelligent personal assistant
Organize and maintain information
One of the key aspects of an intelligent personal assistant is its ability to organize and maintain information. This includes the management of emails, calendar events, files, to-do lists, etc.
A study in JAMA Internal Medicine found that Siri and similar devices often gave unhelpful responses to mental health questions.
Comparison of assistants
|Intelligent personal assistant||Availability||Free software||Free and open-source hardware||HDMI out||External I/O||Retail price||Internet of things integration||Chromecast integration||Smart phone app||Always on||Unit to unit voice channel||Official website|
|BlackBerry Assistant||BlackBerry 10||No||N/A||N/A||N/A||—||No||No||Yes||No||N/A||Link|
|Alexa (a.k.a. Echo)||shipping||No||No||No||No||U$179||Yes||No||Yes||Yes||?||Link|
|Google Now||Play Store||No||N/A||N/A||N/A||—||Yes||Yes||Yes||Yes||N/A||Link|
- "Chi-Hua Chien". CrunchBase. 2012-01-24. Retrieved 2012-02-03.
- Empson, Rip (2011-07-29). "Three Companies Chi-Hua Chien Of Kleiner Perkins Would Love To Invest In". TechCrunch. Retrieved 2012-02-03.
- Chaudhri, Vinay; Cheyer, Adam; Guili, Richard; Jarrold, Bill; Myers, Karen; Niekrasz, John. "A Case Study in Engineering a Knowledge Base for an Intelligent Personal Assistant" (PDF).
- Lufkin, Bryan (2016-03-14). "Siri Is Woefully Ill-Equipped to Help With Your Mental Health Problems". Gizmodo.
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