Intelligent personal assistant

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An intelligent personal assistant 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, Amazon Echo, Microsoft's Cortana, Braina (application developed by Brainasoft for Microsoft Windows), Samsung's S Voice, LG's Voice Mate, BlackBerry's Assistant, SILVIA, HTC's Hidi, IBM's Watson (computer), and Facebook's M.


According to venture capitalist Chi-Hua Chien[1] of Kleiner Perkins Caufield & Byers, examples of tasks that may be performed by a smart personal agent-type of Intelligent Automated Assistant[2] 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[edit]

Organize and maintain Information[edit]

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.[3]


Intelligent personal assistant Open source software Open 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
Assistant No N/A N/A N/A No No Yes No N/A Link
BlackBerry Assistant No N/A N/A N/A No No Yes No N/A Link
Braina No N/A N/A N/A No No Yes No N/A Link
Cortana No N/A N/A N/A No No Yes No N/A Link
Cubic No N/A N/A N/A U$195 Yes No Yes No N/A Link
Echo No No No No U$179 Yes No Yes Yes  ? Link
Google Now No N/A N/A N/A Yes Yes Yes Yes N/A Link
Hound No N/A N/A N/A No No Yes Yes N/A Link
Jibo No N/A N/A N/A U$749 Yes No Yes Yes N/A Link
Maluuba No N/A N/A N/A No No Yes No N/A Link
Mycroft Yes Yes Yes Yes U$129 Yes Yes Yes Yes Yes Link
Nina No N/A N/A N/A No No Yes No N/A Link
SILVIA No N/A N/A N/A No No Yes No N/A Link
Siri No N/A N/A N/A No No Yes No N/A Link
Sirius Yes N/A N/A N/A No No Yes No N/A Link
Ubi No N/A N/A N/A U$399 Yes No Yes Yes N/A Link
Vlingo No N/A N/A N/A No No Yes No N/A Link

See also[edit]


  1. ^ "Chi-Hua Chien". CrunchBase. 2012-01-24. Retrieved 2012-02-03. 
  2. ^ Empson, Rip (2011-07-29). "Three Companies Chi-Hua Chien Of Kleiner Perkins Would Love To Invest In". TechCrunch. Retrieved 2012-02-03. 
  3. ^ 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)