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Apple embraces artificial intelligence with personal ass`t app

Apple embraces artificial intelligence with personal ass`t app

Posted October. 12, 2011 00:31,   

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An old man with poor eyesight issues instructions to a smartphone, saying, “Ask my daughter when she’ll come.”

The smartphone then searches for the words “my daughter” and sends her a text message reading “When are you coming?”

This is how Siri, the personal assistant application of Apple’s newest smartphone iPhone 4S, works. When the new model was released last week, Apple enthusiasts were disappointed that the company did not launch a more radical model.

Defying the lukewarm reception, however, orders of iPhone 4S have soared following the death of Steve Jobs and Siri has seen interest explode. Media are hailing Siri as a communication innovation that Jobs strived to bring.

The key to Siri’s heightened interest is artificial intelligence. Jobs had hoped to advance the era in which digital devices could read people’s habits and thoughts. The U.S. magazine Fortune said Jobs deeply believed that the future of the Web lies with artificial intelligence.

○ Job’s vision of the future: artificial intelligence

Siri was originally an app launched on App Store in February last year by Dag Kittlaus. A month later, Jobs called the Siri founder in showing interest in the app and Apple acquired Siri in April that year.

IT watchers speculated that Apple’s acquisition of Siri meant its entry into the search service business. In an interview with Jobs last year, Walt Mossberg, technology columnist for The Wall Street Journal, asked about Apple’s intentions of getting into the search business.

Jobs said “Siri is not a search company. It`s an artificial intelligence company. We have no plans to go into the search business.”

Siri is considered as being in the initial stage of personal assistant service, but the technology came from massive investment. From 2003 to 2007, the major founding members of Siri worked with the U.S. Institute for Defense Analyses’ artificial intelligence project in cooperation with major universities.

Three hundred scientists participated in the joint project. The Siri program can interpret requests and answer, identify a person in the phone’s address book, schedule appointments in the phone`s calendar, and transcribe email or text message.

○ From smartphones to smart TVs

Apple has made high-tech devices more understandable to users who are not tech savvy. This is why experts have high hopes for Siri as a lifestyle companion.

Google is studying various mobile services linking artificial intelligence.

Siri is an artificial intelligence-based voice recognition app, but is expected to recognize human motion and posture going forward.

Body gesture recognition will soon be an omnipresent tool in everyday life following voice recognition.

Microsoft has developed a body gesture technology in combining infrared rays onto its Xbox 360 Game Console. Pantech’s new “Vega LTE” smartphone enables receiving phone calls via hand gestures and has a technology that enables turning the pages of a book.

The ultimate destination of all these technologies is smart TVs. Research is being done on technologies that can allow TVs to find channels without remote control.

Cho Gyeong-seop, a researcher at the Electronics and Telecommunications Research Institute in Seoul, said, “In less than five years, TVs will be able to identify the faces of family members and search channels for each member.”



kimhs@donga.com