Tag Archives: iPhone

AI Digital Assistant verse Search Engines

Aren’t AI Digital Assistants just like Search Engines? They both try to recognize your question or human utterance as best as possible to serve up your requested content. E.g.classic FAQ. The difference in the FAQ use case is the proprietary information from the company hosting the digital assistant may not be available on the internet.

Another difference between the Digital Assistant and a Search Engine is the ability of the Digital Assistant to ‘guide’ a person through a series of questions, enabling elaboration, to provide the user a more precise answer.

The Digital Assistant may use an interactive dialog to guide the user through a process, and not just supply the ‘most correct’ responses. Many people have flocked to YouTube for instructional type of interactive medium. When multiple workflow paths can be followed, the Digital Assistant has the upper hand.

The Digital Assistant has the capability of interfacing with 3rd parties (E.g. data stores with API access). For example, there may be a Digital Assistant hosted by Medical Insurance Co that has the ability to not only check the status of a claim, but also send correspondence to a medical practitioner on your behalf. A huge pain to call the insurance company, then the Dr office, then the insurance company again. Even the HIPPA release could be authenticated in real time, in line during the chat.  A digital assistant may be able to create a chat session with multiple participants.

Digital Assistants overruling capabilities over Search Engines are the ability to ‘escalate’ at any time during the Digital Assistant interaction. People are then queued for the next available human agent.

There have been attempts in the past, such as Ask.com (originally known as Ask Jeeves) is a question answering-focused e-business.  Google Questions and Answers (Google Otvety, Google Ответы) was a free knowledge market offered by Google that allowed users to collaboratively find good answers, through the web, to their questions (also referred as Google Knowledge Search).

My opinions are my own, and do not reflect my employer’s viewpoint.

Hey Siri, Ready for an Antitrust Lawsuit Against Apple? Guess Who’s Suing.

The AI personal assistant with the “most usage” spanning  connectivity across all smart devices, will be the anchor upon which users will gravitate to control their ‘automated’ lives.  An Amazon commercial just aired which depicted  a dad with his daughter, and the daughter was crying about her boyfriend who happened to be in the front yard yelling for her.  The dad says to Amazon’s Alexa, sprinklers on, and yes, the boyfriend got soaked.

What is so special about top spot for the AI Personal Assistant? Controlling the ‘funnel’ upon which all information is accessed, and actions are taken means the intelligent ability to:

  • Serve up content / information, which could then be mixed in with advertisements, or ‘intelligent suggestions’ based on historical data, i.e. machine learning.
  • Proactive, suggestive actions  may lead to sales of goods and services. e.g. AI Personal Assistant flags potential ‘buys’ from eBay based on user profiles.

Three main sources of AI Personal Assistant value add:

  • A portal to the “outside” world; E.g. If I need information, I wouldn’t “surf the web” I would ask Cortana to go “Research” XYZ;   in the Business Intelligence / data warehousing space, a business analyst may need to run a few queries in order to get the information they wanted.  In the same token, Microsoft Cortana may come back to you several times to ask “for your guidance”
  • An abstraction layer between the user and their apps;  The user need not ‘lift a finger’ to any app outside the Personal Assistant with noted exceptions like playing a game for you.
  • User Profiles derived from the first two points; I.e. data collection on everything from spending habits, or other day to day  rituals.

Proactive and chatty assistants may win the “Assistant of Choice” on all platforms.  Being proactive means collecting data more often then when it’s just you asking questions ADHOC.  Proactive AI Personal Assistants that are Geo Aware may may make “timely appropriate interruptions”(notifications) that may be based on time and location.  E.g. “Don’t forget milk” says Siri,  as your passing the grocery store.  Around the time I leave work Google maps tells me if I have traffic and my ETA.

It’s possible for the [non-native] AI Personal Assistant to become the ‘abstract’ layer on top of ANY mobile OS (iOS, Android), and is the funnel by which all actions / requests are triggered.

Microsoft Corona has an iOS app and widget, which is wrapped around the OS.  Tighter integration may be possible but not allowed by the iOS, the iPhone, and the Apple Co. Note: Google’s Allo does not provide an iOS widget at the time of this writing.

Antitrust violation by mobile smartphone maker Apple:  iOS must allow for the ‘substitution’ of a competitive AI Personal Assistant to be triggered in the same manner as the native Siri,  “press and hold home button” capability that launches the default packaged iOS assistant Siri.
Reminiscent of the Microsoft IE Browser / OS antitrust violations in the past.

Holding the iPhone Home button brings up Siri. There should be an OS setting to swap out which Assistant is to be used with the mobile OS as the default.  Today, the iPhone / iPad iOS only supports “Siri” under the Settings menu.

ANY AI Personal assistant should be allowed to replace the default OS Personal assistant from Amazon’s Alexa, Microsoft’s Cortana to any startup company with expertise and resources needed to build, and deploy a Personal Assistant solution.  Has Apple has taken steps to tightly couple Siri with it’s iOS?

AI Personal Assistant ‘Wish” list:

  • Interactive, Voice Menu Driven Dialog; The AI Personal Assistant should know what installed [mobile] apps exist, as well as their actionable, hierarchical taxonomy of feature / functions.   The Assistant should, for example, ask which application the user wants to use, and if not known by the user, the assistant should verbally / visually list the apps.  After the user selects the app, the Assistant should then provide a list of function choices for that application; e.g. “Press 1 for “Play Song”
    • The interactive voice menu should also provide a level of abstraction when available, e.g. User need not select the app, and just say “Create Reminder”.  There may be several applications on the Smartphone that do the same thing, such as Note Taking and Reminders.  In the OS Settings, under the soon to be NEW menu ‘ AI Personal Assistant’, a list of installed system applications compatible with this “AI Personal Assistant” service layer should be listed, and should be grouped by sets of categories defined by the Mobile OS.
  • Capability to interact with IoT using user defined workflows.  Hardware and software may exist in the Cloud.
  • Ever tighter integration with native as well as 3rd party apps, e.g. Google Allo and Google Keep.

Apple could already be making the changes as a natural course of their product evolution.  Even if the ‘big boys’ don’t want to stir up a hornet’s nest, all you need is VC and a few good programmers to pick a fight with Apple.

Apple iOS Email: Boldly Building an AI Rules Engine

When selecting the ‘flag’ option on an email, one of the menu options shown is ‘Notify Me…’  When anyone replies to that email thread, the person/me is notified.

This Apple iOS email feature, ‘Notify Me…” seems like a toe dip into an AI Email Rules Engine with the one condition and without customization. Is a full blown engine in the Apple product roadmap akin to Outlook?  Has this feature been ‘out there’ for awhile, and I just missed it?

Regardless, a more powerful, robust AI Rules engine, yet keeping the iOS simple, and elegant design could enhance business savvy user’s experience.

Notify Me Feature
Notify Me Feature

CES 2013 Show: Huawei, and iPhone 5S/U, or U for Unsatisfied

At the show they had a red phone under a glass case,and it looked top secret.  At first glance, when you approached the booth, the sales team seemed on the defensive about their product, and their placement in the marketplace, in the same arena as Samsung.  As the conversation progressed, a more relaxed approached began to take place, and they even took their phone out of the glass case for me.  I must say that they seem to be trying to bring their A Game with a Quad Core processor, Al be it 1.5 GHz, it was still an impressive device, and the specs may be found here.

We had a candid conversation, and I said to play in the global markets, they need to break the 4 GB barrier.  Apple has now stunned the mobile community with the 64 Bit processor to get ready to raise the roof on memory.  However, anyone who understands addressing, the 64 bit addresses will each take up more memory than their 32 bit counterpart, e.g. takes more memory to run each application, but if you have raised the amount of memory on the device, no problem.  Unfortunately, Apple iPhone 5S has not raised the memory but has implied the 64 bit processor is the first step, getting their OS, and developers ready to manage more memory.  I think it might have been in the cards but it’s too late.

Consequence, fewer applications may run in a 64 bit addressable processor without running out of memory in multi-threaded mode.  Here is an example register under the Windows Chip Architecture, not exactly apples and oranges, but the analogy is similar.

Win 32 v. 64

 

As a side note, back to the Asia market, here is an infographic which iterates through the opportunities in those consumer markets. Very interesting.

APJE Smartphone Vendor

 

Report: Apple testing 64-bit iPhone processor with a “motion tracking” chip — Tech News and Analysis

Report: Apple testing 64-bit iPhone processor with a “motion tracking” chip — Tech News and Analysis.

The 64 Bit Chip would certainly make the mobile race interesting. Having a like for like comparison of processing speed, with a similar app on Android, Apple, and Microsoft Mobile operating systems would be ideal, and the results published.

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2013 CES Highlight: I now have one less use for my wife, thanks i-Massager

I was just reviewing some of the photos from the 2013 Computer Electronics Show, and showed her this i-Massager image.  I told her you’d probably have one less use for me if you had this device.  She looked at the device, and said, oh, that looks, nice.  Then she asked if it could be used with an iTouch or iPhone, then gave a nod, and smiled.  She was kidding, right?

iMassager
iMassager

Consumer Electronics Show Highlights: Nervous during pregnancy, iBaby is for you.

My wife and I had children while we were young and again,when we were a bit older, tried and tried to have another child, and eventually we had Sam; however, it was quite nerve racking especially when some couples have miscarriages.  The entire pregnancy, some are quite nervous if everything is OK with the baby, especially at night, if you don;t feel the baby move.  Even when we were young, if my wife did not feel the baby, we got nervous, and stayed up at night until we felt a response from the baby.  Leave it to the technologists at iBaby Labs to put your mind at ease any time, day or night.

We had our 3rd baby a little later in life, and were quite nervous that the baby would be healthy because of our age.  We constantly listened and felt for heart beats early in the pregnancy, and were up some nights waiting for the baby to kick or move many a sleepless night.  The iBaby Heart Sense allows you to instantly hear the babies heart beat though your iPad.  Using simple Doppler technology, within seconds you can see and hear the babies heart beats, record them throughout the pregnancy, the software makes sure to record, and compare the babies progress throughout the pregnancy.  They also are able to display information relevant to your trimester, and you can correlate it back to your own experiences.  Kiss those sleepless nights goodbye waiting up to hear the baby and the nervousness that everything is OK until the baby kicks.  Now, if I have a 4th, iBaby HeartSense will come in real handy for myself and the baby.

2013-01-10 13.42.19

iBaby HeartSense
iBaby HeartSense

Actor Voice Overs for Apple’s Siri and Google’s AI Voice

There should be add on, for purchase, modification packs, for the smartphone’s Artificial Intelligence (AI) Voice Command module, e.g. SIRI, or Google’s AI Voice Recognition, this way any retired, or semi retired actor gets easy money going into a studio recording their well known voice, and royalties go to the companies that are selling the AI voice over modification package, so instead of the standard woman’s voice, you can get anyone who would sell their voice.  It should be extremely easy to implement, the voice is probably a vocabulary indexed with certain words.  The actors or actresses need to record their voices saying a specific set of words as defined by the library of words, and I hope the Android and Apple operating system companies thought ahead to make these libraries like plug and play adaptable.  If Apple or Google made the AI Voice API open so anyone can record their voice and interchange with the default voice, actors, actresses, musicians, or anyone can sell their voice in the Mobile Vendor’s marketplace as an add on module.

Hotspot Companies Sell Smartphones and Data Plans, use Affiliate Networking to fill Gaps

I’m using my Samsung S3, which I throughly enjoy, but I am eyeing the new Nokia Lumina 920 with Windows 8, and not to mention my old fling with the iPhone 5, and I see an article that AT&T is now the largest hotspot provider.  I’m also eyeing the prices of these phones without a contract, and don’t want to take out a 4th mortgage.  Alternatives?  Why aren’t the Wireless Carriers, and even cable companies that offer currently free hotspots add or change their business models, where we can sign up for two year agreements for data only plans, and sell subsidized smartphones and WiFi only usage?  Even cable companies that give away their hotspot coverage, start charging $20, $30 a month depending on GB usage plans and even $40 per month for unlimited.  Are the cable and wireless companies worried about coverage?  Treat it like toll charges and chargeback to the provider.  The consumer gets relatively seamless transition with an app that handles the switch between WiFi spots.  Even more wild, have any business or residence with a wireless router that wants to sign up to have the ability to sign up to be an ‘affiliate WiFi provider’, and they too can get a toll chargeback, given they are approved, e.g. running upgraded software on their router for handling transitions between WiFi hotspots and security.  The consumer can receive a credit on their monthly cable or wireless statement for their shared bandwidth chargeback usage.  Its like when people charge for their surplus of their energy from their solar panels.  It’s ok to charge a cancellation fee of $400 or prorated based on months of usage if the smartphone user exits the contract early.Get those cool devices in the hands of consumers, and you’re now able to pay for the WiFi infrastructure you’re built up, and your giving incentives to consumers with WiFI routers.   I like this technology because the Cable, and Cell Phone companies can even lease this to the consumer, and the consumer can get a charge back from usage.

The technology is primarily available, the business model is required to implement:

Note from Wikipedia: Femtocell

In telecommunications, a femtocell is a small, low-power cellular base station, typically designed for use in a home or small business. A broader term which is more widespread in the industry is small cell, with femtocell as a subset. It connects to the service provider’s network via broadband (such as DSLor cable); current designs typically support two to four active mobile phones in a residential setting, and eight to 16 active mobile phones in enterprise settings. A femtocell allows service providers to extend service coverage indoors or at the cell edge, especially where access would otherwise be limited or unavailable. Although much attention is focused on WCDMA, the concept is applicable to all standards, including GSMCDMA2000TD-SCDMAWiMAXand LTE solutions.

Elastic Computing for Mobile Devices: Mobile OS Hosting Maximizing Computing Capacity

Why not port each mobile OS over to a cloud, a server farm of virtual machines where users are able to scale their CPU, RAM and storage needs to streach as far as their imagination, and keep the local processing power focused on local needs, e.g. antenna, input.  I worked on a project where we used a server farm of mobile devices, DeviceAnywhere, to test our mobile applications.  The product was in its relative infancy, they racked the devices.  I’m thinking you image the mobile OS, and allow for scalability. The primary limitation, bandwidth and refresh rate for the device user interface (UI), AND local mode for truly ‘remote’ or ‘unplugged’ access.  The first issue will gradually go away with the expanded speed of the global networks.  We also had accelerometer and GPS issues with the rack / Cloud configuration, but that can be easily fixed with an alternate VM architecture where the device passes this information to the VM.  This way local computing power would focus on GPU and other local access requirements.  Their could be a lightweight Mobile OS for a truly ‘unplugged’ experience.  Why? Simple.  Mobile companies are almost on a ‘space race’ similar to the 1960s.  This time there is no moon as the limit.  This way innovation can go back to focusig on all local breakthroughs, the integrated devices just like what got us here, an accelerometer, GPS, music enhancenents, usability design, and so on.