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Why Virtual Assistance Is the Next Big Thing

Updated on March 6, 2018
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Virtual Assiatance is the next big thing

Why virtual assistance is the next big thing

It’s a well-known fact that ever since smartphones arrived as a new and emerging technology a decade ago, it has dominated and revolutionized computing. After smartphones, the next big thing arguably is artificial intelligence enabled voice-activated virtual assistants. Although the smartphone will not become obsolete any time soon, interaction with multiple devices would be a reality as a result of virtual assistants like Amazon’s Alexa and Apple’s Siri.

Among the big tech companies like Amazon, Apple, Google and Microsoft that are contributing to making the virtual assistant platforms more tech-savvy, Samsung’s newly announced Bixby is a cut above the rest as cutting-edge and state-of-the-art AI technology is its backbone. Bixby 2.0 is integrated with Viv which for the uninitiated is developed by the tech gurus who were the masterminds of Siri.

In 2010 Siri was sold to Apple and the developers ultimately quit Apple and formed a new company of their own which is widely known as Viv Labs. The goal and objective of the owners of Viv Labs were creating an enhanced version similar to Siri with advanced AI. Samsung acquired Viv Labs prior to even releasing a product. After about a year Viv was established as an autonomous entity. In addition to integrating Bixby 2.0 with Viv on smartphones, a representative of Samsung has announced that TVs would be integrated with Bixby 2.0 soon and it’s only the tip of the iceberg as it were with ongoing improvements and advancements in technology.

Samsung has an edge over its competitors since it’s a leading brand with the primary line of business being marketing and selling varied hardware inclusive of smartphones, tablets and TVs, washing machines, refrigerators, dishwashers and so on. With its foray into AI, Samsung’s products would be comparatively far more futuristic as they would be integrated with Bixby.

Samsung intends to scale up its hardware as an initiative to integrate Bixby with its entire range of hardware. As an integral part of Samsung’s initiative to integrate Bixby with its hardware, a unique dongle would be released that one can plug into devices that are used on a daily basis. A microphone would be attached to the dongle which would be wi-fi enabled and thereby the entire range of Samsung hardware would be smart hardware.

Just when one may have thought that this is where it’s going to end, Samsung has announced that it's about to release a software development kit compatible with Bixby 2.0 that would enable third-party applications to directly integrate with the assistant. In addition to Samsung, Amazon’s Alexa and Google Assistant have released similar SDKs as well. Thus far the SDKs have been used for integration of voice assistants even with home robots not to mention TVs, dishwashers and so on.

Regardless of the competition, the team at Viv could be the game changer for Samsung. The founders of Viv, apart from pioneering assistant technology, through Siri, they're thought leaders as well in terms of the future of Viv. According to the chief architect of Viv, Adam Cheyer, through the voice assistant platform, there would be a major paradigm shift in computing.

Cheyer maintains that paradigm shifts when it comes to computing tend to occur once every decade. The 80s was an era of PC and Microsoft Windows and the 90s was the era of the web. Almost a decade ago, the computing ecosystem or landscape was shaken by the advent and influx of smartphones.

Cheyer is of the opinion that the next major new and emerging technology is virtual assistants integrated with AI. It’s his imagination that a day will come very soon when each and every individual would be equipped with a personalized virtual assistant integrated with any device, unlike smartphones.

Similar to technological breakthroughs in previous eras, for virtual assistants to be revolutionized as a platform, the majority of the third-party applications ought to use it as one. Music software, for example, began as a floppy disk or maybe a CD-ROM drive in a PC, then it evolved into different file formats embedded on the web until finally into a smartphone app like Spotify among others. A company like Spotify in the virtual assistant evolution and transformation would naturally use that trending technology for allowing access and making music on demand a reality.

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