It s based on existing technology, including Google Now.The assistant will power Google s upcoming Amazon Echo competitor, Google Home.Speaking at the beginning of the keynote at the Google I/O developer conference in Mountain View, California, Google chief executive Sundar Pichai described the technology as a conversational assistant that can carry on an ongoing two-way dialogue.We want to be there for our users asking them, How can I help?'Pichai said.The technology is voice-activated and available across devices, but the interface is packaged up inside of a chatbot — something like, say, Facebook Messenger s M. We are getting ready to launch something later this year, Pichai said.The Google Assistant is built into the Allo mobile messaging app, which is also being introduced today.Over the years Google has amassed a whole lot of AI talent and technology.And the systems are regularly improving — last year at I/O Google chief executive Sundar Pichai said Google s speech recognition technology was down to an 8 percent word error rate.Indeed, today Pichai said that 1 in every 5 Google search queries on Android in the U.S. is a voice query.But even though Google s AI technology represents value for the company internally, in the past year Google has shared some of that technology with the rest of the world as open source code.Now it s clear that Google is a few steps ahead of Apple.Earlier this week The Information reported that Google would give third-party developers access to speech recognition, some aspects of the Google Now personal digital assistant, and Android s Google Now On Tap feature for recognizing known entities mentioned in text onscreen and providing explanations and relevant links.While the world s biggest technology companies have been fixated on chatbots lately, the whole idea itself is not new.Voice-activated assistants like the Alexa-powered Amazon Echo speaker are another emerging medium, but currently bots seem more likely to be adopted by the masses.
Build 14352, which comes two weeks after the release of build 14342, comes with a few useful update to Windows 10 s Cortana personal digital assistant and the Windows Ink feature for writing on apps with a stylus that was released to Insiders last month.Cortana now lets you set a timer, cancel it, and find out how much time is left.Currently the Cortana s Groove smarts are limited to U.S. English users, but the feature will become available to more users over time, Aul wrote.As for Windows Ink, the Sticky Notes application is getting more sophisticated.Again, this is only available for U.S. English users right now; access will expand with time.The ruler in Windows Ink now features a compass, Aul wrote.Elsewhere, there are a few other changes.The Windows game bar, with its DVR function, now works in full screen mode with more games, specifically Battlefield 4, Counterstrike: Global Offensive, Diablo III, Dota 2, League of Legends, and World of Warcraft.And upgrading from Windows 10 Pro to Windows 10 Enterprise is simpler.These periodic scans will utilize Automatic Maintenance—to ensure the system chooses optimal times based on minimal impact to the user, PC performance, and energy efficiency—or customers can schedule these scans.Rendering with devices with Intel HD Graphics 3000 or Intel HD Graphics 2000 integrated graphics when using the Edge browser wasn t working properly, but now it is.
Indeed, upcoming products from nearly all handset manufacturers are routinely subjected to an endless stream of conjecture and speculation.What s especially interesting is that iPhone rumors were all the rage even years before Steve Jobs unveiled the device to the world back in 2007.DON T MISS: Brand new images show us how hot the iPhone 7 will actually beOn August 19, 2002, John Markoff of The New York Times penned an article wherein he said that Apple was already contemplating the development of a phone.And now come signs that Mr. Jobs means to take Apple back to the land of the handhelds, but this time with a device that would combine elements of a cellphone and a Palm -like personal digital assistant.…Certainly, Apple s push into the market for a hand-held communicator would be an abrupt departure for Mr. Jobs, who continues publicly to disavow talk of such a move.As a prime example, look no further than the iPhone 5s, a device that brought fingerprint recognition technology and 64-bit mobile processors to the mainstream.
Amazon reportedly wants to give Alexa some new features including a hint of emotional intelligence and the ability to hold a conversation.The online retailer is apparently hoping to add a few new abilities to Alexa, the Echo s built-in personal digital assistant.Or perhaps if Alexa detected satisfaction or happiness after an interaction it could remember that and offer similar responses in the future.and then follow-up with questions like, how old is he?The impact on you at home: The Amazon Echo was a surprise when it arrived in late 2014, but it's put Amazon in a good position for the expected revolution from intelligent assistants that help us do everything from sending email to booking tickets via a messaging app.The purported new additions to Alexa should help it remain a popular choice as a smart home device and keep it competitive with Google Now, Siri, and Cortana.
This latest version of Siri will be the first to provide APIs that enable third-party developers to create new skills and functions for the voice-activated digital assistant.Adding to the difficulty of making Siri more useful is Apple s laudable focus on privacy, which has further limited what Siri can do.While Apple can always crank up processor speeds and memory, what may matter most is whether the growth of Siri s AI is enough to make speech recognition accurate and to provide complete vocalized responses, rather than just doing a search and displaying a Web page.Siri LogoOr perhaps Siri will just get better at voice recognition, which is a challenge Apple has been dealing with for decades, starting with handwriting recognition on its old Newton personal digital assistant from the 1990s.Siri isn t talking about egg freckles, but the assistant sometimes can generate some whoppers when it misunderstands.Somewhere in our office or living room, a device will be listening and will provide a coherent answer.
They are here to help and AI has just made them smarter.A personal digital assistant, also known as PDA, refers to the use of a digital device with assistance capabilities.These capabilities can include diary planning and address books organisation.In the old days, PDAs were basic and carried out simple tasks such as the ones above.However, with the emergence of AI technology and its widespread, PDAs are today much more intelligent.They can autonomously set up reminders, reply to voice commands, and so on.
A new Cortana feature lets you remove sites that bug you from the news feed.Cortana in Windows 10 is a great tool to take a quick look at news headlines on your PC, but compared to competitors like Google Now I sometimes find Microsoft s choice of news sites lacking.Recently, Microsoft added a new capability to fix that—at least a little bit.Cortana now lets you banish news sites you don t like from your feed?.Cortana lets you mute news sites you don t like.First, if you re not using Cortana to deliver news open the personal digital assistant on your PC.
What do you get when you take the former head of platform at Facebook, a former Mozilla engineer, veterans of other companies like Microsoft and Amazon, and an interest in building an assistive chatbot that stands apart from competitors in the space?The answer is Ozlo, a chatbot in the form of a cute, blue critter that answers questions from users with cards that contain deep links to relevant apps and websites.The company built around the service – headed up by CEO Charles Jolley, the former Facebook platform head – has offices in Palo Alto and Seattle and a workforce of 28.What Jolley and his team wanted to build was not just a personal digital assistant that s helpful and there with the right answers when the user needs them, but one that can also synthesize all the facts it s been fed and give advice — the same way you d look at a trusted friend.What really makes Ozlo different is he has two parts, Jolley said, always using the masculine personal pronoun when talking about the chatbot, later stressing how important it is that Ozlo be seen to have a human-like personality.The team decided to start with food and restaurants and learn about people and their behavior from there before adding to Ozlo s bag of tricks.
Cortana, the personal digital assistant that replaced Windows 10 s search function and taps into Bing s servers to answer your queries with contextual awareness, no longer has an off switch.The impact on you at home: Similar to how Microsoft blocked Google compatibility with Cortana, the company is now cutting off the plain vanilla search option.Unless you turned off all the various cloud-connected bits of Windows 10, there s not a ton of difference between Cortana and the operating system's basic search capabilities.In fact, the biggest functional difference is that Cortana is far more useful than plain search thanks to the digital assistant's handy voice commands, reminders, the ability to send text messages, and so on.That said, Microsoft s move is probably less about the practical differences between Cortana and search, and more about pushing people to use Cortana.But what if you still don t want to use Cortana at all?
In an e-mail exchange with then-incoming Secretary of State Hillary Clinton, former Secretary of State Colin Powell warned that she would find State Department Diplomatic Security DS "driving you crazy if you let them."The e-mail, released yesterday by Rep. Elijah Cummings D-Maryland , ranking minority member of the House Oversight and Government Reform Committee, warned Clinton about the risks of using a personal mobile device in her job—but also detailed how Powell had flaunted security rules set by the State Department and NSA in his own daily use of mobile devices.Powell explained that he had used a dial-up connection as previously reported, this was a personal AOL account to send e-mails "so I could communicate with a wide range of friends directly without it going through the State Department servers.I even used it to do business with some foreign leaders and some of the senior folks in the Department on their personal e-mail accounts.The private e-mail account used by Powell pre-dated the State Department's own external unclassified e-mail capability.However, Powell flaunted rules on the use of personal devices in secure spaces at the State Department—such as the Office of the Secretary of State suite in "Mahogany Row," a Sensitive Compartmented Information Facility SCIF —by using a personal digital assistant PDA , he told Clinton.
Sling TV has announced a new Windows 10 app for PCs and tablets, saying it brings with it all the things a Windows 10 user may need to enjoy the service.This includes touch support for those who are using touch-based Windows 10 devices, as well as support for Live Tiles that show content updates from your Continue Watching and Favorites ribbons.The app also now includes Cortana voice integration for performing searches quickly using your voice and Microsoft s personal digital assistant.If you re both a Sling TV subscriber and a Windows 10 user, you ll want to download the new app from the Windows Store now for the best viewing and usage experience.With Cortana support, you can do things like say Watch ESPN on Sling, according to the company, for Cortana to pull up the app and the ESPN channel specifically.Another new feature is a vertical main menu; Sling says the overall user interface is better, too, because it was built with Microsoft s Universal Windows Platform.
Smart lighting is a tantalizing idea, but many models require an up-front investment in starter packs that usually require an additional piece of hardware beyond the light bulbs themselves.These devices—known as a gateway, hub or bridge—often price smart bulbs out of the grasp of many potential users.TP-Link is joining a small list of smart light bulb companies offering products that are trying to change that.TP-Link recently announced the LB100, LB110, and LB120 smart Wi-Fi LED bulbs.These bulbs can, however, be controlled by Amazon s Alexa personal digital assistant via voice commands if you are using a device like the Amazon Echo smart speaker.TP-Link s LB120 smart Wi-Fi light bulb.
Let the conspiracy theories roll.In an investigation done on the still rolling update to the Google Search Android app, Android Police discovered that almost all but one publicly visible reference to Google Now has been removed, replaced instead by descriptions of their corresponding functionality.Given how heated the personal digital assistant competition has been, it is probably not the case that Google is bowing out.Instead, it could simply be paving the way for a re-launch under the upcoming Google Assistant heading.Now cards as now simply called Feeds while Now on Tap is Screen search .Admittedly, these new names describe their features better than the older ones.
Google Assistant, the search giant s new personal digital assistant, is barely available to users, but Google isn t wasting any time opening it up to developers.During the company s hardware event on Tuesday, Google announced two new developer programs to build Google Assistant into pretty much anything you can think of.Going back to Google s earliest days we ve always worked hard to create healthy open platforms, said Scott Huffman, who leads the Google Assistant engineering team.The Google Assistant will be our next thriving open ecosystem.Catch up on everything at Google's hardware event: Pixel phones, 4K Chromecast, and moreThe first new program is called Actions on Google, which will launch in early December and allow app makers to build Google Assistant into their services.
Samsung just bought Viv Labs, the startup behind "Viv," a personal digital assistant that's supposed to one-up Apple's famed Siri in smarts, according to a press release.Notably, Viv Labs was founded by Dag Kittlaus, Adam Cheyer and Chris Brigham — three of the inventors of Siri itself.Apple bought Siri in 2010 before introducing it alongside the iPhone 4S in 2011.Thickening the plot even further, it was reported back in May 2016 that Google and Facebook had both made offers for Viv Labs over the course of its years-long development cycle.So while we don't know how much Samsung paid, we can assume it was competitive.Apple has recently made a big bet on Siri, beefing up its intelligence and the number of outside apps it can access in the recent iOS 10 update for iPhone and iPad.Siri also recently made its debut on Mac with the new MacOS Sierra operating system.But the real impetus may be Google's heavy emphasis on its own Google Assistant for its home-built Pixel phones and other products, like Google Home.
Palm was a smartphone pioneer and a leading personal digital assistant provider, but HP s acquisition sealed its fateBack in 1992, a company called Palm Inc was founded, and it was widely regarded as a pioneer of the mobile revolution that took root in that decade.Palm specialised in the personal digital assistant PDA thanks to its successful Palm Pilot devices, but it also developed one of the first smartphones with the Treo 600.The early days of Palm saw it earning its crust by selling synchronisation software for HP devices, and the Graffiti handwriting recognition software for the Apple Newton MessagePad.For the day, the Palm Pilot was actually a fairly decent piece of kit.It offered a 160 160 pixel monochrome LCD, and featured a Graffiti input zone in the bottom third of the screen.
At long last, Microsoft has set a public target of bringing consumer devices—that aren t PCs—to market in 2017 with its personal digital assistant, Cortana, inside of them.On Tuesday, Microsoft announced a way to challenge Amazon s Alexa-powered Dot and Echo devices, as well as Google s Google Home.Microsoft s New Devices SDK will allow to power a new line of connected-car speakers from Harmon Kardon in 2017, executives said, with presumably more partnerships to come.This follows an earlier announcement that Cortana is coming to Windows 10 IoT, Microsoft's operating system for smart devices.With the struggles of Windows Mobile, Cortana has been largely relegated to Windows 10 PCs instead of the mobile devices that users are increasingly turning to.Microsoft really needs a flagship consumer device to show off its AI capabilities—and it sounds like it s planning on having a bunch of them.
Microsoft is getting into the AI home assistant market by taking on Amazon's Echo and Google's Home.Rather than design the hardware itself, however, it is adding its Cortana software to a speaker built by Harman Kardon.A teaser video, posted to the official Windows YouTube channel, shows the voice-activated speaker responding to questions using Microsoft's smart assistant Cortana.Microsoft also made the announcement at an event in San Francisco, but gave little else away.The video's description simply says: "The new voice activated speaker by Harman Kardon, with Cortana - your personal digital assistant.Amazon's Echo, Echo Dot and its Alexa software launched in the US last year and came to the UK in September.
Nvidia s Shield line of devices is now more than six years old, and the latest member of the family is the new Shield TV, an update of Nvidia s first set-top streaming box from 2015.The 2017 version slims down the console to a remarkably portable rectangle, adds a redesigned controller with a built-in ambient microphone, and includes a more traditional wand-like remote in the box.The $199 device or $299 for a larger version with a built-in 500GB hard drive has big ambitions: Nvidia wants Shield TV to be not only the only streaming TV box you need, but also a gaming console, a smart home device and a personal digital assistant all in one.Software makes it feel like a completely new device, however – and that s going to benefit both existing users and those new to the Shield platform.There s a much less confusing games section that groups all content under one broad Games category, for instance, which replaces the Shield Hub app.More generally enjoyable additions with this software update include the ability to adopt external storage as native, which means you can plug in external flash drives via the two USB ports on the back and have those act as fully accessible storage space for games and media.
The AA-powered, pocket-sized touch daddyThe Psion Series 5 has stormed a Reg poll of technologies readers would most like revived.The ground-breaking personal digital assistant PDA pulled in a record 1,199 votes to land first place in The Reg poll: what technology is ripe for revival next?Second by a long way was the Sony Walkman Stereo Cassette player, with 672 votes, and in third place was Atari s 2600 console – which succeeded in turning 1970s youf arcade game culture into a wholesome front-room experience.The Series 5 benefited from 10 years of development on organisers from plucky British tech firm Psion, which started life building software with Sinclair Research.With the Series 5, Psion managed the successful combination of hardware and software.
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