Quite a few companies around the world are exploring the options presented by artificial intelligence. Both products and services can be improved by deploying AI on a large-scale. Some of these products are already being used by mainstream consumers, with most people not even realizing artificial intelligence is being used. Below are some of the top AI-driven products and services to keep an eye on.
One of the unsung heroes of the artificial intelligence industry is a company called x.ai. Founded in April 2014 and based out of New York, x.ai has $34m in equity funding. The company’s virtual assistant – called Amy or Andrew – helps users schedule meetings. The bot is essentially a “person” that can only communicate via email, when first setup it will start learning what places and what times you like to meet. Eventually it will start suggesting plans that would match your preference, once you set your mind on a meeting it will automatically add it to the calendar.
The AI can be activated by CCing the meeting request email to either email@example.com or firstname.lastname@example.org, which automatically adds either one to the email. The AI will converse with the opposing party and schedule the meeting based on your preference. Once a time is set, it will email you back with the information. This platform can be extremely useful for busy businessmen who have regular meetings, yet find themselves short-handed when it comes to organizing everything. Think of X.ai as a secretary which only handles your meetings. X.ai relies on machine learning and natural language processing to make itself an appealing solution.
Based out of Boston and founded in 2016, Jibo is the world’s first social robot which aims to help families manage their daily activities. Moreover, Jibo has a distinct personality that interacts with its users on a regular basis. As Jibo interacts with those around him, the AI-driven robot will learn more details and provide personalized responses. Jibo can help with tasks such as hands free text messaging, video calling which tracks faces, reminding you about important events, storytelling, and much much more.
According to the website, Jibo is quite the talker and is even capable of telling jokes. Unfortunately, Jibo is not available for purchase just yet, but more news are expected to be revealed later this year. Currently the company has over $73m in investment capital and it even became one of IndieGoGo’s top 5 most funded campaigns after raising over $2m in proceeds.
#4 Anki’s Cozmo
Financial service providers such as Index Ventures and JPMorgan have invested in Anki, a company aiming to bring consumer robotics to the mass market. Founded in 2016 and based out of San Francisco, their flagship product is called Cozmo, which stands out from similar products due to its high-level emotional responses.
This WALL-E inspired robot is meant to bring joy and enjoyment to its user, and is meant for young kids and early teenagers. Not only does this robot look rather cute, he continues to evolve as he gets to know his friends a bit better. This is an excellent tool for children, as Cozmo is always eager to play games. Cozmo is available for purchase at the price of US$179.99.
#3 Hubble’s Mood Sensor
The Hugo is quite an intriguing device, even though its looks might scare some people away. This motorized camera is shaped like an eyeball and will constantly try to scan the mood of its primary users. Hugo tracks facial features and uses AI to determine which emotions are hidden beneath the surface. So Far, Hugo can differentiate between six different emotions.
Hugo’s true potential unlocks when it is paired with a smart home. It could read your mood and turn on the lights if it thinks your are scared. If you come home frustrated from work it can play a soothing playlist to calm your nerves. It could also be an amazing home security system as it could alert you if potential intruders are in your home, not only that but it would also be able to capture a crystal clear picture of their face. The device was showcased at CES 2017, but no official launch date or price has been made available at this time.
#2 Amazon Echo
One of the most praised AI-driven devices to find its way into consumer homes all over the US and Canada is the Amazon Echo. First released in 2014, not only does it look sleek and functional but it also provides an excellent service. While it can’t read your mood, Amazon Echo can play all types of music and listen to the user’s voice commands through the Alexa AI interface. Users are able to control nearly all internet-connected devices in their home with the Amazon Echo, and support for more services and features are added on a regular basis.
The Echo is quite similar to Apple’s Siri, however some say it isn’t as intelligent as its competitor. On the other hand, according to user reviews Alexa is much more accurate and faster than Siri, meaning it can understand user commands much better and reply to them much faster than if you spoke into your iPhone. Furthermore, it seems that background noise isn’t as much of an issue to the Echo as it can still understand the user.
#1 Apple’s Siri
Apple has made quite an impact when it first introduced Siri to the iPhone 4s back in 2011. What makes Siri so special is not just the fact that it is free, but the fact that it was the first smartphone app to handle natural language queries on a smartphone. This virtual assistant has proven to be quite useful for iPhone and iPad users, and continues to get better as time progresses. Siri is designed to pick up user behavior, although the app is not available in every country just yet, it is a prime example of how artificial intelligence is changing the everyday life of consumers all over the world.
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