Smart speakers are getting increasingly popular and tech giants Google and Apple could not have been left behind in the race. While Amazon was the first to operate in the segment, Google jumped onto the bandwagon last year and now Apple is ready to give it competition. According to Apple tipster Sonny Dickson, Apple is all set to release its smart speakers soon. Dickson tweeted Thursday saying: "Apple is currently finalizing designs for their Alexa competitor, expected to be marketed as a Siri/AirPlay device."
With the Artificial Intelligence (AI) market predicted to grow at a CAGR of 53.65% from 2015 to 2020, momentum for AI is undoubtedly surging. AI, which is essentially the capability of a machine to imitate intelligent human behaviour (such as visual perception, speech recognition, etc.) and carry out multiple tasks, is proven to drive greater efficiency, and is on course to play a key role in propelling the growth of the retail sector. As consumers continue to demand greater speed and easier access to product and service information, fuelled by our connected world and the internet of things, AI will dramatically enhance the customer experience through improving responsiveness, personalisation and productivity. The potential of AI and its anticipated impact on the future of retail is massive, and by embracing it early on, brands and retailers have the opportunity to gain a major competitive edge.
Ideas about artificial intelligence (AI) have tended to swirl around without offering me much to think about. I use Siri and Hello Google on my iPhone, I'm aware of the increasingly powerful social media algorithms, and I've watched, with some interest, the accomplishments of IBM's Watson. Yet I haven't really thought much about it.
You've heard the rumblings of the robots, right? When I make a customer service call and get an eerily nuanced answer from a chatbot, I hear the rumbling of the robots. When I call out to my digital assistant and Siri/Alexa/Cortana makes a wise-cracking response, I feel the rumblings. I can't help but love my Roomba, and I have mixed feelings about the robot that assembled my car, but what about the more nebulous forms of Artificial Intelligence?
Soon enough, Amazon's Alexa will shout out your grocery list. That's assuming developers take advantage of the new language framework that Amazon has added to its digital assistant. The idea is that the Speech Synthesis Markup Language (SSML) will hopefully give Alexa more natural speaking patterns. Specifically, now Alexa is capable of whispering, bleeping out swear words and adding emphasis to a phrase in addition to changing volume, speed and pitch of its voice.