Personal Assistant Systems


Amazon is giving Alexa a kid-friendly personality

Mashable

As a parent, I'm constantly listening to -- and a bit wary of -- how my kids are talking to Alexa. Or more precisely, how Amazon's digital assistant is talking to them. Ask for the wrong song or overhear the wrong news story, and suddenly my son or daughter might be exposed to something I might not be comfortable with them hearing. And even when the content isn't an issue, I sometimes wonder if Alexa's generally cold, utilitarian manner is giving them the wrong impression of how to answer questions. SEE ALSO: What would an Amazon Alexa robot look like?


Amazon's Alexa will now thank kids for saying 'please' — preferably on a Echo Dot Kids

USATODAY

A link has been posted to your Facebook feed. Echo Dot Kids Edition comes in blue, red and green. Politeness counts, at least when your child asks Alexa a question on an Amazon Echo speaker. Soon, when your youngster asks Alexa to solve a math problem by exhibiting good manners--"Alexa, please tell me what 5 plus 7 is"--the voice inside the Echo will not only supply the right answer, but will then add positive reinforcement: "By the way, thanks for asking so nicely." This new "magic word" feature, as Amazon calls it, starts to roll out via a software upgrade for the Echo, Echo Plus and Echo Dot smart speakers on May 9, as part of a set of free parental controls called FreeTime for Alexa.


Amazon Teases Fire TV Cube, A Set-Top Box Powered By Alexa

International Business Times

Amazon has confirmed the existence of a new product called "Fire TV Cube." It's being speculated that the upcoming device will be a new high-end Fire TV set-top box that comes with Amazon's Alexa voice assistant. Amazon has set up a new teaser page that asks visitors "what is Fire TV Cube?" The webpage says that details about the device will become available soon and visitors will be able to sign up to receive an update on the upcoming product. Amazon's new teaser page was first discovered by AFTVNews, which appears to have already leaked the device way back in September.


What is Conversational Commerce? Five Useful Examples of E-Commerce in Messaging

#artificialintelligence

If you're still wondering what is conversational commerce? It's a way of shopping or making any purchase online within a messaging or chat channel, like Facebook Messenger or Telegram by interacting with a brand's chatbot. We open a messaging channel to interact with a brand, a chatbot welcomes us, asks how it can help, and we're ultimately presented with just-the-right product or service we need. A virtual department store with a virtual salesperson, or a virtual assistant helping us place food or taxi orders: sounds like a refreshing at-home shopping and customer experience, yes? That's because it's meant to.


Microsoft looks to bots to make employees more productive ZDNet

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Microsoft is working on multiple chat bots it's counting on to make employees more productive. The company announced two years ago its Calendar.help The company also is working on another conversational bot, named "SwitchBot," that's designed to improve workers' focus. Information about SwitchBot was made public in the form of a research paper published on April 21 for the 2018 ACM Conference on Human Factors in Computing Systems. SwitchBot is a Skype bot that aims to help workers detach and then reengage at the start and end of their workdays.


Machine learning emotions: Can we automate empathy? - Clickatell

#artificialintelligence

Healthcare is one of the most important areas of concern for humanity. As with many aspects of modern labor, doctors' abilities can be replaced by smarter, faster machines. Advanced AI is being developed to help with diagnosis, reaching conclusions faster than trained doctors. Machines are helping patients move, meaning even physical therapists might not be necessary. Now, there might be machine learning that can replace empathy – what many might consider a purely human response.


7 Ways AI Conversational Interfaces Will Replace Web Forms - DZone AI

#artificialintelligence

There has been a fair amount of hype surrounding conversational interfaces and conversational UI lately -- and for good reason. Interfaces allow users to interact with machines using natural language processing either by talking or writing, akin to human-to-human conversations. With every passing day, we get closer to bridging the gap of natural communication between man and machine. The process of filling out a form or sharing your information on most websites has become less tedious and more informal due to the wide adaptation of conversational UI. However, prior to the steady adaptation of conversational UI, we had to trudge through a barrage of web forms in order to access content or seek out information.


Google I/O 2018: What to expect and how to watch

ZDNet

In the past, Google has used Google I/O to announce new hardware, such as virtual reality products and smart speakers equipped with personal assistants, as well as new services like Google Allo and Photos. Read also: Google Fuchsia is not Linux: So, what is it? Exactly what Google has in store for this year's opening keynote is a bit of a mystery, but we can take a few educated guesses. Here's everything you need to know about Google I/O 2018. Google I/O is staying in Mountain View, Calif., at the Shoreline Amphitheater.


Most iPhone X owners weren't satisfied with this one feature

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For years Apple has responded to complaints about the functionality of Siri and as more virtual assistants have popped up from their rivals, users continue to grumble about the things it cannot do. That was one of the biggest takeaways from a study of iPhone X users conducted by Creative Strategies, Inc. Ben Bajarin, principal analyst and the head of primary research, said in the report that iPhone X owners gave the product "an overall 97% customer satisfaction. While that number is impressive, what really stands out when you do customer satisfaction studies is the percentage who say they are very satisfied with the product," Bajarin wrote. In terms of the survey respondents who met that "very satisfied" mark, the report found it to be about 85% of iPhone X owners. SEE: IT leader's guide to the future of artificial intelligence (Tech Pro Research) But when the report authors broke it down by specific features, Siri stood out as one of the only things users were not happy with.


How to check your Google Assistant history

PCWorld

With just a few clicks it's possible to delve into the history of your Google Assistant to see all the commands you've issued, the replies it's given, and hear audio recordings of exactly what it heard. Here's how to do it. Via the Google Home app: Open Google Home and click on the hamburger icon (the three horizontal lines in the top left). In the drop-down list, click on "My Activity" and you'll soon see a list of all the interactions you've had with Google Assistant. Click on the plus button under the search bar and choose the filter for Google Assistant.