Meanwhile, Apple is building up an ecosystem of voice-connected devices, which is well positioned to corner off a swath of the voice market. While each of the other major tech companies are working toward boosting the adoption of their voice assistants through connected speakers and smartphone apps, Apple is likely banking on its heavily integrated ecosystem to drive the adoption and usage of Siri. For instance, Apple integrated Siri into the iPhone, Apple Watch, Apple TV, Mac, Airpods, as well as the upcoming HomePod. Currently, Siri is accessed on more than 375 million Apple devices across 36 countries on a monthly basis. And a vast ecosystem of connected devices will help to increase Siri's reach and dominance in the voice assistant landscape.
Conversation is the key to the next wave of AI infrastructure investments. In 2014, Andrew Ng predicted that by 2020 more than half of all web searches would be non-text and instead they would instead be image and voice-based. While voice has yet to overtake the keyboard in terms of search traffic we are seeing a new inflection point in the voice market the rise of Conversational AI. Moving beyond simply voice commands and by combining the latest in voice recognition and language parsing technology with text-based smarts of interactive chatbots that has been developing rapidly over the last few years, Conversational AI promises to be a rich new vein of technology innovation. A range of new digital services are emerging as companies explore this new landscape of voice-first interactive applications that have the capacity to provide rich information as well as learning from interactions with users.
Voice assistants are software programs that respond to voice commands in order to perform a range of tasks. They can find an opening in a consumer's calendar to schedule an appointment, place an online order for tangible goods, and act as a hands-free facilitator for texting, among many, many other tasks. Technological advances are making voice assistants more capable. These improvements fall into two categories: improvements in AI, specifically natural language processing (NLP) and machine learning; and gains in computing and telecommunications infrastructure, like more powerful smartphones, better cellular networks, and faster cloud computing. Changes in consumer behavior and habits are also leading to greater adoption.
This story was delivered to BI Intelligence Apps and Platforms Briefing subscribers. To learn more and subscribe, please click here. At its annual Worldwide Developers Conference (WWDC) in San Jose, California, on Monday, Apple offered a first look at iOS 11, the next iteration of its OS. The upcoming updates are focused largely on technologies, such as artificial intelligence (AI) and machine learning, that make it easier for users to interact with their devices. The voice assistant, which reaches 375 million monthly active users globally, will be the overarching interface that ties together Apple's multiple operating systems: iOS, macOS, tvOS, and watchOS.