If you are looking for an answer to the question What is Artificial Intelligence? and you only have a minute, then here's the definition the Association for the Advancement of Artificial Intelligence offers on its home page: "the scientific understanding of the mechanisms underlying thought and intelligent behavior and their embodiment in machines."
However, if you are fortunate enough to have more than a minute, then please get ready to embark upon an exciting journey exploring AI (but beware, it could last a lifetime) …
Apple has delayed its $349 'HomePod' home speaker until early next year. The gadget will battle Amazon's Echo and Google Home for the lucrative smart speaker market, using Apple music and Siri to do everything from play music to give news and traffic updates. The firm today said it needed'a little more time before it's ready.' The new $349 smart'HomePod' home speaker will go on sale later this year, and use Siri to aplay music and answer questions. Apple also unveiled iOS 11 and new iPads at the event.
Artificial Intelligence (shortened to AI) falls under the computer science umbrella. It refers to the discipline of programming computers to become intelligent and make decisions, just as a human would do. Its primary purpose is to replace/complement humans when making sophisticated decisions, using data inputted into a system and then injecting code to help the computers make more intelligent decisions based on possible outcomes. Although AI is said to be nothing but a gimmick by some critics, it has the potential to be highly useful in the world of business, helping organisations become more automated, freeing up a human's role to make the decisions only a human brain can make. Using AI significantly speeds up the time it takes for a process to happen and with so much data being generated every single second, automating this process can make life easier for everyone.
It's three in the morning and my room is bathed in the glow of my phone. Like one in three people, I check my smartphone when I wake up in the middle of the night. I can't sleep and so wander from one social-media app to another, my thumbs scrolling through what feels like miles of emptiness. "Siri, what is the meaning of life?" "I have stopped asking myself this kind of question," she answers. I ask again, because I like it better when she says "nothing Niestzche wouldn't teach you".
Google has set out to make its mark on the headphone world with Pixel Buds -- wireless headphones that can control your phone and that claim to translate conversations in real time. But how do they stack up? Google sent us a pair to review to find out. The most important thing you should know about Pixel Buds is that their full features only work with Google's newest smartphone, the Pixel 2. While they'll function with other phones, you must have a Google Pixel phone -- last year's Pixels, the Pixel 2 or Pixel 2 XL (which, buyer beware, have had some early quality-control issues) -- to access the Pixel Buds' marquee feature: real-time translation. To be honest, it's not exactly real-time.
You no longer have to be picky about which voice assistant you use to steer Ecobee's smart thermostats. Google Assistant now offers control over Ecobee3 and Ecobee4 models, letting you tweak the temperature from your phone or an Assistant-equipped speaker like those in the Home lineup. It's a relatively simple addition, but it means that Ecobee's thermostats now respond to voice commands from three of the major voice assistants (Alexa, Assistant and Siri) in some capacity -- sorry, Cortana fans. The move gives Ecobee an edge over Nest's thermostats, which already had Alexa and Google Assistant support but still lacks the native HomeKit support it would need for Siri. You don't necessarily want to pick a thermostat just for its voice input options.
I have just had a baby girl. I mean it is probably worth noting my wife played some part in her gestation and delivery, but as a modern progressive couple I'll assume a minimum of 50 percent of the credit. Her arrival has made me consider what the world holds in store for this little female version of me. As I bark at Siri, holding my daughter in the dark, for a "how to" video on baby swaddling, I suddenly feel unsettled. As it becomes second nature to bark orders at the'person in our pocket', does it matter that this person seems to be a she?
We hope you didn't ask your shiny new Apple Watch about the weather on November 4th -- you probably got a rude response. Many Series 3 owners reported that their wristwear crashed (specifically, the "springboard" interface restarted) if they asked Siri how the weather was that day. It wouldn't crash if they asked about weather in subsequent days, but the odd hiccup affected users across North America and Europe. We've asked Apple for comment. With that said, there's already a potential culprit... and it's a familiar one for iPhone users.
Our overall winner in the category was, perhaps unsurprisingly, Google Assistant. It answered more questions correctly than either Siri or Alexa, as well as generally giving context and often citing a source website for the information. Given that it's backed by Google's powerful search technology, that's to be expected. It fell down only on a couple of questions: It couldn't tell me when the next episode of Arrow aired (though it could interpret that as a TV listing); it gave me departure time for an upcoming flight even though I asked for the arrival time; and in a question about the American League Championship Series, it gave me recent scores, but not the overall standing of the series. However, it was the only one that could tell me how long chicken stays good in the fridge; gave me detailed information about the distance to Jupiter; and correctly identified what most scholars believe to be Shakespeare's first play.
Every single consumer device that matters is now a trojan horse for the rapid introduction of AI assistants into our lives. Think iPhone, Echo, Pixel, Chromebook, Pixel Buds with Google in your ear. We're now talking to our devices as much as looking at them. Google's new Chromebook -- the PixelBook -- has a dedicated Google Assistant button. Android phones, of course, particularly those that Google produces itself, respond to "OK Google."
The world is changing, and it's all about your voice. In my house, there are voicebots everywhere. In the kitchen, I use the Google Home speaker to ask about recipes and the weather. In my office, there's an Amazon Echo connected to a high-end stereo, so I can control my music collection by voice. You'd think that would be enough, except that I have another Echo Dot in my family room, and another Echo in an upstairs room.