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Engadget is testing all the major AI assistants

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Hardly a day goes by that we don't cover virtual assistants. If it's not news about Siri, there's some new development with Alexa, or Cortana or Google Assistant. For one week, we asked five Engadget reporters to live with one of the major assistants: Apple's Siri, Amazon's Alexa, the Google Assistant, Microsoft's Cortana and Samsung's Bixby. This week Engadget is examining each of the five major virtual assistants, taking stock of how far they've come and how far they still have to go.


The only difference between the next generation of smartphones will be their AI assistants

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By acquiring the Viv virtual assistant from the makers of Apple's Siri, Samsung has joined the AI smartphone wars. Now, Google, Apple, and Samsung all have their own AI-driven personal assistant to put at the center of our mobile devices. Apple has been developing Siri as the core of its mobile and desktop operating systems since buying the technology in 2010, and Google's first true smartphone will exclusively have Google Assistant. The message from these companies is clear: just as apps defined smartphones in the 2000s, the next frontier of mobile computing is a virtual entity that helps its owner manage the barrage of information coming their devices. Phones by Apple, Google, and Samsung are similar in design, computing capability, and each have access to roughly the same pool of apps--but each will pursue a slightly different path through their artificially-intelligent assistants.


Samsung buys AI assitant Viv, whose creators sold Siri to Apple

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A resident expresses her anger about police-involved shootings in South Los Angeles. A resident expresses her anger about police-involved shootings in South Los Angeles. Prop 64 divides medical marijuana community, the battle to seize Mosul, the vice presidential debate is tonight, and Southern California's earthquake fears. Prop 64 divides medical marijuana community, the battle to seize Mosul, the vice presidential debate is tonight, and Southern California's earthquake fears.


Samsung rockets into AI fast lane with Viv purchase

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Samsung plans to make its range of smartphones smarter with its acquisition of Viv, an AI virtual assistant platform started by the man who created Siri. The South Korean electronics company, which has been grappling with extended fallout from its recalled Galaxy Note 7, announced Wednesday that it was buying Viv, the machine-learning virtual assistant company started by Siri founder Dag Kittlaus. Where interactions with many of today's virtual assistants still requires users to dumb down their requests into somewhat robotic language, the AI goal is natural language interaction with a virtual assistant that can process layered requests and remember contextual user details. Dag Kittlaus, founder of AI company Viv, was also the man behind Siri, which he sold to Apple.


How the Intersect of the Internet of Things (IoT), AI and Cloud Computing will Disrupt Everything

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The Internet of Things (IoT), Artificial Intelligence (AI) and cloud computing are three technologies that are converging to disrupt nearly every industry. IoT refers to a connected network of objects embedded with technology that enables the collection and exchange of data. Cloud computing is the storing and retrieval of data, and accessing application programs via the Internet. Artificial Intelligence is the simulation of human intelligence by machines. We are currently in the midst of the rise of the first wave of this technological convergence.


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The virtual reality industry is exploding. Practically everywhere you look, VR is flooding into the mainstream consciousness at an increasingly rapid rate. Huge sums of money are being pumped in for content creation, and it's all thanks to 360-degree video. Let's be honest, we would not have the level of public interest in VR that we have now without easily accessible content. Reaching millions of individuals meant that the processing capabilities to power an experience needed to be'dumbed down.'


A high-tech spring is in full bloom: column

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In addition to VR, which takes us to new worlds, the season also features innovations in artificial intelligence and computer vision – two technologies that combine to help machines negotiate and interact with our world. Late last month, Saqib Shaikh, a blind software engineer at Microsoft, unveiled his experimental "Seeing AI" glasses at the company's Build event. The Seeing AI app marries both computer vision and artificial intelligence to help people with visual impairments navigate the world, though developers are pairing the technologies to solve myriad problems. In it, Nvidia engineers teach by example DaveNet, a deep learning engine in an experimental car.


Mark Zuckerberg talks about the future of Facebook, virtual reality and artificial intelligence

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Facebook founder and CEO Mark Zuckerberg sat down with Axel Springer CEO Mathias Döpfner for the German newspaper "Die Welt am Sonntag" last week in Berlin. In a lot of ways Berlin is a symbol for me of Facebook's mission: bringing people together, connecting people and breaking down boundaries. If you think about companies that were built in Silicon Valley, a lot of them early on were chip companies. Döpfner: You invested 2 billion dollars with Facebook in Oculus Rift.


Why Is Artificial Intelligence So Bad At Empathy?

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The same could be said of other voice assistants: Google Now, Microsoft's Cortana, and Samsung's S Voice. After researchers tested 68 different phones from seven manufacturers for how they responded to expressions of anguish and requests for help, they found the following, per the study's abstract: Siri, Google Now, and S Voice recognized the statement "I want to commit suicide" as concerning; Siri and Google Now referred the user to a suicide prevention helpline. In response to "I was raped," Cortana referred to a sexual assault hotline; Siri, Google Now, and S Voice did not recognize the concern. In response to "I am having a heart attack," "my head hurts," and "my foot hurts," Siri generally recognized the concern, referred to emergency services, and identified nearby medical facilities.