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 said Friday that it's pushing back its plans for a Siri-powered smart speaker until sometime early next year. The HomePod speaker was announced in June, with an initial launch date set for December. Apple said that its smart speaker will be able to control home appliances and take basic orders. In June, some analysts questioned whether a December launch was already too late for Apple to compete with Amazon and Google for the connected home market. But Apple promised that the speaker would have all of Siri's smarts and stand out from the pack by offering superior sound quality.
Apple Inc. said Friday that it's pushing back its plans for a Siri-powered smart speaker until sometime early next year. The HomePod speaker was announced in June, with an initial launch date set for December. Apple said that its smart speaker will be able to control home appliances and take basic orders. In June, some analysts questioned whether a December launch would be too late for Apple to compete with Amazon.com But Apple promised that the speaker would have all of Siri's smarts and stand out from the pack by offering superior sound quality.
Apple has delayed the HomePod, its next big new release. The Siri-enabled speaker is intended to be Apple's response to the increasing popularity of gadgets like the Amazon Echo, Google Home and the Sonos One. But it will have to wait a while before taking them on, since it has been delayed until "early 2018". "We can't wait for people to experience HomePod, Apple's breakthrough wireless speaker for the home, but we need a little more time before it's ready for our customers," a statement from Apple said. "We'll start shipping in the US, UK, and Australia in early 2018."
Google Home and the Amazon Echo have new competition. Baidu, which runs China's most popular search engine, has produced the Raven H, a voice-activated speaker that runs on an artificial intelligence platform. The Raven H is the first product in Baidu's upcoming AI plan, following its acquisition in earlier this year of Beijing-based smart home startup, Raven. 'Humans & machines have been interacting w/ one another for years, but raven H aims to create a world in which this interaction is seamless.' If anything, the new speaker's design looks like none of the competition, and appears to be able to flip up to face the user, when activated.
Chinese internet search giant Baidu on Thursday introduced a speaker and two robots as part of its Raven series in a serious push into the highly competitive smart home market. The products, introduced at the Baidu World conference in Beijing, are powered by the company's DuerOS conversational artificial intelligence technology. That system is similar to virtual assistants like Amazon's Alexa, the Google Assistant and Microsoft's Cortana. The smart speaker is called Raven H and will be available for purchase in December for about 1,699 yuan ($256). Design-wise, the speaker looks like a stack of thin, colored square blocks and it comes with a touch-sensitive light-emitting diode (LED) display controller.
Amazon isn't the only one turning smart speakers into intercoms. Google is pushing an Assistant upgrade that lets you broadcast your voice to every Home speaker in your house using either another speaker or your phone. If you need to gather the household, you just have to say "OK Google, broadcast" and whatever you want to deliver. It'll even ring a dinner bell if you say "it's dinner time." And you don't have to be at home, either -- you can tell the family you're on your way without having to make a phone call or send a text message.
R2-D2 may seem like a blast to hang out with, but in real-life, robots are rarely social butterflies. They're fantastic assembly line workers, bolting together cars and refrigerators, but most are all work and no play. The closest thing to robotic friends we have right now are the growing number of smart speakers, like the Amazon Echo, each with an voice assistant inside them. Smart speakers have carved out a few uses, like playing music, cracking jokes, telling us the weather, and controlling our smart home devices. Which is why I was excited to meet Jibo.
Smart home speakers have quickly become the hot gadget people didn't know they wanted. They can answer your movie trivia questions, call a cab, turn your heating on and do your shopping for you. They're gaining new features every day, but are more than just a utility product. These speakers are a ripe platform for all kinds of screen-free entertainment, and I'm not just talking about streaming a Spotify playlist. Earplay is a popular Alexa skill that tells interactive stories, for example, and never one to be late to a fledgling medium, the BBC has taken note.
Artificial intelligence is quickly becoming the next transformational technology. Market intelligence firm Tractica forecasts that revenue generated by AI will soar from $1.4 billion in 2016 to $59.8 billion by 2025. What may surprise you even more is how pervasive the technology has become over the last several years. A number of recent advances in AI have already made their way into our daily lives. Here are six ways you may already be interacting with this groundbreaking technology -- without even realizing it.