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article imageGoogle introduces artificial intelligence assistant

By Tim Sandle     May 20, 2016 in Technology
The competition for an artificial intelligence app — to book appointments, tell you the weather or answer your phone calls — has increased with Google announcing it is developing several apps.
Earlier this year EmoSPARK was announced, a 90-millimetre Bluetooth and Wi-Fi-enabled cube. The device is designed to respond to voice commands. This includes instructions to play a song, make posts onto Facebook, stream a Netflix film, or answer questions by reviewing Wikipedia. This invention followed Amazon’s Echo voice-activated controller; Jibo the family robot and other interesting forays into artificial intelligence.
Now Google has entered the race to develop sophisticated artificial intelligence software. During May, Google revealed its new artificially intelligent assistant. Here the company declared: “It makes it easy to buy movie tickets while on the go, to find that perfect restaurant for your family to grab a quick bite before the movie starts, and then help you navigate to the theater."
The app comes in different formats, for home and office use. Google Home is a cylindrical device supported by Google assistant. The device, New Scientist reports, follows vocal requests, such as setting a timer for the oven or playing music. Also in development is a messaging app called Allo. This provides information about nearby restaurants. The app also has a “smart reply” function that suggests pre-written texts to send to people.
How close all of this is to true "artificial intelligence" depends on one's of a machine as a flexible rational agent. Here the Turing test remains the gold standard and no machine has yet come close to passing. the test was developed by Alan Turing in 1950 and it concerns a machine's ability to exhibit intelligent behavior equivalent to, or indistinguishable from, that of a human.
More about Artifical intelligence, Google, Google IO
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