The Future Of AI At Amazon
Amazon’s AI seems unstoppable. In fact, Business Insider estimated that there will be about 500 million smart speakers in US homes by 2024, with more than half of them powered by Amazon’s assistant.
So, are there any other border-line creepy developments on the horizon?
Well, in the short-term, the company seems to be focusing on new ways that it can make the user experience more fluid with Alexa.
One of the key ways Amazon is hoping to do this is by making sure the user doesn’t have to over enunciate when speaking to Alexa – this is currently an issue for customers with stronger accents.
Amazon is also hoping to remove ‘wake words’, which means consumers would be able to say “play music, Alexa,” rather than needing to say the wake word “Alexa” before the command.
“The model of interaction, at its core, is not entirely different than going on a computer and typing a question into a browser. Until this format changes, and becomes more intuitive and more human with the AI initiating interactions and understanding context and users, there is a large chance the functionality of the devices will plateau.” – Dor Skuler, CEO and co-founder of Intuition Robotics, in an interview with TechRadar
As for the long-run, it looks like a full-blown sci-fi movie might be on the cards. One way Alexa could become more efficient is if it has more of a physical presence in our homes. Yes, that’s right – a real-life Alexa robot.
The vice president and head scientist at Alexa Artificial Intelligence, Rohit Prasad, revealed at the MIT Technology Review’s EmTech Digital AI conference this year that he thinks Alexa would be better if it had a robot body and cameras. “The only way to make smart assistants really smart is to give it eyes and let it explore the world.”
According to Prasad, giving smart assistants physical bodies could enable them to learn more about your routines, how you move around your home, and where other bits of technology are situated in your house.