"Did you feel? Did you see? It’s too real." — "The Veldt"
"Once you get used to this place, any other home is just going to be…a home." — Smart House
In 1999, the Disney Channel released a made-for-TV-movie that smart home enthusiasts of today would drool over. Smart House tells the story of the Coopers, a family that wins an automated home controlled by an intelligent assistant named PAT, short for “Personal Applied Technology.” PAT is a sentient assistant that looks like a maid and acts like a mother, yet is completely virtual. The assistant controls everything in the house, from opening doors to dimming lights. When the family’s son gets upset by his father’s new girlfriend, he reprograms PAT’s personality so she can devise ways to get rid of her. In science fiction, humanlike systems always seem to make the jump from being excitingly like us to frighteningly like us. PAT becomes power hungry, and her control over the house logistics spreads into her controlling the entire family. We won’t give too much away, but the movie turns into a power struggle between the virtual maid and the very real family that she serves.
A year ago, Google partnered with Nielsen to conduct research on the state of mobile search. The study tracked 416 respondents who made 6,303 searches during a two-week period. The chart above illustrates one of the key insights from the study; users search for different categories of information depending on where they are. Contextual cues like location have a tremendous impact on how we search and what we search for. As we continue to rely more and more on our mobile devices, there is a growing need for search that is smarter, faster, and more contextually aware.
"Everything needs to be continuous and everything needs to be real time."
At GigaOM’s Structure Data conference, our CEO participated in a panel with Om Malik and Ben Medlock to talk about a world of “persistent search.” The discussion centers on this new kind of anticipatory technology that proactively and constantly delivers relevant information — before users even realize what they need in the first place.
Watch the entire talk above, and read more on GigaOM.
In a recent VentureBeat piece, Devindra Hardawar lays out a balanced view of the developments and ethical issues materializing with the rise of predictive technology. The author provides an overview of key intelligent assistants in the field, including Google Now, Tempo AI, and our own MindMeld app, and writes that the tech powering MindMeld “portends the next wave of predictive innovation.”
"Imagine never having to sort through your inbox again, having an immaculate record of your finances always available, and getting perfectly curated playlists for a party based on the preferences of who’s attending. The benefits of an A.I. assistant will be hard to resist."
"To give you an idea of how different things may be in just a few years, let’s take a look at the future."
In 1987, Apple debuted a concept video introducing the Knowledge Navigator; a futuristic assistant that foreshadowed the intelligent assistants of today. Spearheaded by John Sculley, the Knowledge Navigator was an impressive mashup of Siri, MindMeld, Skype, and Google Now, and was accessible through touch and voice alone. The idea was conceptualized three years before the World Wide Web was even introduced, and nearly twenty years before touch-driven devices gained a stronghold.
How are search engines able to sift through enormous databases to deliver exactly the right results? Watch our own Suvda Myagmar explain how there is a human touch involved in making your search results more relevant.
Learn more about search quality metrics and measurement methods with the previous installment in our “Behind the Search” series.
MindMeld’s management console is a handy tool that lets developers view and maintain all of their apps that leverage our API. In the video above, watch as we take you through the ins and outs of the console’s main features.
The Oscar-winning film Her explores a world where technology and humanity are inextricably connected. Is this portrait of the future actually realistic? Our CEO recently contributed an article to Re/code that analyzes the top distortions surrounding smart assistants like Samantha “and the reality of what we can expect in the future:”
"Imagine a future where intelligent assistants siphon us away from the mundane details that cloud our attention and direct us toward the most thought-provoking issues at hand: A cure for cancer, how to design the strongest bridge span, etc… This ability to outsource menial tasks and proactively discover relevant content will free us up to live better."
Will we ever fall in love with our personal assistants? WIll they talk back to us? Will they make us stupid? Satisfy your Samantha curiosities and check out the entire piece on Re/code.
(Image via Warner Bros. Pictures)
What do HBO’s Entourage, Amazon’s anticipatory shipping, and E.T.A. Hoffman’s Olimpia have in common? Hear our Research Director unravel the history that has led to the modern-day intelligent assistant, and the philosophical implications that emerge as our assistants continue to evolve.
In the MindMeld developer center, we have laid out detailed documentation that will help you gain a broader understanding of how our API works. In the video above, learn how to navigate through the documentation so you can easily locate the information you need to start building apps with the MindMeld platform.
On a recent episode of the Structure Show, GigaOM’s weekly podcast, Derrick Harris and Barb Darrow liken our MindMeld API to a “big playground” where developers can incorporate artificial intelligence capabilities into their own apps. They also discuss the incredible advances in the field, and how a discipline that was once restricted to the world of academia can now be utilized by any individual developer.
Tune in to the entire show above, and keep an ear out for our shout-out at 9:09. For more information on where to find us at this year’s Structure Data conference, click here.