Digital assistants: more than just a home bot

Artificial intelligence and machine learning opened the doors to a new innovation that promises to make everyday life, whether at home or at work more convenient: digital assistants. Voice activated devices quickly became the new must-have piece of intelligent furnishing in many households. Digital assistants can be used across many other devices, they can assist you even while being on the road and have become essential for businesses as well.

Checking commute times, doing research and setting reminders: the hands-free use allows you to multitask, reduces the screen time and frees your fridge from sticky notes. Besides making everyday life more convenient and efficient, talking to a digital assistant can make time on a commute more valuable. Technologies surrounding digital assistants, such as natural language processing (NLP), are improving constantly and are aiming to make the user’s experience as natural and helpful as possible.

Digital assistants change the way we interact with computers and the potential ranges further than just turning on a music playlist with a voice command. Businesses have begun embracing human-computer interaction (HCI) within an office setting, in order to boost productivity and work more smoothly and efficiently. “Productivity tech” can take over repetitive tasks, letting the employee focus on more complex tasks, by scheduling meetings, setting reminders and improving communication. For example, spoken phrases can be translated into a written text, which is a great tool to take notes in a meeting. Automating a meeting, by letting an artificial intelligence powered device listen and showcase data and insights relevant to the topic, will enhance everyone’s experience.

What can we expect from a future shaped by digital assistants? Major tech companies are racing to have the upper hand in providing the most fancy and helpful assistant technologies. New innovations are continuously being released and though they differ in many ways, they all share the way they operate: their core is an AI technology that relies on search engine and machine learning. Marketers face the challenge to adapt to the new way’s customers interact with brands.

In order to improve human interaction with computers, the digital assistant needs to function not just according to a specific program but behave proactively and responsively to the unique user. Thanks to machine learning, the AI base can “understand” and learn the individual user’s preference, memorize this information and implement it into their future search and suggestions. To enjoy a seamless experience the user has to be willing to share personal information.

As data security plays a major role in today’s world, it is a number one priority for providers of digital assistants to create a user experience that makes them feel safe. Devices come with an abundance of privacy features and software is being updated constantly. With the devices only being responsive when providing a “wake-up” word and by muting the microphone, companies assure privacy. To hide personal information from unauthorized parties, voice recognition and pins can be implemented. The user can block certain uses completely, such as making purchases and also review and erase information from the history. In the end it comes down to the user’s preference to choose which accounts they want to connect to the device and which information they want to share.

According to Tractica, by 2025 digital assistants will be used by over 1 billion people. Performing online purchases, operating home devices in an intelligent household and image recognition are the three rising trends we can look forward to, but we are far from realizing the true potential of digital assistants.

Are you using digital assistants? What is your experience? We would love to learn more, so leave us a comment below!

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