June 8, 2018

IDG Contributor Network: How far can digital assistants take us in the realm of AI?

Every decade or so, there comes a new technology (or more than one) that inspires us to think beyond our current limitations and ponder how far humanity can truly go. For our generation, that tech may be artificial intelligence, as applied to the world of digital assistants.

Digital assistants emerged somewhat stealthily, with the iPhone’s Siri meeting lukewarm reception upon its unveiling. But now, Siri and other assistants are pushing the boundaries of what we thought was possible.

This is perhaps best evidence by Google’s recent demo of its Duplex technology, applied to Google Assistant at I/O 2018. Google Assistant was shown to be able to make phone calls for basic tasks, like scheduling a hair appointment or making a dinner reservation; it held a conversation indistinguishable from other human beings and was able to react to unexpected changes in conversational rhythm.

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