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A Smarter Personal Digital Assistant

Siri, Google Now, Cortana and the like can give us something like the experience of interacting with HAL 9000, but without the homicidal tendencies. They are not really "smart" though, like that movie AI. These things that we tend to think of as some kind of Artificial Intelligence are really not - but they will be, courtesy of Viv Labs' Viv, or something like it.
Whereas a Siri or a Cortana might know how to handle requests about weather, sports and about 20 other areas, Viv's knowledge and vocabulary will be extensible and unlimited. They will tap into the databases of thousands of online services—stores, flight-booking sites, car-sharing services, flight trackers, restaurants, florists, dating sites—and understand how everything all fits together.
“You can ask Siri, ‘Where does my sister live?’ and ‘What's the weather in Boston?’” Cheyer explained to me, “but you can't say, ‘What's the weather where my sister lives?’ because that integration hasn't been written by a human. But Viv will weave things together.”
It sounds like some fantastically complex relational database, but I suspect it more clever than that. While I enjoy using Google Now - mostly because it's usually easier than trying to type something out - I tend to be leery of the whole privacy aspect (or lack thereof). Having all my questions, searches, etc. sifted, evaluated and scrutinized by others makes me a little squirmy. 

It seems to be the way of things though, and I suppose a better digital assistant will be more useful. 

"I'm sorry Dave. I'm afraid I can't do that."



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