Voice Assistant – Short Explanation

A common trope of science fiction is characters talking to inanimate objects and having them perform a function. Having an assistant at your beck and call that not only complies with your requests but also tries to anticipate them is a dream that many people harbor. Whether that is turning on the lights, playing music, going shopping, or even cooking food. This once far fetched future is almost here, and voice assistants are the interface used to access this technology.

Voice assistants are almost commonplace now, but their introduction occurred only a few short years ago. Integrated into smartphones and stand-alone devices in our homes, they provide a simple and easy way to obtain information and access entertainment. Voice assistants help to streamline the way you interact with technology, and their popularity is booming. With an assistant that is available at our side 24/7 that can plan events, order groceries, and food and even book appointments, voice assistants are a huge benefit. This technology did not happen overnight, though. It was only Apple’s launch of Siri on the iPhone in 2011 that helped propel it into the popular eye. Since that date, voice assistants have proliferated appearing on smartphones from all manufacturers as well as smart speakers and more.

Voice assistants in the Real World

A voice assistant can be known by a variety of different terms based on the functions it is performing. It could be considered an intelligent personal assistant, for example, if used to conduct web searches and obtain information. Alternatively, when used as a tool to make bookings and reservations, it could be thought of as an automated personal assistant. When used with smart speakers that listen for a specific keyword, it could be considered a smart assistant. Regardless of the terminology used, a voice assistant listens for and responds to voices.

Voice assistants are all around us. While most prevalent in smartphones and smart speakers, they are often found in vehicles too. Their use is only growing, and it is expected that by the end of 2021, unique consumer uses of digital assistants will rise to close to 1.8 billion. Researchers and scientists have a vision of voice assistants becoming a smart bridge between humans and the knowledge and tools available online.

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Voice assistants in the World of AI

Voice assistants came to the forefront with Siri in 2011, but now they are present in homes around the world. In fact, one in six Americans have smart speakers in their home, and the number of smartphone users worldwide is near 3.5 billion. Voice assistants benefit from their integration with IoT and AI. With smart thermostats, appliances, cameras and lights growing in popularity, the functionality that voice assistants can provide is only growing. Voice is becoming an ever more crucial way of interacting and companies continue to look for new ways of integrating voice into their products.