Thursday, November 10, 2011

Has A.I. made its way to the consumer world? iYes

The iPhone 4s is mostly the same as the 4 (hardware-wise), but with an improved "smart" dual antenna configuration, cool higher-res camera, and a few other tweaks. But the main draw of the new Apple mobile platform (calling the iPhone "just a phone" is an injustice) is the so-called voice recognition built in, called Siri.

Siri traces its lineage directly back to the largest artificial intelligence project in history, the Pentagon’s CALO project -- “Cognitive Assistant that Learns and Organizes” -- a project that involved hundreds of the world’s top researchers in various aspects of A.I. This happened at a DoD-sponsored effort. Siri is not “voice recognition,” it’s an app linked to a cloud-based artificial intelligence at Apple's spiffy new data center.

Siri uses Vlingo Nuance for speech recognition and as such, the speech recognition component is modular. Theoretically, if a better speech recognition comes along (or Apple buys one), they could likely replace Nuance without too much trouble.

A.I. is the science (and application) of making intelligent machines, especially intelligent computer programs -- using computers to understand humans, and, perhaps, go beyond mere computational capabilities.

Learn more about our coming computer overlords here.

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