Thursday, May 03, 2012

Social Intelligence - Technology Review

Excerpt from a Siri-ous AI profile
"That might continue to be the dream of AI researchers. For the rest of us, though, the arrival of a virtual assistant that is actually useful is just as fundamental a breakthrough. In Katz's office at MIT, I showed him some of the amusing answers Siri comes up with when provoked. He chuckled and remarked at the cleverness of the engineers who designed Siri, but he also spoke as an AI researcher using meanings and words that Siri would undoubtedly struggle with. "There's nothing wrong with having gimmicks," he said, "but it would be nice if it could actually analyze deeply what you said. The conversations with the user will be that much richer."
Katz is right that a more revolutionary intelligent personal assistant—one that's capable of performing many more complicated tasks—will need more advanced AI. But this also underplays an important innovation behind Siri. After testing the app a while longer, Katz confessed that he admires entrepreneurs who know how to turn advances in computer science into something that ordinary people will use every day. "I wish I knew how people do that," he admits."
Social Intelligence - Technology Review
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