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Posts Tagged ‘virtual assistant’

Survey shows growth in podcasts and voice assistants, little change in streaming

A new annual survey taken before the current COVID-19 crisis led to restrictions of movement in much of the U.S. suggests good news for Amazon, Facebook’s dominance unthreatened and continued growth in podcasting. Edison Research and Triton Digital released their annual Infinite Dial survey last week, compiling data on consumers’ use of smart speakers, podcasts, ...

Sonos acquires voice assistant startup Snips, potentially to build out on-device voice control

Sonos revealed during its quarterly earnings report that it has acquired voice assistant startup Snips in a $37 million cash deal, Variety reported on Wednesday. Snips, which had been developing dedicated smart device assistants that can operate primarily locally, instead of relying on consistently round-tripping voice data to the cloud, could help Sonos set up ...

Salesforce wants to bring voice to the workplace

At its annual Dreamforce mega-conference in San Francisco, Salesforce today introduced the next steps in its Einstein Voice project, which it first announced last year. Einstein Voice is the company’s AI voice assistant. You can think of it as Salesforce’s Alexa or Google Assistant, but with a more focused mission. During a briefing ahead of ...

Microsoft is scaling back the Android and iOS versions of the Cortana app

11.16.2019 · Posted in Technology Articles

After four years of existing on iOS and Android whether you knew it or not, Cortana might not be long for the two dominant mobile platforms.  Microsoft posted a note to its support website that the virtual assistant, strangely named after a Halo... ...

The time is right for Apple to buy Sonos

It’s been a busy couple of months for smart speakers – Amazon released a bunch just this week, including updated versions of its existing Echo hardware and a new Echo Studio with premium sound. Sonos also introduced its first portable speaker with Bluetooth support, the Sonos Move, and in August launched its collaboration collection with ...

Apple is turning Siri audio clip review off by default and bringing it in house

The top line news is that Apple is making changes to the way that Siri audio review, or ‘grading’ works across all of its devices. First, it is making audio review an explicitly opt-in process in an upcoming software update. This will be applicable for every current and future user of Siri. Second, only Apple ...

The BBC is developing a voice assistant, code named ‘Beeb’

The BBC — aka, the British Broadcasting Corporation, aka the Beeb, aka Auntie — is getting into the voice assistant game. The Guardian reports the plan to launch an Alexa rival, which has been given the working title ‘Beeb’, and will apparently be light on features given the Corp’s relatively slender developer resources vs major ...

Amazon’s lead EU data regulator is asking questions about Alexa privacy

Amazon’s lead data regulator in Europe, Luxembourg’s National Commission for Data Protection, has raised privacy concerns about its use of manual human reviews of Alexa AI voice assistant recordings. A spokesman for the regulator confirmed in an email to TechCrunch it is discussing the matter with Amazon, adding: “At this stage, we cannot comment further ...

Amazon develops a new way to help Alexa answer complex questions

Amazon’s Alexa AI team had developed a new training method for the virtual assistant that could greatly improve its ability to handle tricky questions. In a blog post, team lead Abdalghani Abujabal details the new method, which combines both text-based search and a custom-built knowledge graph, two methods which normally compete. Abujabal suggests the following ...

A guide to Virtual Beings and how they impact our world

Money from big tech companies and top VC firms is flowing into the nascent “virtual beings” space. Mixing the opportunities presented by conversational AI, generative adversarial networks, photorealistic graphics, and creative development of fictional characters, “virtual beings” envisions a near-future where characters (with personalities) that look and/or sound exactly like humans are part of our ...