Are Electronic Personal Assistants the Future?

Electronic personal assistants, like Siri, have been in our phones for a while, but now they are appearing in our homes too – in items such as speakers and lamps. So the big question is: will we spend all of our time talking to gadgets? I spoke to tech expert and Angel Investor Peter Cowley to find out what they can do…

  • Devices that reply when you talk to them have been around for about 25 years on PCs and moved to smartphones 6 or 7 years ago.
  • Examples of tasks that these devices can complete include: answering questions, playing music or videos, ordering online shopping, controlling items in your home such as lights and thermostats and daily planning of events via calendars and to-do lists.
  • They work on speech recognition and are generally only available in English and German at the moment, being correct around 60% of the time.
  • Geolocation technology will begin to play an important role in the future with advertisements on smartphones reminding us to visit retailers as we pass by, or reminding us that we need to buy a particular item on our shopping list.
  • Future advances need to address the ability of a device to hold a conversation and then we may start using them for teaching children or for keeping the elderly company.



You can listen to the full interview by Tom for the Naked Scientists here.

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