September 28, 2012
Google's Answer to Siri Thinks Ahead
The company's data stockpile and investment in AI means a smartphone helper that answers queries before you even ask them. MIT Technology Review reports.
Siri, the virtual assistant built into iPhones, launched to great fanfare last October and soon inspired a crowd of copycat apps.
Now a year later, Google is rolling out a new assistant in the form of Google Now.
Google Now doesn't have a pretend personality like Apple's sassy assistant, instead just appearing as a familiar search box. But just like Siri, it can take voice commands related to phone functions such as setting reminders or sending messages, and field requests for information such as "How old is the Eiffel Tower?" and "Where can I find a good Chinese restaurant?"
Also like Siri, Google Now responds with speech. However, rather than passing along queries to third-party services such as Yelp for answers, Google's helper makes use of the company's recently launched Knowledge Graph, a database that categorizes information in useful ways.
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