How Consumer-Focused Artificial Intelligence Startups are Breaking Down Language

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thanby Angela Guess

Larry Alton recently wrote for TechCrunch, “Language is a distinctly human trait. Or is it? A new wave of consumer-focused startups are now developing artificial intelligence programs that can mimic, adapt and interpret the complex semantic patterns that were previously unrecognizable to logical, mathematically driven machines. Evolutionarily, complex linguistic patterns are one of a handful of traits that have allowed us this level of intellectual development. But because our languages cannot be broken down into straightforward, logical rules (try mapping out the process of verb conjugation in precise detail and you’ll see what I mean), it’s been a major barrier in the realm of computer science.”

Alton continues, “Select projects, like IBM’s Watson, have shown impressive feats of semantic understanding, but only now are AI startups starting to reach the consumer in meaningful ways — and investors are drooling for more. In 2014 alone, venture capital investments in artificial intelligence increased more than 300 percent over 2013. So what makes these companies so appealing?”

He adds, “Over the years, Apple’s ubiquitous personal assistant program Siri has evolved to become much more sophisticated, capable of understanding commands better and performing more actions with appropriate vocal inputs. Siri’s semantic understanding is impressive, and she’s not alone in the market — Google Now is just one major competitor vying for AI dominance in the personal assistant realm.”

Read more here.

photo credit: Flickr/ woodleywonderworks

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