Your Voice is My Command: The Rise of Digital Assistants

Authors: Mike Anderson, Jim Lundy                        Date: March 30, 2012

Topics: Workplace; User Experience and Portals    Research Note Number: 2012-5


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Summary: Digital assistants let you solve everyday problems and perform increasingly sophisticated tasks by issuing spoken questions or instructions to your smartphone. The next wave of voice technology will broaden the range of things that voice-enabled computers can do.

Building faster and more powerful devices has long been a key focus of research and development in computing. Now that computers are fast and powerful enough to understand spoken questions and commands and return spoken replies, a race is on to create a conversational assistant that can solve increasingly complex problems. Voice and speech are essential enablers, but their integration with analytics and problem-solving intelligence will drive the next era of computing. This research note outlines three categories of voice-based user interfaces.

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