Friday, February 7, 2014

Flashback Friday: The Artificial Intelligence Movement

Artificial Intelligence (AI) is appearing in the tech news more and more. AI is more than just a trend though; it is a growing movement being embraced by the World. Leading analyst are validating the market (BLOG LINK TO GARTNER PREDICTS) and Fortune 500 companies such as IBM with Watson, Apple with Siri, and Google with Google Now, are in agreement that AI is continuing to grow exponentially and has no plans to stop. Now, Microsoft is on board with the AI movement as well. It is rumored that the release of the Windows Phone 8.1 is going to come equipped with an AI virtual assistant (much like Siri) code-named “Cortana.” The name Cortana come from the Xbox game series Halo. Cortana is an AI hologram character used throughout the game as a co-partner to fight off the enemies. Halo fans are very excited to see one of their favorite characters’s become a Virtual Assistant (Microsoft May Breathe New Life into Halo’s Cortana AI).

Microsoft’s co-founder Paul Allen is also on board with the AI movement. He is realizing that AI is not just a childhood fantasy anymore; with today’s technology anything is possible. Allen and others are doing research on developing an AI that can understand language and use reasoning skills to interact with its surroundings (Paul Allen and the Machines: Teaching the Next Generation of Artificial Intelligence).

Due to a busy week, we decided to do Flashback Friday this week. In light of Flashback Friday I wanted to share Microsoft’s early uses of a Virtual Agent.

1    1. We all remember Clippy in the corner of the screen helping users with their PC problems.

2    2. Here is a screenshot or a press release from 2007 announcing Microsoft’s implementation of a Virtual Agent.