Are Watson and Siri Going To Have an AI Love Child?

Thursday, July 17, 2014

 Artificial Intelligence
Former rivals IBM and Apple are now joining forces for what they say are mobile applications.  Could such a partnership also impact the development of artificial intelligence?

A possible result of Apple’s new partnership with IBM — which the two announced recently as a joint effort to give both a stronger standing in the mobile enterprise — could be an eventual union between Watson and Siri.

As most users realize, the hype around Siri's, introduction did not fulfill the dreams of cognitive artificial intelligence and personal assistance. Siri is instead just a friendly voice-controlled interface for some complex work happening behind the scenes, usually involving built-in iOS functionality or information from other apps.

"This is about two powerhouses unleashing the power of mobility for (businesses). This is going to remake professions and industries."

"It's a watershed partnership that brings together the best of Apple and the best of IBM," Apple's Tim Cook said Tuesday during an interview at Apple's Cupertino, California headquarters. Underscoring the importance of the alliance, IBM CEO Gina Rometty flew from IBM's Armonk, New York headquarters to join Cook for the announcement.

"This is about two powerhouses unleashing the power of mobility for (businesses)," Rometty said. "This is going to remake professions and industries."

The possible integration with IBM's Watson, could push the technology to new heights.

So far this pairing is speculation, but Cook has stated previously that his company is "doubling down on Siri."

“If Siri partners with Watson, people will take notice,” a Venture Beat source said. “People think Siri is a joke. With Watson, no other cognitive technology out there has the ability to beat the world’s best Jeopardy contestants. And what this partnership means is Watson having access to Apple’s data, which would help power Watson’s own cognitive data. So Watson and Siri would fit together perfectly, like a puzzle.

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“And remember, Siri is a consumer-facing toy compared to Watson. While Siri is more or less is designed for consumers to use, Watson is for data experts. One of the problems is that Watson’s members don’t have access to consumer data through Google search. Access to Apple’s data will help improve Siri.”

IBM's Watson Group, which Watson-based devices in IBM’s inventory, has been used successfully for dispensing medical advice, stock pics and more.  It even has created a highly-touted recipe for barbeque sauce.

The move also makes sense as Google Now and now Microsoft Cortana continue to offer impressive results with their systems.   Microsoft Research just published a new video where they discuss how Academic Search and Cortana are merging in early 2015. The demonstration was given at the annual Microsoft Research Faculty Summit where the presenters asked how they could turn Cortana into a research assistant and it follows upon the revelation of Project Adam.


There is no doubt that the gaps in these narrow-AI systems are rapidly being filled in.  Envisioning a powerful cognitive computing system being the brains in our phones and even robots like the recently unveiled Jibo from emotional robot pioneer Cynthia Breazeal (pictured above) is getting easier and easier to do.  Certainly these system are not yet full Artificial General Intelligence (AGI) level platforms, but the progress lately has undoubtedly accelerated.


By 33rd SquareEmbed