AI Part 2: I Told You 'I Will Be Back'

Reality embedded with machines may not exactly be the Arnold Schwarzenegger enterprises dream of yet, but innovation is brewing like hot metal in this steel-marries-human saga. Here's how

Facebook's acquisition of Virtual Reality start-up Oculus has probably stirred up more not-so-positive reactions than anticipated. While privacy concerns, credibility of crowd sourcing innovation, fate of Oculus DNA etc stir up the vitriol side, what is also probably confusing people (and getting their attention at the same time) is the relevance of virtual ink in our daily pots and digital plots.

Human-machine interaction has come a long way, from the pages of fiction and Spielberg's fantasy to actual, in-your-face, viable concoctions like Google Glass, Speech Jeeves and navigator Siri, Augmented print genius Layar, medical world magic wands like VRcade, Sensics, CyberGlove or AI-supported war scenarios or aircraft design simulations. Well, the list goes on.

So does the string of doubts, dilemmas and apprehensions that this new world of AI brings forth.

We get to speak to someone who has been working in this space attempting to bring innovation story here in India to a new level in terms of AI.

Uniphore, has been passionately attached to this curve of human-machine interaction and has been working on solutions that can allow any machine to understand and respond to natural human speech, thus enabling humans to use the most natural of communication modes, speech, to engage and instruct machines, as the company aspires.

Umesh Sachdev, Co-founder and CEO of Uniphore helps us with a reality-check as we discuss the technology advancements, industry readiness, consumer mindsets, privacy worries, real world bumps, viability issues, breakthrough gaps etc and take a closer peek at VR.

What's your overall observation on trends in augmented reality? So many attempts have caught the world's eye recently like Siri, advanced robotics, intelligent stamps, high-level biometrics etc.?

Today's innovative technologies are primarily driven by two main consumer trends: personalization and mobility. These consumer demands will be met through a host of new technologies rapidly converging to make more meaningful and intuitive interactions with machines.These technologies contribute to the rapidly growing "Internet of Things," in which there will be over a billion machines talking to each other, performing tasks, and making decisions based on predefined guidelines using artificial intelligence.

So what's making our machines smarter, and enabling them to better interact with each other and humans? Augmented reality applications are becoming more common, adding just-in-time information to our physical world.

How? Especially for enterprises?

Google glass is the leader in this right now. Second-level of emerging technologies are the intelligent electronic agents, which use natural language voice commands to instruct machines, specifically mobile phones. This was most popularly launched with Apple's Siri, and then rapidly followed by Android, Microsoft, and others. Uniphore leverages speech recognition to build applications for businesses, enabling them to give a personal touch to customer interactions. Soon retailers will have a Siri-like sales assistant, and banks will have a Siri-like bank assistant, across voice and data interfaces. Third, combined with automated voice assistants and artificial intelligence, advanced automation and robotics are finally leaping forward after decades of slow growth. With better processing power and bandwidth, robots will increasingly help humans achieve their tasks in more productive and efficient ways.

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