What's next as the smart phone wave crests: autonomous vehicles, robots, internet of things, wearables? A common thread across these categories is the increased need for speech and conversation to interact and control them. The same machine learning technologies that have made speech recognition surprisingly accurate are also enhancing our devices' abilities to predict what we are doing and deliver services and information proactively. Intelligent agents make interacting with computers more natural but can an intelligent agent be a product in itself or must it continue as a feature on top of devices? Is an intelligent agent inherently just a collection of nice-to-have utilities or is there a "killer app" that will compel consumers to buy/subscribe to one?
This collection of presentations explores innovations surrounding this fundamental question along with tangential issues: What are the remaining technology barriers? What is the business ecosystem for intelligent agents? Will the intelligence be serving the consumer or corporations? Will the intelligence continue to exist primarily in a device or will it shift primarily into the cloud? Will privacy concerns finally create a backlash? How will consumer lives and products change as agent technologies become the main way we interact with devices?
Bo Begole is Vice President, Global head, Media Lab at Huawei Technologies