In October 2011, Apple announced its digital assistant Siri as a feature on the iPhone 4S. Soon it became popular for its witty replies, rather than the ease of accomplishing a task. The next year in July 2012, Google Now made a debut on Android smartphones. It was known for the ease with which it integrated with Google services and enabled tasks using cards that helped you understand what you need to do next.
Typically, digital assistants across the device platforms work by understanding as much about you as possible. This happens by accessing patterns and data from your email, track past GPS location patterns, as well as past requests made to it by the user. To top it all, digital assistants continuously learn from the millions of requests it receives from users across the globe. Machine learning, as engineers call it, enables this device to adapt its responses depending on the nature of queries.
Recently on a popular TV show, Siri was asked by the host Stephen Colbert what he could ask his guest Tim Cook. The reply was a smart, “Do me a favor,” she responded. “Ask him when I’m going to get a raise.”
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