What is Amazon planning with its more than 30 partners from the VI Initiative?

What is Amazon planning with its more than 30 partners from the VI Initiative?

30. September 2019 0 By Horst Buchwald

What is Amazon planning with its more than 30 partners from the VI Initiative?

New York, 30.9.2010

When it recently became known that Amazon and around 30 well-known companies from all over the world had formed a coalition, the AI world was murmuring. The list of members includes technology companies such as Amazon, Microsoft (MSFT), Baidu (BIDU), Tencent (TCEHY) and others. The hardware companies in the coalition include Qualcomm (QCOM), Mediatek (MDTKF) and NXP Semiconductors NV (NXPI).

However, some companies have decided not to join this dream team for the time being. Google (GOOGL), Apple (AAPL) and Samsung Electronics (SSNLF) are not defensive but indecisive.

What can you expect from the VI initiative? Virtual assistants have become popular with the technically savvy audience and the ordinary people. But every virtual assistant has its limits. Alexa is limited to the Amazon domain. Cortana only logs in when Windows users activate it.

But what would the world look like if Alexa and Cortana worked together? Could you combine Alexa utilities and Cortana’s capabilities in the same device? One way to achieve this technological utopia is speech interoperability, which will give virtual assistants the ability to communicate with each other. With this feature, users can deploy multiple programs simultaneously. For example, a user can interact with Alexa and forward messages to Xbox One.

As early as August 2017, Microsoft and Amazon decided to merge their KI-driven virtual assistants. But the language codes for Alexa and Cortana were completely different. For example, a Microsoft user had to speak “Cortana, open Alexa” and vice versa. In both cases, the user had no direct interaction. The idea was ingenious, but the implementation still needed a lot of improvement.

Back then, Jeff Bezos said: “The world is big and so diverse. There will be several successful intelligent agents, each with access to different datasets and with different subject areas. Together, their strengths will complement each other and provide customers with a richer and more helpful experience.

After a little more than two years, the idea is more important than ever. With over 30 companies contributing their expertise, customers could expect epic technological advances.

It may seem like a kind of human skill, virtual assistants making friends. But what is the crux of the Voice Interoperability Initiative? What are the foundations of this idea?

An Amazon spokesperson described the features below:

“Developing voice services that can work seamlessly with others while protecting the privacy and security of customers.

“Development of voice-controlled devices that promote choice and flexibility through multiple, simultaneous wake words.

“The introduction of technologies and solutions that make it easier to integrate multiple voice services into a single product.

“Accelerating machine learning and dialogue-oriented AI research to improve the breadth, quality and interoperability of language services.

Conclusion: The Voice Interoperability Initiative is a meaningful and courageous step by Amazon. But how far the cooperation will go is still in the stars.

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