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Siri inventors now developing the intelligent assistant of the future

Dan Graziano
June 27th, 2013 at 2:00 PM
Bright Voice Assistant Software

SRI International, creator of Apple’s voice assistant Siri, is hard at work on a new intelligent assistant known as “Bright” that could one day know what users want before they even ask for it. Google Now already attempts to do this using location data, Internet browsing history and more, however SRI International’s Bright project will be even more sophisticated. The software is currently being designed for cybersecurity and emergency response in order to aid IT professionals in preventing the spread of a computer virus, or even to help 911 operators send the proper assistance to the scene of an accident, but it could also one day come to consumer electronic devices as well.

SRI International’s Grit Denker described Bright as a “cognitive desktop” that “really understands what you’re doing, and not just for you, but also in a collaborative setting for people,” MIT’s Technology Review blog reported.

The technology currently utilizes three cameras that monitor what a person is looking at and then displays information in real-time. It then recognizes tasks, eye movements, finger touches and hand motions to determine what information is important. For example, if a person was to simply glance at a notification, Bright would hide it. But if he or she stares at it for an extended period of time, the system would move it directly into that person’s line of sight.

There is a long road ahead for the SRI team. The system is currently focused on connecting information using “cognitive indexing” to try to predict what is important. The team still needs to build out Bright’s functionality, adding things such as the ability to predict interests and to automate tasks.

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