Is the digital assistant automating your Life?

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Voice-enacted innovation started with IBM’s Audrey in the 1950s. It was sufficiently developed for the times, tailored for the U.S. Bureau of Defense in the 1970s, and developed its vocabulary in the 1980s. While it was lesser known then, today we know advanced cousins of it… Featured image is intended for representational purpose alone and has been sourced from (


Voice-enacted innovation started with IBM’s Audrey in the 1950s. It was sufficiently developed for the times, tailored for the U.S. Bureau of Defense in the 1970s, and developed its vocabulary in the 1980s. While it was lesser known then, today we know advanced cousins of it such as Apple’s Siri, Amazon Alexa, Google Assistant and Microsoft Cortana in common parlance.

Speech Recognition – Technology & Patent Landscape

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Digital assistants are programming operators that live on a gadget and help a user perform undertakings in more instinctive and productive ways. While these digital assistants can be controlled via content and motion such as hand gestures, they are predominantly operated via voice commands.

Aspects of organizations in digital assistants

iOS boost for Apple’s Siri

Apple’s Siri bolsters an extensive variety of client summons, including performing telephone activities, checking fundamental data, booking occasions and updates, managing gadget settings, browsing the Internet, exploring zones, discovering data on excitement, and can connect with iOS-coordinated applications. Following the release of iOS 10 in 2016, Apple opened restricted outsider access to Siri, including outsider informing applications. It also added installments, ride-sharing and Internet calling applications. After introducing iOS 11, Apple refreshed Siri’s voice clarity which has bolstered follow-up inquiries and dialect interpretation, along with extra outsider activities.

Google Assistant on iOS

Google’s Assistant at first appeared in May 2016 as a feature of Google’s informing application Allo, and its voice-actuated speaker Google Home. After a restrictive phase on Pixel and Pixel XL mobile phones, Google Assistant was extended to other Android gadgets in February 2017, including outsider cell phones and Android Wear. It was discharged as an independent application on the iOS framework in May 2017.

Microsoft Cortana on Windows

Microsoft Cortana is an insightful individual assistant that is accessible on Windows 10, Windows 10 Mobile, Windows Phone 8.1 and Microsoft Band. In January 2015, Microsoft declared the accessibility of Cortana for Windows 10 work areas and cell phones as a feature of consolidating Windows Phone into the working framework on the loose. On May 26, 2015, Microsoft declared that Cortana would likewise be accessible on other portable stages. An Android discharge was set for July 2015, yet an Android APK record containing Cortana was spilled in front of its discharge. In 2015, Microsoft declared that Cortana would go to the Xbox One as a component of an all-around planned Windows 10 refresh for the support.

Amazon Alexa

Amazon’s Alexa was initially accessible only via Amazon Echo, a voice-powered remote speaker. Later, it was extended to Amazon Echo Dot smart speakers. Most gadgets with Alexa enable clients to initiate the gadget utilizing a wake-word, (for example, Alexa); different gadgets, (for example, the Amazon versatile application on iOS or Android) require the client to push a catch to enact Alexa’s listening mode.

How does the digital assistant automate our real life?

The digital world has dramatically transformed our lives in recent years. Gone are the days of smartphones, smart TVs and now smart homes, digital assistants are here to revolutionize living. Take for instance Apple’s Siri where a user can check on a restaurant’s feedback and book a table remotely, rather than looking through dining websites or calling the restaurant for a booking.

Siri is a computerized assistant that can be categorized as a decent case of a genuine, real-life automation. The user needs to communicate the bare minimum requirement, following which, with the least interaction, the digital assistant completes the entire task on its own, barring the need for a few confirmations from the user.

In a recent development, Google declared a new feature on Google Assistant called Google Duplex. Within some months or years, Google will execute this feature on Google Assistant to automate a user’s life. Google Duplex is expected to include the capacity to talk, call for business purposes like ordering pizzas or schedule a meeting in the salon. The talk will be purely in human language and the assistant will be capable to complete mind-boggling discussions intelligently.

Apple filed a patent application US20170132199 A1 titled as “Unconventional virtual assistant interactions” on May 25, 2016, which describes that one or more virtual assistant can transmit or receive messages/ commands to each other, and also receive messages from a dispatcher. The dispatcher is configured to control a sound system, a proximity sensor, and door lock.

Apple’s patent application US20170132199 A1 illustrates a method that applies to the digital assistant for automating door lock system.

Apple’s patent application US20170132199 A1 discloses a method that applies to the digital assistant for reserving a restaurant.

The same year, on Dec 16, Google filed a patent application US20180107930 A1 titled “Proactive virtual assistant”. This discloses a method that indicates a suggestion or a notification in a proactive manner from a digital assistant to the user.

Google’s patent application US20180107930 A1 describes that the virtual assistant can inform the user about any upcoming notification or regarding any reservations.

On June 24, 2015, Microsoft filed a patent application US20160379105 A1 titled as “Behavior recognition and automation using a mobile device”. The application discloses a method for automating operations performed by a digital assistant for a user.

Microsoft’s patent application US20160379105 A1 discloses a digital assistant which automates the application using machine learning based on the user behavior.

Growing market for digital assistants

The specialists of digital assistants or voice empowered machines will have the distinct advantage to automate everyday shenanigans in a more empathetic manner. The companies are improving the artificial intelligent digital assistant day by day. Like, Google has received a new system called Tacotron 2 that mimics the actual voice of AI and human and it is difficult to identify that the voice is of a machine.

Patenting trends

Bar graph shown below displaying the annual growth of digital assistants since 1999 – 2018. The bar graph shows the patenting growth of different assignees in the field of digital assistants. The filing of patents is increasing year by year by multiple companies like Apple, Microsoft, Google etc.

Bar Graph of the annual growth of filing of patents since 1999 – 2018 in the field of Digital Assistants
Source: Derwent Innovation

Artificial Intelligence is creating the era of virtual digital assistants which is becoming popular and easily accessible to all, and if this trend continues, then we are at the verge of entering a diverse, exciting, new world of search.

Featured image is intended for representational purpose alone and has been sourced from (

Shalu Rastogi
Shalu Rastogi

A doodler and a sketcher my passion and a patent engineer by profession, Shalu loves to fly around technology.

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