Ubiquitous Digital Assistants

Deep Linking
March 10, 2020
Prioritizing Accountability and Trust
March 10, 2020

Ubiquitous Digital Assistants

There are now thousands of applications and gadgets that track and respond to DAs.

Digital assistants (DAs)—like Siri, Alexa, and their Chinese counterpart Tiān Māo from Alibaba—use semantic and natural language processing, along with our data, in order to anticipate what we want or need to do next, sometimes before we even know to ask.

Alibaba’s highly advanced DA can not only interact with real humans, but also deftly handle interruptions and open-ended answers. Similar to Google’s Duplex, Alibaba’s DA can make calls on your behalf, but it also understands intent. So if you’re trying to schedule an appointment and you mention you’re usually commuting in the morning, the system understands that you aren’t available even though you never explicitly said that.

In 2017, FTI’s model projected that nearly half of Americans would own and use a digital assistant by the year 2020, and our model continues to track in that direction. Amazon and Google dominate the smart speaker market, but digital assistants can be found in many places.

There are now thousands of applications and gadgets that track and respond to DAs. News organizations, entertainment companies, marketers, credit card companies, banks, local government agencies (police, highway administration), political campaigns and many others can harness DAs to both surface and deliver critical information.