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Phone apps driven by Artificial Intelligence

LiveMint logoLiveMint 06-06-2017 Vishal Mathur

Artificial Intelligence (AI) is enabling smartphone apps too to enhance the experience for a user. Microsoft and Google, for instance, are trying to make AI an integral part of their software. In fact, at Google’s annual I/O conference in California in May, Google spoke of AI for various platforms, including the Home hardware and Photos app. We look at some of the apps that are making maximum use of AI.

Niki.ai

Niki.ai is a thoroughbred chatbot that uses AI to execute tasks. What you get is a typical chat window where you chat with a machine to register your requests. You can recharge your prepaid phone, book a cab, pay utility bills, order food, get laundry done, do bus and hotel bookings, make a booking for an interesting event in your city, even buy movie and flight tickets. Over time, Niki will understand your preferences, and give you information on deals and offers you may be interested in. Niki.ai is available on Android.

Haptik

Haptik is a personal assistance app that uses a unique blend of AI, natural-language processing, machine-learning techniques and human intervention to answer user queries, give suggestions based on context, and send reminders for pending tasks. The idea is to ensure every user query is answered. You can book flight tickets and do Web check-ins, book cabs, order food, make restaurant reservations and hotel bookings, pay bills, recharge phones, find stores and public utilities near your location, and more. It is free to download and use on Android and iOS.

Netflix

Chances are, you prefer a legal video-streaming subscription service such as Netflix, to movie piracy. You may like the fact that Netflix offers suggestions for movies, allowing you to discover some gems instantly. Now that is the work of AI algorithms. Over time, Netflix begins to understand what you like watching and scans its library of content to match criteria and offer “you might also like” suggestions. This also means that unlike manual sorting that could perhaps be biased in favour of certain pieces of popular content, these algorithms could help you find some rare movies or titles you have never heard of. Netflix is literally everywhere—on your phone, PC, tablet, gaming console and smart TV.

Microsoft Cortana

This started out as an AI-powered personal assistant for Windows Phones. But there aren’t many of those devices around, and Microsoft smartly built this assistant into Windows too. At Microsoft’s annual BUILD 2017 conference in Seattle last month, Microsoft confirmed that Cortana now has more than 141 million users, around a third of the 500 million Windows 10 users globally. This assistant can set time- and location-based reminders, manage missed calls, find an answer to any question you pose, even get the latest news. It now works on PCs and phones, but the biggest advantage could be the fact that more third-party apps are now plugging into Cortana—the likes of Netflix and Fitbit are already on board. 

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