The next generation of Internet Assistants will be device agnostic

Forget Siri and Cortana. Nuance Communications’ VP of Marketing and Strategy, Daniel Faulkner, thinks the next big opportunity in Personal Assistants is collaboration. As he told the audience at Future in Review Wednesday morning, Faulkner sees a huge opportunity for people working in this space to collaborate on a single personal assistant that moves beyond and across branded devices.

Of course, that’s easy enough to swallow when you’re working for a company focused on creating the best-possible device-agnostic personal assistant. (Some of which are cloud dependent, some entirely device-embedded.) “The challenges that we’re trying to solve at Nuance are really about making the human to machine interface as seamless, unobtrusive and easy as possible,” he said.

One of the biggest challenges around this — as well as one where Faulkner says Nuance has made the most progress — is context. What does a phrase mean in the context of a conversation or setting or a person’s identity?

“That to me is where we’ve made some of the most exciting advancements recently, is in conversational dialogue,” he told FiRe audiences.

“It actually has to be really quite natural for people to accept.”

They’ve also invested heavily in the medical field — transcribing medical records for doctors, giving them feedback about the best way to code medical procedures and diagnoses — and have found doctors are hungry for their services.

Still, they’re not yet in the market of Nexus-like brain implants.

“I will tell you that it’s not something we’re working on in earnest now,” Faulkner said blythely.