How Natural Language Interaction is humanizing your mobile

If Graham Bell had journeyed into the future he would probably be amazed to see how his invention, the telephone, has entirely changed the way people communicate with each other and with their phones. No longer is the phone merely an object that enables you to talk to someone who is not in the same place as you, the phone itself has now become a personal assistant, someone you can give orders to and who will talk back to you. How did all that become possible?

It became possible because we were born to communicate and because we always come up with new ways of connecting with the world around us. It is entirely natural for us to talk to each other and many of the big technological inventions are related to communication such as the radio, the TV, the computer, the Internet and the mobile phone. The urge to always come up with improved ways to connect has brought great advances in the field of communications technologies. And, more specifically, we have developed an interest in talking to machines as well. This interest is actually so big that it has evolved into a science called natural language interaction technology or simply “NLI”.

These days, the field of natural language interaction has joined forces with mobile technology, fundamentally changing our relationship with our mobile phones and the way we use them. With NLI technology we can now have virtual assistants taking orders from us and talking back to us on our smartphones and tablets. This is what Apple is doing with “Siri” on the iPhone4S and what Artificial Solutions is doing with Teneo Mobile.

Teneo Mobile is a platform independent technology designed for companies, organizations, manufacturers and developers to create their own virtual assistant as a mobile app, regardless of platform, mobile device and even language. It allows you as a mobile user to talk to your smartphone, or type in a message using everyday, natural language and the virtual assistant will answer back with intelligent, humanlike responses.

You can ask the assistant things like “where is my nearest post office?”, and the virtual assistant will locate the post office on Google maps. Ask it: “do I have any appointments on Wednesday?” and it will check your calendar feature on the mobile and let you know what you have planned for that day. These are just two examples out of a wide variety of things you can ask your assistant. In general the Teneo Mobile virtual assistant can be customized for any needs, and the language is no barrier either as Teneo mobile is already available in 21 different languages, including Mandarin and Russian – impressive when we know that “Siri” only speaks English, French and German.

Teneo Mobile offers companies across the mobile eco-system the ability to quickly implement their own mobile virtual assistant thanks to its unique technology and platform independence. For other public and private sector organizations, Teneo Mobile offers an innovative and effective way to communicate with their customers, providing 24/7 service in an automated yet approachable way.

For end users, it offers a new way of communicating with companies in an intuitive, friendly manner, and for specialist mobile app developers it allows them to build sophisticated NLI functionality into their own mobile apps.

At the end of last year Gartner stated in a report that by 2015, organizations will generate 50 percent of the online sales from their social media presence and mobile applications. It just goes to show that as consumers we will use any communication technology available to get the products or help that we need for the best price and with the best and most flexible customer service.

And talking about our love of communicating, as an end user myself I am curious to see how far NLI will take us. Will we one day start talking to other different devices we surround ourselves with as well? I am still waiting for the day that I can tell my coffee machine; “good morning Sol, could you please make me a double latte. And while you’re at it, toast some bread too, please…”

Andy, who lives with his family in the UK, is Chief Marketing & Strategy Officer at Artificial Solutions. A regular speaker at industry conferences and events, Andy delivers insight on the rise of AI, the challenges businesses face and the future of intelligent conversational applications.

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