The group that brought Siri into this world is still hard at work, only now their aim is an even cleverer computer intelligence known as Bright, which could be seeing its way to consumer-grade products in the future.
SRI is the nonprofit research and design institute that was behind Siri. The clever voice that was a smash hit on Apple’s (NASDAQ:AAPL) iPhone 4S and has been carried over to the iPhone 5 could soon find itself in the shadows — or outshined — by Bright’s enhanced brain and monitoring systems.
Siri may have been popular, as it could help iPhone users text, organize, plan, and find things on their devices, and it did it all with a soothing voice. But there was only so much use to Siri and only so much the program could get right. With Bright, SRI looks offer far greater capabilities.
SRI’s Grit Denker said that Bright is a “cognitive desktop,” or one that “really understands what you’re doing.” While Siri might have listened when prompted and completed commands with some margin of success, Bright is expected to know what a user wants or needs before any commands are given. By watching users’ eyes and movements, monitoring their interactions with the computer, and examining content, Bright is intended to predict what users need next.
The first applications of Bright are expected in emergency response and network security situations. Because time is crucial in these scenarios, having a quick and intelligent computer prepare things without prompting could be helpful. Of course, the technology could eventually find its way to consumer products, too.
Google (NASDAQ:GOOG) already has an application that uses context clues to offer users information that might be helpful. Google Now runs on smart devices and leverages the data — like GPS locations — that devices can collect in order to predict what to show on the devices’ screens.
Though Apple and Google both have applications meant to assist users, Bright has the potential to top both by using extra equipment to watch and understand the user. However, there is still a ways to go before the system starts being used in any situation.
The Bright system has a lot left to learn before it can start predicting what users want or need. It is currently learning how understand what users are doing, but it could be some time before it understands what those actions mean and how to react to them. From the point that the system becomes viable, it will likely take even more time to trickle down to the consumer market.
If and when Bright does become available, it could bring major changes to the way people interact with computer technologies. If one company were to gain ownership — as with Apple and Siri — it could be a powerful property, especially in a situation like the smartphone war.
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