“I believe that when our kids are our age, they will ask us in amazement how we got along without having a virtual assistant to delegate the menial tasks of our life to, in the same way we can barely remember a world without the internet.”

February 8th, 2012

 As the state of the art progresses, you will see domain-specific competitors emerge across all kinds of verticals where conversational interactions make complex interactions simpler. Think banking, where a European bank is already aggressively investing in automated virtual tellers, e-commerce whereevidence hints at Amazon starting to walk down the path of speech-based commerce. Don’t forget virtual travel agents, virtual customer service agents like VirtuOz, and ultimately Virtual medical assistants that will embody Vinod Khosla’s vision of Dr. Alogorithm. This world is coming, and coming soon. But why?

Because the AI Virtual Assistant is the interaction substrate of the digital future.

It will be game over. You will not go back to yesterday’s way of doing things. When a platform emerges that integrates the web with conversation and understanding, the user paradigm will change forever and a kinder, gentler version of the HAL 9000 will emerge as the norm. One interesting question that remains unclear is whether the world will have one gigantic AI overseeing all of your needs, weaving together the various vertical domains into a single AI mosaic or whether we will have many assistants at our beck and call. As John Battelle elegantly put it, “the future of search isn’t search, it’s a conversation with someone we trust.” And while I’m not sure he was thinking of this specific example, it’s a wonderful way to sum up the coming age of AI Virtual Assistants.

From the co-founder of Siri.