For years people have been fascinated with artificial intelligence as an ultimate technological achievement.

Since the first ‘modern’ programmable computer back in 1936 when the ground was set by Alan Turing’s Turing Machine, people have been finding new ways of improving the machine that could do work for us and process data instead of us.

The humankind (or certain brilliant people) have come far since then, but we are still looking for the intellectual Perpetua mobile which will be able to learn instead of being programmed.

While we are still hopefully far away from AI, we are close to reaching the level where we could create something which walks and talks like AI but is in fact yet not as smart.

I said hopefully earlier as generations of filmmakers have convinced me that AI will not be merciful toward its creator, so as much as practical and surprising it is, I can’t fight the fear that it will be on to us.

I remember watching a TV show back in the 90’s which was made in the early 80’s called The Many Dream Journeys of Meme where they predicted a futuristic world where people would tap on their fridges and order groceries delivered to their houses, drive their electric cars (perhaps even fly) and talk to their computers.

What is Google voice search?

Google voice search is an option enabling you to run a search without typing but instead talking into your phone. Marketing people are having a blast with it.

They see it as a tremendous opportunity as it is estimated by ComScore that about 50% of all searches by 2020 will be voice searches and others seem to agree with it.

The problem they have right now is that Google needs to find a way of differentiating between the two types of searches and produce reports based on that. With the reports, it will be easier for marketing companies to target their audience.

Another issue they have is the proposition; I used in my first sentence of the previous paragraph. They need to make the search screenless.

At this point, you say something, it gets typed into Google search, and you get your results listed. To put it just, we now need an assistant to answer our questions.

If you have seen the recent movie Why him? , there is a character called ‘Justine’ which is, in fact, a computer overseeing the entire household and communicating with everyone as their assistant. That’s what we are after.

Also, it can be slightly off-putting if you are not a native speaker of the target language or if you have a speech impediment as it keeps on ‘wittily misunderstanding you.’

Let’s consult Siri

Siri is a product of Apple, an application available on iPhone and iPad. It is a personal assistant as well as a voice search. Created by iOS, it has been bought by Apple in 2010 and thus still only available on Apple devices.

What Siri can do for you is search the web and manage your entire device based on your requests. It is the second most commonly used voice search/personal assistant next to Google.

If you have seen the movie Her, you have a rough idea of what Siri is and how it works. However, unlike the film, real Siri is not as responsive and emotional.

Apple team has worked hard to create a personality for Siri. Thus they have a list of question suggestions you can use to get to know Siri better.

A lot of people have asked Siri whether she is in fact ‘Her’ from the movie and Apple has come up with some witty answers to indulge its users.

How about Cortana?

In a survey conducted by highervisibility.com, Cortana is the most accurate personal assistant there is, even though out of 2000 mobile users involved in the study, only 5.1% had it on their phone.

What the survey showed is that all of the assistants are pretty much the same when it comes to accuracy, judged by their users, with Siri falling just a little bit behind.

According to its creator, Microsoft, Cortana is a digital agent. Just like other personal assistants, it can help you browse the web but also manage your notes, reminders, phone books and manage most of your phone.

It was based on Microsoft’s own video game Halo and its AI narrator leading the players through the game.

Marketing Opportunities

Companies already like advertising online, not to mention having online stores. An online advertisement broadens your target audience as you can now be seen by the entire world and not just the local community.

Having online store probably increases costs toward your website design, development, and maintenance but decreases costs of property rentals, utilities, and staff. This explains why stores offer discounts for online shoppers or why their prices are significantly lower in the first place.

They can offer better prices and still increase their profit margins. Pricing is one of the essential elements in fighting competition. Imagine if you did not have to put much effort into purchasing and you had a personal assistant to help you shop?

Wouldn’t you feel like a celebrity and use it all the time? More customers mean more profit, the only trouble they would have is to learn how to become the first answers or the first offer you get from your assistant.

Benefits to Social Networks

With the technology-ridden world we live in today and lack of time to socialize, social networks are thriving as it is.

People find it much more convenient to chit-chat online with their friends and family, as well as with new people they meet based on their interests.

It is even easier than using your phone as while online; you can multitask and do other things, talk to several people at the same time or browse the web without losing focus or wandering away from the conversation.

Not having to do any of that, sit in front of a screen or type, will make even that task much easier. You could share details from your life, photos, and videos with ease, just by commanding the assistant to do so.

This would increase the number of active users and most of us would probably be logged in for most of the day. More users would lead to more marketing opportunities and more money basically, while your networking experience would improve significantly.

SEO challenges

Well, the first SEO challenge is based on the content provided on websites.

Once the era of the personal assistants kicks in fully, the content will mostly be read by the assistants who are computers and not the actual users. It will have to be adjusted, so the applications can ‘understand’ it and present it.

The SEO strategies should be focused on somehow getting into the Google answer box. It is the first and most straightforward answer to a query, followed by the list of search results.

The key to the content is to think of the questions the users ask as closely as possible to what they are and have answers given, again as directly as possible.

There are easy white hat SEO strategies which can be applied to optimize for answer boxes; you just need to put a bit of effort into figuring out the pattern that works best for you and Google.

Emotional Connection

I am not sure whether you have noticed it in everything I have written above, but most of this is about providing user convenience and user comfort to open up new markets and attract profit.

Highly intelligent people are creating something to satisfy their curiosity and earn profits for themselves and a lot of business people involved. Bare that in mind before you allow yourself to get carried away.

The personal assistant as they hope it to be and tones of simulation games we have available nowadays, create an environment in which people can get estranged from reality.

I am sure that having someone who knows how to listen and knows answers to all of your questions, even about yourself and your personal life can be a reason for someone to form a connection, but personally I think we are quite far away from creating an actual ‘Her’ or ‘Him’.

I might be wrong, though, we had a whole generation of kids in love with their ‘Tamagotchi’ pets and caring for them like they would for an actual animal.

This is as exciting as much as it is scary. I remember my first contact with Nintendo Wii and how shocked I was that ‘It can see me!’, it took me awhile to realize that it cannot ‘see me’ that well.

After all, there are scarier things in the world; I have a friend who continually reminds me that Terminator is the most accurate film out there with Google being Skynet and ‘them’ watching everything.