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October 16, 2019

AI in the Palm of Your Hand

Smart phones as you know them today have come a long way since their predecessors – the basic mobile phone. It was exactly that: a portable phone, and not much else. Users might be able to take low quality pictures or play games, but mobile devices were used primarily for the phone feature.

The opposite can be said today. Making and placing calls are just one of the many features that users take advantage of today. After all, the endless choices for apps are what makes today’s devices so much more advanced as compared to their ancestors.

Most, if not all, of the apps that you use on your phone can also be launched on a computer, which means that you’re walking around with a computer in your pocket – a far cry from the original flip phone.

So, what exactly makes today’s devices “smart”? Their ability to function and compute on a level that’s never been executed before. And more recently, with the inclusion of AI, smart phones are giving users everything they need in the palm of their hand.

What Is Artificial Intelligence?

Artificial Intelligence is automated computer systems that can perform at the same or higher level than human intelligence. AI creators teach these systems specific tasks so they can fulfill them as a human would.

Engineers and developers have been working with AI for around sixty years. However, machine learning (ML), a branch of AI, is what gives us many innovations we know today, like customized coupons from a grocery store and facial recognition software.

The difference between AI and ML is that the latter enforces a system to make decisions, a more complex concept than just executing tasks.

How Do Smart Phones Use AI?

Artificial intelligence and machine learning are the foundation for just about every app and operating system on your device. Here are a few ways your phone is leveraging AI.

Google Search Engine

It’s likely that when you need a quick answer, you Google it. This popular search engine is backed by AI. In fact, it has always used algorithms to produce query results. However, in its early days, these algorithms were limited. As years went by, Google improved its algorithms to include deep learning skills for search queries. Today, Google’s algorithms are continuously learning from its datasets in order to improve user experience.

Predictive Driving Suggestions

Have you ever gotten in your car only to look down at your phone, and it tells you, “25 minutes to work. Traffic is moderate.”? You may be wondering how your phone knows not only that you’re in your car, but also where you’re likely to drive.

This feature, called Frequent Locations on iPhones, is backed by artificial intelligence. Your phone keeps track of where you’ve been recently and then provides predictive traffic routes. Don’t worry – if this feels too “Big Brother” to you, you can turn this feature off.

Voice Assistants

Voice assistants like Apple’s Siri or Samsung’s Bixby listen to their owners, use data to provide information, and then perform specific tasks. A study by eMarketer found that about 111.8 million Americans used some kind of voice assistant in 2019, which is 9.5% higher than 2018. It seems that this trend will only continue to increase as phones and assistants get smarter.

Virtual Phone Apps

As business owners, keeping track of incoming calls or leads is overwhelming. Not to mention remembering which ones you’ve called back and which ones need immediate attention. Thankfully, there’s an app for that.

A virtual phone number app, like Ninja Number, is the assistant you never have to hire and train for hours. This technology, backed by AI, analyzes your activity, sends insights like your busiest times of day (on the phone), and provides personalized recommendations on how to improve your call behavior.

These features are far beyond what you’d ask a real assistant to do. It’s automated and easy to use, and you only have to teach it once with the push of a few buttons.

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