“Artificial intelligence is growing up fast, as are robots whose facial expressions can elicit empathy and make your mirror neurons quiver.’’ – Diane Ackerman
We all know that Artificial Intelligence is supposed to be big, but how big, is the question. To give you some perspective, you should note that Google says that initially, they were a mobile-based company until a couple of years ago when they told that they are the first Artificial Intelligence company. Some similar kind of ramifications were seen in this and since the past year, the major league smartphone manufacturers have entered the market. Be it Huawei, Samsung, Apple, OnePlus or even Panasonic, everyone is getting their hands dirty and it must lead to something or the other.
For the time being, let us focus on the upcoming AI features that smartphones manufacturers would have. Every year more than a dozen flagship phones unveil and users sit nail-biting to know about them. Let’s get to know what exactly might revolutionize the way we use the so-called smartphone.
Samsung’s Vice President states that their upcoming phones will have enhanced Artificial Intelligence. Now, what exactly does he mean by enhanced?
When we’re talking about Artificial Intelligence in smartphones, it isn’t exactly how you think it to be. There is no Jarvis or Friday in your phone helping you with your personal or professional life. It is a bunch of if-else cases that make it easier for the device to understand the user and adapt. Well, that’s the understanding of AI in layman words. When Honor unveiled Kirin 970 and boasted about its dedicated NPU (Neural Processing Unit), things got little intense. With an NPU, the performance and the efficiency are increased by 20% and 50% respectively for the Honor phone.
With the advent of Artificial Intelligence, the companies will witness new potential customers interacting with their devices. There has been a major stride made in AI front that allows us to think a lot about the future. The mobile manufacturers are developing Artificial Intelligence and are keeping humans in the spotlight. They are making it easier to use the services.
Well, AI should be for everyone, from some kid in India to some granny in Nebraska.
Let us consider the past and expect the future more. Are these the upcoming features or advancements that we really need? Or is Artificial Intelligence a weird luxury?
Smart Assistants and Chatbots
I’m Siri, pleased to meet you. My name is Alexa. I’m your Google Assistant, Hi. I’m Bixby, I like my name. Cortona is my one and only name.
Since 2017 Q1, it has been a 4-horse race and they are the most frequently used voice assistants now with Google being on top. The Google Assistant has made tremendous development in the past couple of years. Google is the first Artificial Intelligence Company and they have put everything in bringing the world a better and efficient Artificial Intelligence. When Google Assistant was launched, it was like Siri. It couldn’t answer and could not follow-up questions. It was pretty much just a simple chatbot.
With the gradual increase in time, Google Assistant grew better and more efficient. Last year at I/O, Google showcased Duplex and this year at the Pixel 3 event, they showcased what is called a Screen Call feature. Google Duplex understands how humans talk with the help of advanced Artificial Intelligence. It is created in such a way that it will mimic human conversations through the massive amount of data that Google collects. Along with that, Duplex has the ability to improve decisions. Siri is nowhere near Google Assistant today because of the advanced features used by Google Assistant.
With more advanced Chatbots, there could be greater interconnectivity of the upcoming assistants with smart home devices and it will take short time until we end up making Jarvis.
Again, Google. Google’s Pixel 3 is one of the finest phones and has the best camera you can get on any smartphone today. With the new features that Google included in its camera, it is more like a good camera on steroids. Be it the phenomenal portrait mode with a single camera or Night Sight with enhanced light, it has all the features to capture a good picture. Google segments a six-second exposure and creates something that is really useful.
Other phone manufacturers should crack the code and get their cameras a taste of Night Sight too.
Google does AI processing with help of Intel in creating a Pixel Visual Core co-processor. It helps the device with camera upgrades and the Google Assistant to understand the user better. If there is one more thing that every manufacturer must include in their phones is, Google Lens. It allows any user to get information on any object that a user sees in front of himself through the camera lenses with the help of an AI processor.
AI chipsets (NPUs)
Kirin 970, Apple A11 Bionic, Pixel 2’s AI core all have a neural engine in common and this is what is most important to manufacturers these days. A new part of the System on Chip (SoC) is the Neural Processing Unit that allows mobile devices to have super mobile abilities. An NPU is not a mandatory requirement to get AI, it could be done in software but with less speed. The global research and advisory firm Gartner have predicted the use of AI chipsets. The research shows that in a couple of years AI chipsets will be used by more than 80% devices. What does AI actually bring to the table here?
With cloud-based services, the users were at risk of data compromise and lesser security. With an on-device AI upgrade, there will be a breakthrough development in power management and data security. With an NPU’s full potential, it can work with more than 1 trillion operations per second. In the coming future, we might witness super mobile abilities like this.
For the time being, manufacturers are putting their everything to AI and are expecting large support from customers too. But are all these features what customers really need? Is this the only thing customers are looking for?
If Henry Ford had asked his customers what they wanted, they would’ve said, Faster Horses.
The future of smartphones definitely resides in the hands of our capable manufacturers. Be it Google, Apple, Samsung, Huawei, Panasonic, Windows, Amazon or anyone else, the basic goal of every smartphone should be fulfilling a certain level of innovation and creativity. The rest is up to AI, to unlock the maximum potential of devices and push them towards the unknown boundaries.