Intel wants Jarvis to serve you answers without the cloud

January 29, 2014 by Nancy Owano weblog
Intel wants Jarvis to serve you answers without the cloud

( —Intel is proposing a better voice recognition system experience for users; its own concept is in the form of a headset that would serve you answers without the cloud. People are talking about a recent interview in Quartz with Intel's general manager of the New Devices Group, Michael A. Bell, about the Jarvis headset that wraps around the back of the wearer's ear, connects to the smartphone, listens to commands and answer in its own voice, all without reliance on a cloud connection.

The reason why Intel favors taking out of the cloud is time, and time affects the user experience. As it stands, the user stands or sits—-waiting for a response, depending on the speed of the connection, among other things. Intel would like to s have off the time it would take to ship the voice command off to cloud servers.

As explained, the mobile device is sending your command off to a server farm, where it is translated into a command that the device can understand. Even with fast connections, there is still a delay that could be avoided "if the hardware itself could parse your language and turn it into commands."

Enter Jarvis. Requests would be handled locally, not on server farms, via a combined processor/software in the headset that could translate the human voice. With functionality, it would be the wearable device itself to process commands.

Intel's Bell in the Quartz interview offered a brief but effective reason for liking the idea of Jarvis: "How annoying is it when you're in Yosemite and your personal assistant doesn't work because you can't get a wireless connection?" he asked.

After seeing Intel's Jarvis idea, however, one Reddit contributor, who said he works for a Microsoft division that does work, offered some thoughtful observations. His comments suggest that a voice recognition system that can work well off of the cloud is a real challenge. "On one hand, not having to use the cloud means that you no longer have the latency ding of cloud based reco, and that you have more privacy. Reco happens nearly instantaneously and creates a really great experience. At least, it does when it works. That's the major problem." He noted that in the cloud "we don't have the storage/RAM concerns, so we can have reco engines for individual accents." With so much variation within a single language, he said, "often times a single reco engine for the entire language simply doesn't cut it. A single cell phone simply can't store all of the information needed to adapt to every single accent."

Another plus for cloud-based recognition is that the sheer amount of input from so many different people means the engine can be adapted over time. "We can teach it as we go," he said. "With local reco, while their personal phone may learn to adapt, the system as a whole doesn't."

Until storage on phones is on the terabyte scale, he stated, "we really won't see local reco being equally accurate than cloud based reco."

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5 / 5 (1) Jan 29, 2014
In regard to the Reddit contributor, none of their concerns are founded. The device does not have to store terabytes of data and profiles. It is not going to be handed off from person to person. It has to understand the person who owns it. Through an initial training process, it can adapt to the user's language and accent. It can be updated whenever it does have network access to improve its recognition performance. It can share all of its recognition performance and issues with a server when connected so that what is learned by each device is shared to all devices.
not rated yet Jan 29, 2014
I would prefer a phone that could be named and communicated to in a more natural manner. To clarify: I don't want to push a button and then clearly articulate a command.

I want to be able to communicate:

Yes Jack?
Could you please google the definition of heuristic?
Heuristic refers to exp...

Yes Jack?
Where am I?
You are at x,y...
How do I get home?
(with the use of bluetooth marking of your vehicle and a gps based memory
You vehicle is ____ it will take ___ mins to drive home, would you like directions?
Phone, I've been drinking.
Would you like a cab?

For some this is all science fiction, for me it is frustrating, there will be code sufficient to describe these things. I see this being the next incarnation of "smart phones"

Apps that actually tailor themselves to your lives...

Phone Fitness Trainer: Jack?
Yes Phone?
It's time to go swimming.
(swims) How many laps did you do?
X... good, you did 3 more than last time. (logs)

Basically a real assistant.
not rated yet Jan 30, 2014
Regarding the illustration: how much does that thing weigh? What does it look like hanging off someone's ear? What does it feel like after eight hours (assuming the batteries last that long).

Why does the processing need to be done next to my ear? Why not do it on the phone and use a commodity Bluetooth headset? Is it, for instance, loaded with ASICs that confer a strong advantage over the phone and its multiple cores in speech processing? Not enough technical detail in the article to convince me.

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