virtual assistant

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virtual assistant

(1) An individual who performs administrative functions for clients. See human virtual assistant.

(2) An application that lets people ask questions by speaking in their natural language and listening to verbal answers. Although virtual assistants are in tablets and desktop computers, they caused the smartphone to become an incredibly useful electronic companion. No matter where people are, they can ask about anything that is public knowledge and get an answer.

Also called a "personal assistant," "digital assistant," "intelligent agent" and "voice assistant," Apple's Siri popularized the concept in 2011. Siri was followed by Google Now in Android and Chrome devices, Cortana in Windows, Amazon Echo (Alexa) and Facebook M. The Viv platform was created to revolutionize this technology (see Viv). See Siri, Google Now, Cortana, Amazon Echo and Facebook M.

Virtual assistants cannot only answer questions, they can make phone calls, calendar appointments and reminders and set alarms. The more information kept in the phone, the more personalized the results. Virtual assistants are the first embodiment of artificial intelligence used on a daily basis by hundreds of millions of people (see AI). Virtual assistants are increasingly called "chatbots" (see chatbot).

Heavy Lifting in the Cloud
The virtual assistant is driven by one or more semantic knowledge bases on the Internet as well as the data in the user's device. Over time, the virtual assistant becomes more tailored to the individual. See knowledge base, Semantic Web, AI and S Voice.
References in periodicals archive ?
According to iResearch, 360 Mobile Assistant has over 40 percent penetration rate in the Android-based Chinese mobile applications market.
In addition, Dragon Mobile Assistant now supports landscape mode.
360 Mobile Assistant is backed up by 360 Developer Platform designed to provide third party developers with preferential policies, data analysis, operation experiences and integrated marketing plan.
The free Mobile Assistant App can be downloaded from the Apple App Store or Google Play.
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Users can now download the official Android game from the 360 Mobile Assistant and immerse themselves in environments from the Despicable Me movies through fun and highly-addictive gameplay.
We will continue to add new innovations to the Dragon Mobile Assistant to explore what's possible, and to push the limits of intelligent voice interfaces across all mobile form factors, including phones, tablets, PCs, cars, and televisions.
5 to 4 hours of typing for every hour of dictation using Mobile Assistant," says Corey Westphal, President of Mobile Assistant.
Install and run Mobile Assistant completely on their phone, eliminating the need for an Internet connection or intermediate system, making access faster and reliable with always-on availability.
The FirstHand EMS integrates the FirstHand Enterprise Mobility Gateway, Mobile Assistant and Mobile Console.
CHICAGO, May 13 /PRNewswire/ -- InterCall, the world's largest conferencing and collaboration services provider, today announced that Mobile Assistant, its application that makes conferencing on-the-go as simple as pressing one button on a BlackBerry(R) smartphone, is available for immediate download on BlackBerry App World(TM) http://www.

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