Smart Phones With Artificial Intelligence
The mobile phone has long ceased being a simple two-way communication device: today's handheld is a mini personal computer, complete with multimedia players, maps, and Web browsers.
Now researchers at Palo Alto Research Center (PARC) want to push the phone farther. They have developed software that turns a phone into a thoughtful personal assistant, one that helps people find fun things to do. The software, called Magitti, uses a combination of cues--including the time of day, a person's location, her past behaviors, and even her text messages--to infer her interests. It then shows a helpful list of suggestions, including concerts, movies, bookstores, and restaurants.
When a person first opens a phone that has Magitti software, she will instantly see a list of recommendations. If it's noon, the software might suggest local restaurants. If it's 3 P.M., it might recommend a nearby boutique for shopping. If it's 9 P.M., a list of pubs might appear. Over time, these recommendations will change as Magitti learns more about the user's behaviors and preferences.
The software employs artificial-intelligence algorithms that have traditionally been used in research to make tailored recommendations. If, for instance, a person prefers to eat inexpensive lunches and more-expensive dinners, Magitti will pick up on this (by comparing the GPS location of the restaurant with a database of establishments) and offer up corresponding recommendations.