The Internet of Things has arrived – and in great speed and size. Billions of devices are connecting to clouds of data and information, creating a world of apps, devices, systems and services that have access to a seemingly endless amount of content and knowledge.
Knowledge is that transformative element that will breathe cognitive life into the intelligent systems of tomorrow. Our future personal virtual assistants will track context, extract meaning and embody individual personalities that will lead to a long-awaited humanized technological landscape. A new, more accessible, intuitive and conversational mode of interaction that combines voice, gesture and other elements of expression to the endlessly complex systems that pervade our world will thereby become possible.
Nuance is committed to realizing this future. To accelerate this technological vision, Nuance has made an investment in Deutsches Forschungszentrum für Künstliche Intelligenz (DFKI GmbH – the German Research Center for Artificial Intelligence).
DFKI is the world’s largest research center dedicated to the development of AI methods and applications. DFKI oversees a broad range of AI-related projects, from application-oriented basic research to market- and client-oriented development of product functions. More than 420 employees from 60 countries are currently researching innovative software solutions. At DFKI’s sites in Saarbrücken and Berlin alone, over 100 DFKI researchers are working on voice technology and intelligent user interfaces.
Nuance’s investment in DFKI complements its ongoing investment in the Nuance Sunnyvale, CA research laboratory, under the direction of Ron Kaplan, dedicated to the advancement of Natural Language Processing (NLP) and Artificial Intelligence (AI) technologies, and in Natural Language research sites around the globe.
Nuance’s research in NLP has centered on merging data-driven and linguistically motivated approaches to enable machines and applications that not only recognize the spoken word, but are able to understand it, derive meaning from it and, ultimately, act on it in service of a human user. Through access to Big Knowledge and driven by automated cognitive reasoning, contextual awareness becomes part of an intelligent system’s actions and sphere of influence, leading to personal virtual assistants that can behave in a more proactive and anticipatory fashion.
And it’s these AI-driven virtual assistants that will simplify the often-overwhelming spectrum of content, services and capabilities that we have access to through phones, PCs, tablets, TVs, cars, apps – and now watches, thermostats, and an expanding array of consumer electronics. To render these devices more capable, intelligent and useful, it’s critical that these attributes are matched by the ability to reason and understand what you and I want, need and expect out of them.
Nuance and DFKI already have a successful track record as longstanding innovation partners in customer projects and funded collaborative research work. One such project is GetHomeSafe, an EU-sponsored research project led by DFKI and also involving IBM, Daimler and the Swedish Royal Institute of Technology (KTH). GetHomeSafe is developing innovative interaction technologies to ensure safer, smarter access to in-car apps and services.
The areas for future technical collaboration in NLP and AI are potentially far reaching, ranging from speech enabled human-robot collaborative systems to intelligent user interfaces to very large scale knowledge management.
To learn more about DFKI, visit http://www.dfki.de/web.