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Siri’s Creators Demonstrate an Assistant That Takes the Initiative

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A Bright prototype tracks every move made by this researcher.

A Bright prototype tracks every move made by Patrick Lincoln, director of SRIs computer science lab.

Credit: Technology Review

SRI International has created a predictive assistant called Bright that reduces cognitive overload by providing specific information at the right time.

Bright's first deployments will be for high-stress jobs with significant data requirements, such as emergency response and network security workers. However, Bright's creators hope to broaden its use to include a range of office workers and students, with the technology taking the form of software in laptops and smartphones.

SRI senior computer scientist Grit Denker says Bright is a cognitive desktop that understands what the user is doing and can be used collaboratively with multiple users. The system currently has three cameras facing the user and a monitor that shows where the user is looking. In addition, Bright displays a real-time log of every action the user takes and a computer desktop of files and folders. When a user opens an email, for example, Bright records the user's actions on a side monitor, including the fact that the message was opened and the time spent viewing it. Bright anticipates what information will be needed next and speeds response time.

SRI researchers currently are focusing on improving the cognitive indexing that connects user clues to predict which data is important.

From Technology Review
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