The world has witnessed the amazing potential of AI last year. From Alpha Go to autonomous vehicles development, 2018 will certainly be another great year for AI. Not only will AI technology be used by professionals from the business, medical, education and other sectors, it will also be available to the general market.
Cortana, an AI digital assistant developed by Microsoft, was released in 2014. As a virtual assistant, Cortana could comprehend natural voice demand and remind users of their schedule, weather forecast and news update. Available in all Windows 10 systems, Microsoft took Cortana to the next level by developing a smart speaker in late 2017. The smart speaker, Harman Kardon Invoke, however, struggled to compete with its competitors like Amazon, Apple and Google.
Collaboration of Microsoft and Xiaomi, budget AI speakers and Smartphones
Earlier this month, Microsoft and Xiaomi signed a Memorandum of Understanding which talks about their potential collaboration to develop Artificial Intelligence-powered smartphones and speakers. Microsoft would provide the Chinese IT giant with their cloud computing products such as Azure and Cortana. Meanwhile, Microsoft would gain more influence on the Chinese market from the partnership.
Xiaomi, the fifth leading company to produce smartphones and other gadgets has paved its way to success by producing affordable products. Potential products to expect include AI-driven smartphones, speakers, laptops and other gadgets. The two tech companies are also discussing other projects. Microsoft may offer Xiaomi other AI related technologies such as Skype, Edge and Bing. While the Memorandum of Understanding is not legally binding, Wang Xiang, Senior Vice President of Xiaomi, has tweeted about his confidence and enthusiasm about the cooperation “This will help accelerate our pace to bring more exciting products and services to our users, and also allow Microsoft to reach more users using Xiaomi products!”