This Is Apple and Google’s Next Big Battleground
Tim Bajarin @bajarin July 6, 2015
Bloomberg—Bloomberg via Getty Images
Aparna Chennapragada, director of Google Now for Google Inc., speaks during the Google I/O Annual Developers Conference in San Francisco, California, U.S., on Thursday, May 28, 2015.
The war for better artificial intelligence is only just beginning
For most of my 35-year technology career, fights over operating systems have dominated the landscape. First, it was MS-DOS againt the original Apple II OS. Then it shifted to Microsoft’s Windows vs. the Mac OS. Today it’s between Windows, Mac OS X, iOS, Google’s Android and Chrome OS. These wars have become ideological, with fanboys and devout followers in each camp.
But there’s another fight brewing, too — the battle over artificial intelligence, or AI.
At Google’s I/O event this year, the company announced Now On Tap. It’s a new version of Google Now, which uses context to make your smartphone more useful. The idea here is that if you get a text from a friend asking to meet at a certain place, Now On Tap is smart enough to put that event on your calendar, give you directions to the rendezvous and serve you up a menu. It might even show the best nearby parking areas as well as stores that could be of interest.
A few weeks later at WWDC 2015, Apple announced a new version of Siri, giving the company’s digital assistant better contextual AI and search. And in May, Microsoft used its developers’ conference to launch an updated version of Cortana, another AI-based personal assistant that can take questions and put them into context to deliver better answers.