First Came Siri, Then Alexa, Now Comes Genius
Those of us who love science fiction remember Star Trek and cool idea that one day we will have the ability to talk to a computer, ask it questions and get answers. Most of us have seen Iron Man or the Avengers, where Tony Stark as Iron Man talks to Jarvis, his personal artificial intelligence. Jarvis knows everything that Tony works on – and more. Jarvis helps Tony all day, every day. Jarvis augments Tony’s intelligence. Jarvis makes Tony even smarter. Who wouldn’t want an artificial intelligence capable of knowing all the details we need to know? Who wouldn’t want an AI that help us every day so we can do our very best, and get things right the first time?
That is what we are building at Cognizer. That’s Genius.
These days, most of us know what Siri, Alexa and Google Assistant do. These are also AI and they help you find details on the internet, set a reminder or control your lights at home. These are conveniences which people now love. When you want information from Siri or Alexa, you just ask a question. They answer with information that is public on the web. You don’t search, you just ask.
Genius performs the similar type of function with the key difference being that Genius does it with your personal information, not the public internet. Genius AI analyzes your content – your documents, emails, messages, calendars and contacts – to learn and retain all of the facts, details and insights buried within them. You ask Genius questions, it answers instantly.
While Siri and Alexa are really convenient, Genius is way more strategically valuable. Everyone knows the frustration of searching for information we know we have but cannot find. We all know what it’s like to be overscheduled, stressed and buried at work. We all need an AI that help us every day so we can do our very best and get things right the first time – and that’s Genius.
What do you need to know?
When Cognizer started building Genius, we interviewed loads of professionals in many industries to better understand their needs. Here is what we learned. Professionals are literally overloaded by information but feel underinformed. Pretty ironic, right? Well, not so much.
Modern professionals work digitally, and the volume of our digital content is growing like crazy. The more content we have at our disposal, the longer it takes to find what you need to know. Searching for a needle of insight in a really fast-growing haystack of content, is not a good use of our time. Why?
When we search our content to learn a detail we need to know, we get long lists of potentially correct sources to the question we need answered. So, we have to scan each document, email and message in that list until we find the answer. Very often, we need to search through many different systems – documents in the cloud, our email or messaging systems like Slack – because we are not even sure where the answer lay. Very commonly, we never find what we seek; we just give up.
That is why professionals feel overloaded with information, and yet underinformed. It is not easy to achieve our best when we cannot find what we need to know. What did the professionals we interviewed want? Instant access to any and all the details they needed to know.
In effect, they wanted the functionality of Siri, Alexa or Google Assistant applied to their content. They did not want to search, they wanted to ask, and get answers instantly. That’s Genius!
Genius Works Differently
The AI underlying Genius works differently than Siri and Alexa because it learns by reading. Siri and Alexa can only answer questions they are programmed to answer. When you ask Siri about the weather, it is running a program to find the weather in the location you specified. When you ask Alexa to tell you the name of the movies featuring a specific performer, it is running a program to search and find that information for you. Genius works differently.
Genius answers Ad-Hoc questions based on what it already knows from your content. You tell Genius what documents, email and messages you want it to learn from and Genius reads your content word for word, sentence by sentence. As you add more documents, emails and messages, or make new contacts and calendar entries, Genius automatically reads these.
As Genius reads, it looks first at the proper nouns – such as persons, locations, technologies, chemicals, products, procedures, organizations, and dates – which in the world of AI are called “named entities”. As it reads, Genius also identifies the facts and details contained in each sentence and paragraph about each named entity. Genius also learns how these facts are related to each noun (named entity) by understanding the verbs – and it stores all of these details for instant Q&A.
When you ask Genius for an answer, it is retrieving information it learned by reading – so you don’t have to search for it. Now you know what you needed, so you just do your job without delay. That’s Genius!