If you see someone talking to his mobile or a speaker, then don’t consider him a mad person. He must be talking to an artificial assistant on his smartphones such as Google Assistant or Siri. These virtual assistants live in your mobile phone, TV, or watch, and they have the capabilities to answer most of your queries by searching on the web, plan daily routines, or even they can use smart domestic machines in your home. The scope, demand, and ecosystem of such virtual assistant apps are growing rapidly. It could be possible in the future that we will not pass a day easily without them.
Such a rush of new technologies has been commended by the users but it is equally challenging for the developers. In the near future, an AI-based voice assistant in a mobile app wouldn’t be a surprising thing. Every app will have its own “Alexa” but with a different name. Hence, if you want to stay ahead in this race, give careful consideration to the smart voice recognitions. In this article, we will delve into the voice assistant development for your mobile app or creating a virtual assistant like Siri, or how to create an AI assistant.
How to include an AI assistant in your mobile app?
There are 3 different methods by which your app could understand the language and will carry on the conversation.
Integrating existing voice technologies into your app by using special API or other development tools.
In this method, you can build your own intelligent assistant by using open source services and APIs.
In this method, you will start creating your own voice assistant from scratch and will integrate it into your application.
You can consider each method. Remember, the big names such as Apple or Google offer their creations to third-party developers. While using an open-source is not an easily possible thing. Also, creating an AI assistant like Siri on your own may become an impossible task.
To understand all benefits and risks you will encounter, let’s consider each approach in detail.
|Integrating trusted technologies from the leading companies||Using external open source solutions||Independent development based on|
| ||Wit.ai||Noise Control|
| || ||Voice Biometrics|
| || ||Speech Compression|
| || ||Voice Interface|
Best AI assistants and their integration in a mobile app
Some of the most popular names in virtual assistants are Siri, Google Now, and Cortana. However, apart from these, there are many other assistants on the app stores. But we are going to discuss these big names in more detail, and why there are preferred by the majority of the app users.
If you have ever delved into Siri, then you must know that it was initially unavailable for most of the 3rd party solutions. But after the release of iOS 10, there are a lot of changes in this situation. At WWDC 2016, it was announced that the 3rd party developers can integrate Siri in the apps of these domains:
· Audio & Video Calls
· Messaging and Contacts
· Payments through Siri
· Searching Photos
· Car booking Workout
There is a SiriSDK launched by Apple for Siri integration. It consists of two frameworks. The first framework covers the tasks range which the app supports, while the second framework advises on a custom visual representation when the tasks are performed. The range of these tasks is called intents. The term is coined on the users’ intentions.
These intents have custom classes with their defined properties. These properties accurately describe the task they belong to. For e.g., if the user wants to perform a workout, the properties will include the type of exercises with their time length.
Google Now and Voice Actions
Google has always proven itself to provide maximum loyalty to the developers. Unlike Apple, there are not very strict requirements for design. You can observe this from the fact that launching an app on the Play Store takes much less time than launching on Apple App Store.
But in a question of smart assistant integration, Google is quite conservative. Currently, the Google Assistant works only with the selected apps. Some of these are eBay, Lyft, Airbnb, etc.
There is good news too. You can create a Google Assistant app command for your own app. You just have to register it with Google.
Don’t confuse Google Now with voice commands. It is not just about listening & responding, but it can learn, analyze & conclude. Voice actions are the narrower concept. It works on the basis of speech recognition followed by information search.
There is Voice Actions API by Google by which you can learn how to include a voice mechanism in mobile and wearable apps.
Google’s Intelligent Mechanism
|Now Assistant||Voice Actions|
|Available for the selected apps only||Open for integration with the 3rd party apps via voice actions API.|
Microsoft is also not lagging behind Google & Apple in terms of AI assistant service. The Cortana assistant by Microsoft is available for developers to use in mobile and desktop apps. The users can set voice control without calling Cortana directly. In the Cortana Dev Center, it describes how to make a request to a specific application. There are 3 different ways of integrating app name into voice command:
|Prefixal||App name stands in front of the speech“Fitness Time, choose a workout for me”|
|Infixal||App name stands in the middle of a speech“Set a Fitness Time work out for me”|
|Suffixal||App name stands as the end of the speech“Adjust some workout in Fitness Time”|
Prefixal is best suited for apps with simple commands which don’t require any additional instruction e.g. “Show the current date and time”. Infixal is required for an app with more complex commands such as “Send the Hello Message to Ann”. For Suffixal you have to specify the parameters “What message? Hello Message”
Independent Service to use for your own voice assistant
You don’t have to rely only on the above-mentioned technologies for implementing voice assistants in your app. There are many other choices available too. These are the notable choices that you can use.
If you are a novice in the development of voice assistants in the app then Melissa is highly suitable for you. There are many different parts of this system. Hence, if you want to modify or add a certain feature, you don’t have to change the complete algorithm for it.
Capabilities of Melissa: Speak, Take notes, Reading news, Upload pictures, Play Music, etc.
It is written in Python and can work on OS X, Windows, and Linux.
If you are planning to program a major portion of AI without the need for external support and create the custom AI then Jasper can be the perfect choice for you. It is also a great tool for Raspberry Pi fans as it runs on its Model B.
Capabilities of Jasper: Listen & learn, study your habits, can perform tasks at day or night.
It is written in Python language.
There is a wide range of tasks that you can include by integrating Api.ai in your app. Apart from voice recognition, it can convert the voice into text. Analyzing and drawing conclusions is not a huge thing for it.
It is available for both free and paid versions. If the users’ privacy matters a lot to you then you must use paid versions.
Api.ai provides a wide range of APIs including iOS, Android, Windows Phone, Cordova, Python, Node.js, Unity, C#, and others.
It is a similar service to Api.ai. You have to set up intents and entities in your app to use it. The definition of intent is the same as in Siri. The entities define the traits of the intent, such as the time or place of the users.
Also, you don’t have to create intents on your own. It provides the developers with a long list from which they can choose. It is totally free for both public and private usage. But you have followed its terms and conditions if you want to use it for your own voice assistant.
It has a variety of APIs for multiple platforms such as iOS, Android, Ruby, Python, Windows Phone, C, and Raspberry Pi developers.
How to build your own AI assistant app?
If you wish to develop a virtual assistant app like Siri or Google Assistant, then there are certain things that you have to keep in mind.
Basic Technologies to include:
Voice & Speech To Text (STT)
It simply means converting the voice or speech into digital data such as text. The voice can come through a file or a stream. Use CMS Sphinx for its processing.
Text To Speech (TTS)
This is just the opposite process of the STT. It will translate the digital data such as text or images into voice. It is highly useful in cases like users who want to hear the translation of a word.
Intelligent Tagging & Decision Making
This is a must for any AI-based service. It should be able to understand the user’s request. For e.g., if the user asks “What should I watch tonight?” then it must answer some top-rated movies or web series too on the basis of the users’ interests. You can use the AlchemyAPI for building an assistant that can do this.
This is an optional but highly useful feature. You can use it for developing multimodal speech recognition. You can use OpenCV for implementing this in an AI assistant.
There can be scenarios when the user will be surrounded by so much noise of cars, music, etc. This will make the voice unclear. But the AI assistant must be able to eliminate the background noise. Implement this feature in your AI assistant for providing a better user experience.
This feature is not essential for every app. But if you are developing an app where privacy and security matter most then it is highly required. The voice assistant would be able to identify the voice and can decide whether it should respond or not.
This is required for maintaining the data on the server. The client-side will resize the voice data and send it to the server in a compressed format.
Each approach is having its pros and cons. Popular names such as Siri, Google Now, and Cortana are trusted by users. People are familiar with them. But they differ in functionality and run on specific platforms. Alternative solutions simplify the implementation process but you will not have the freedom to make significant changes. If you start from scratch then you have complete freedom but then it would be difficult to implement. You don’t have to get baffled. You can contact us and we will give you a complete consultation.