The race for virtual AI assistants is on, but the ultimate prize is you

Artificially intelligent assistants, like Microsoft’s Cortana, will conduct your entire digital life on your behalf  In a short ad film released in China this week, Chinese celebrity Angelababy was transported into an animation where her life was made wonderfully easy by a newly launched service: an intelligent virtual assistant called Duer. It can book her into a hotel that allows pets (because it knows she has a cat), it can order her favourite latte from Starbucks, and it can find and buy her discounted tickets at her local cinema. Duer is the latest addition to the roster of search, e-commerce and delivery services provided by Chinese technology giant Baidu – China’s Google. And it’s just entered a fierce race. The five biggest technology companies in the Western world are each…


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