Artificial Intelligence (AI) is taking the world by storm. This exciting technology an enormous range of applications in many industries. Businesses across several industry verticals have taken to AI, whether to reach out to more customers or to improve their operations.
Are you a business leader wondering how AI could help your business? Reviewing the 10 best AI apps of 2019 will give you a great perspective of the current application of AI. Here is our list of the top AI apps of the year!
Artificial Intelligence (AI): A brief introduction
Let’s first briefly understand what AI is. Artificial Intelligence is a computing technology that helps computers to learn from past experiences, moreover, it enables them to adjust to new data inputs. The objective of this technology is to enable a computer to accomplish human-like activities.
AI makes computers “learn” from a massive amount of data so that they can perform their desired tasks. This technology is completely different from rule-based automation, and it uses technologies like Machine Learning (ML) and Natural Language Processing (NLP). Read more about AI in “Artificial intelligence: what it is and why it matters”.
The beginning of AI could be traced back to the war-time work of British computer scientist Alan Turing, however, the word “Artificial Intelligence” first emerged in 1956. This was in the course of the Dartmouth Conference in the same year, organized by American computer scientist John McCarthy. The research on AI went through various ups and downs, and you can read “History of AI” to learn about them.
AI can be divided into two categories, and they are “Narrow AI” and “Artificial General Intelligence” (AGI). You can find examples of narrow AI in many applications around you, e.g., Google search, image recognition software, Siri, Alexa, IBM’s Watson, and self-driving cars.
Narrow AI uses machine learning and deep learning extensively, and it’s abuzz with various exciting developments. However, research is still in progress on AGI, i.e., the category of AI that will create machines with human-level intelligence that will do any task. You can read more about these categories in “What is artificial intelligence?”.
Where can you apply AI?
Some experts believe that AI will assume as much importance for us in the future as electricity since this technology will power a wide range of activities in society and business. Read more about this observation in “Why artificial intelligence is more important than you think”.
AI has utility in various sectors, e.g., banking, finance, agriculture, healthcare, gaming, and autonomous vehicle. This promising technology has relevance in various business functions like marketing and customer support, and you can read about various AI use cases in “AI applications: top 10 real world artificial intelligence applications”.
The global market for AI
Given the importance of AI and its wide use in various sectors, it’s no surprise that AI has a rapidly growing market. The following market research reports illustrate this well:
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- MarketsandMarkets projects that the global AI market will reach $190.61 billion in 2025, from $16.06 billion in 2017, with a CAGR of 36.62%.
- Statista estimates that the global market for AI will reach $118.6 billion in 2025, from $9.5 billion in 2018.
- MarketWatch projects the global AI market to reach $191 billion in 2024, with a CAGR of 37% during the 2019-2024 period.
Top 10 AI apps
Now that you are clear about the potential of AI, let’s review the 10 best AI apps for 2019.
Siri, the famous virtual assistant from Apple doesn’t need too much of an introduction, and it’s one of the most popular AI apps. This AI-powered virtual assistant is available on major Apple platforms, e.g., iOS, iPadOS, macOS, watchOS, tvOS, and audios.
Siri uses voice queries and a natural language user interface (UI) to function, and it can make calls, send text messages, answer questions, and offer recommendations. It delegates requests to several Internet services, moreover, Siri can adapt to users’ language, searches, and preferences.
The popularity of Siri becomes clear from a survey conducted in September 2018, where the respondents were American adults. The survey showed that 44% of the smartphone users that used a voice assistant are using Siri, putting Siri ahead of competitors. You can read about this in “Apple Siri continues to lead in voice assistant usage on smartphones”.
The information available at the time of writing indicates that Siri will be available on Apple’s platforms only, and not on Android or Windows. This is related to Apple’s strategic preferences, and you can read “How to get Siri for Android or Windows phones” to understand this.
Another AI app that hardly needs an introduction is Cortana, the virtual assistant from Microsoft. This AI-powered virtual assistant is available on Windows 10, Windows mobile, Invoke smart speaker, Microsoft Band, Android, iOS, Windows Mixed Reality (MR), Amazon Alexa, and Xbox One.
Cortana is also available on popular headsets like HyperX CloudX, Razer Kraken 7.1 V2, Logitech G933, and Sennheiser GSP350. Windows 10 PCs have Cortana in-built, and it can help users of such PCs with simple tasks from day one.
Cortana offers hands-free help, answers questions, provides reminders, keeps notes, takes care of tasks, and helps in managing the calendar. Over time, Cortana “learns” and attends to more complex tasks.
Cortana uses natural language processing, Bing search engine, and data from devices to offer personalized recommendations, moreover, it has an API that can work with various Windows and 3rd party apps.
A 2018 report stated that Cortana was available on 400 million devices, which translates to a large user base. However, the AI-powered virtual assistance landscape is highly competitive, and reports indicate that Cortana is facing stiff competition.
3. Google Assistant
Launched in 2016, Google Assistant, i.e., the AI-enabled, voice-powered virtual assistant from Google has made significant strides. It’s considered as one of the more advanced virtual assistants.
Google has entered into partnerships with several companies and made Google Assistant available on a wide range of devices, e.g., smartphones, fridges, headphones, and cars. You can read more about the growing reach of Google Assistant in “What is Google Assistant and what can it do?”.
Google Assistant supports both voice or text entry, and it uses natural language processing. It offers various services, e.g., voice commands, voice searching, voice-activated device control, helping with tasks, finding information online, sending reminders, making appointments, translating in real-time, etc.
An October 2018 report indicated that Google has expanded the reach of Google Assistant significantly, and it now works with 10,000 devices across 1,000 brands. This includes iPhones, and indications are that Google will partner with more brands. Its active user base is increasing noticeably.
You need to install and configure Google Assistant on Windows, Mac, and Linux PCs since it’s not readily available on these. Read more about it in “How to run voice activated Google Assistant on Windows PC”.
Alexa, also called Amazon Alexa, is the AI-powered virtual assistant from Amazon. It was first used with Amazon Echo and Amazon Echo Dot smart speakers, however, now it’s available on various platforms like Android, iOS, etc.
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Alexa uses voice queries, natural language processing, etc. to offer many services, e.g., voice interaction, music playback, etc. It can create to-do lists, set up alarms, stream podcasts, play audiobooks, moreover, Alexa can provide real-time information on weather, traffic, news, sports, etc.
Many devices with Alexa let users activate Alexa with a wake-word, e.g., however, other devices like Android or iOS require users to push a button. You can use Alexa on PCs like Windows and Mac, and this requires a few simple steps to set it up.
Some PCs allow hand-free activation of Alexa, whereas a few other PCs require you to click the Alexa icon. You can read more about this in “How to use Alexa on your PC and Mac”.
As of May 2019, Alexa is available on 60,000 devices, and as of April 2019, 100 million devices that run Alexa have been sold. You can read more about the popularity of Alexa in “17 amazing Amazon Alexa statistics and facts (2019) | by the numbers”.
5. ELSA Speak
ELSA Speak is a popular AI-powered app to learn how to speak English. Users of this app can learn how to speak English and pronounce English words with the help of short dialogues. AI helps them with instant feedback, therefore, they can expect to make quick progress.
This app uses speech recognition technology, and its website claims that there have been over 4.4 million downloads of its app. ELSA Speak also claims to have over 3.6 million users in 101 countries.
There is a trial period of 7 days, subsequently, the user will need to buy ELSA Pro. ELSA Speak is available on Android and iOS, however, there are no PC or Mac versions at the time of writing.
Socratic is an AI-powered app to help students with math and other homework, and Google has recently disclosed that it has acquired this app. Students can take pictures using their phone camera, subsequently, Socratic uses its AI capabilities to provide visual explanations for the concepts that students need to learn.
Socratic uses text and speech recognition, and it can support learning science, math, literature, social studies, etc. This app is available on Android and iOS, and it’s compatible with the iPad.
Fyle is an AI-powered expense management app, and it’s available on desktop, Android and iOS. It’s a key player in the intelligent expense management space, and Fyle has recently launched direct integrations with Google G Suite and Microsoft Office 365.
Businesses like Royal Enfield, Communicorp, etc. use Fyle, and the app offers valuable features, e.g.:
- Real-time data extraction;
- Expense reporting;
- Tracking corporate cards;
- Real-time policy checks;
- Approval workflows;
- Travel advances;
- Travel requests;
- Integration with popular travel management, HRMS, accounting, and ERP software.
The recent launch of its Google Chrome extension and G Suite Add-ons now enable users to report expenses from email receipts, and it’s a one-click process. Fyle is already popular, moreover, these recent enhancements gave it a further edge.
DataBot is an AI-powered virtual assistant, and it’s available on Windows 10, Android, and iOS. It’s also available on Xbox One, iPad, iPod, Android tablets, and Windows phones.
This app answers your questions in its voice, and it addresses the topics that matter to you. DataBot has services integrated within it that provide you with images, information, and multimedia presentations based on the topic of your interest. It uses Google searches, Wikipedia, RSS channels, etc. to provide you with information.
You can customize DataBot according to your preference of language, voice, etc. DataBot can speak and understand English, Italian, Spanish, French, German, and Portuguese. Using DataBot, you can share information using SMS, email, and social media.
Hound is an AI-powered voice assistant app, and it’s available both on Android and iOS. You can search for information using your natural voice, and then you can follow-up to refine the results. Hound can be used hands-free.
It can give you accurate results quickly, and it can make a phone call or send a text message for you. You can get news, weather information, find a hotel nearby, navigate to an address, call an Uber, check flight status, and more!
The app uses its proprietary Speech-to-Meaning and Deep Meaning Understanding technologies. Hound has an impressive array of customers, e.g., Mercedes-Benz, Honda, Motorola, and Hyundai.
An AI-powered emotional health assistant app, Youper is available both on Android and iOS. This app can help users take control of their emotional health as they can have quick conversations with it. Youper can guide users through personalized meditations.
Users can understand themselves better and track their mood with the help of Youper. Youper uses AI to personalize various techniques. The app enjoys excellent reviews on app stores, furthermore, experts rate it highly, as you can read in “The best 15 mental health apps”.
Planning to launch an AI app for your business?
The AI apps we just reviewed will certainly show you how AI can be valuable to your business, however, developing an AI app can be hard! AI is a niche skill, therefore, you should consider taking help from a reputed software development company. Our guide “How to find the best software development company?” can help you to find one.
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