Languages Magazine

How is MindMeld Different From Siri, Cortana, and Google Voice Search?

By Expectlabs @ExpectLabs

Listen to Expect Labs’ CEO describe the various ways MindMeld differs from intelligent assistants like Siri, Cortana, and Google Voice Search.


Hi I’m Tim Tuttle, the CEO of Expect Labs. You might know we have a product called MindMeld, which is a developer platform that lets companies create really great voice interfaces for their applications or devices. A question that we get asked all the time is how we are different then Siri or Cortana or Google Voice Search, so let me try and explain the answer.

Siri, Cortana and Google Voice Search are go-to intelligent assistants that live on the home screen of your smartphone. The MindMeld API is for companies to create intelligent assistants that live everywhere else. So they live inside the apps on your smartphone or devices other than smartphones, like set-top boxes or cars or connected home devices, or even in places like enterprise applications or industry applications where Siri is nowhere to be found — that’s the first difference.

The second difference is really in the breadth of content and the purpose of what it’s supposed to do. Siri and Cortana are designed to be your go-to general knowledge, one-size fits-all assistants to answer a wide range of questions. MindMeld is designed to do something different. MindMeld was really designed to create special-purpose intelligent assistants that have really great domain expertise for a specific application or for a specific device. It’s not designed to create intelligent assistants that know everything; it’s designed to create intelligent assistants that know a lot about one specific thing.

So, the question then becomes, why do you need specialized search in places other than the home screen of your smartphone? The short answer is because it can be much better, it can be much more accurate. Let me explain. Many times when people are searching, they’ll go to Google or use Siri, and find quick answers to a wide range of questions. In many cases, when people are looking for specific information, like the name of a restaurant, or for a hotel that they want to book, or a movie to watch, they’ll go into a specific application so they can do a much more accurate search. For example, they’ll go into Yelp to find a restaurant, and Yelp will know more than Google knows because Yelp knows if the restaurant is open now, or if they have parking, or if they’re good for groups. A lot of people go into Expedia, and Expedia will know when flights are available or what hotels might be available on a given day. And of course if you go into an application like Netflix, it knows information about movies that you’ve watched in the past, movies that you’ve liked, and has ratings from lots of other users which help it provide better recommendations and search results for your queries.

So, this is what MindMeld is really good for. It allows companies and developers to create really great voice-driven experiences that have deep domain knowledge for a specific application or for a specific domain.

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