Often, when you have something to do, you start by searching for information about a particular Thing. Sometimes, you know exactly what that Thing is, but often, you find the Thing by using information related to it.
“Who is Taylor Swift?” → Taylor Swift
“Who directed Avatar” → “James Cameron”
The “Thing” is what we call a Knowledge Entity and something that you can do with that Thing is what we call a Downstream Action. The bond between that Knowledge Entity and the Downstream Action is what we refer to as Actionable Knowledge.
How do we do this? Our Knowledge database holds information about all kinds of entities such as movies, TV series, athletes, corporations etc. These Entities have rich semantic structure; we have detailed information about the different attributes of these Entities along with the Actions one can perform on those entities. An Action may be generic (watch a show), but can also be explicitly connected to a mobile app or service (watch the show on Disney+). This knowledge allows the user to follow up on an Entity command with an Action.
For example, asking a question such as “How tall is Tom Brady?” allows you to get his height i.e., 6’ 4” or 1.93 metres (based on the Locale of who’s asking) since Knowledge captures these important attributes about Tom Brady. Note that these attributes are different for different types of Entities. That is determined by the Schema of the Entity, which allows validation, normalization and transformation of data.
A command like “Who is Tom Brady?” returns a Q Card with information about Tom Brady, as shown below. As there may be multiple entities referring to “Tom Brady”, a popularity measure is computed so that the correct Tom Brady is returned, based on popularity, context and your current session. Popularity is a special attribute that is computed from multiple attributes of the entity. An Entity Card surfaces the various attributes associated with the attribute, such as when Tom Brady was born, how tall and heavy he is, and what sport he plays. There are also attributes that define potential Actions that can follow, so “go to his Instagram” will instantly take you to Tom Brady’s account in the Instagram app.
Actions are about getting things done! Here’s another example of being able to instantly go from information to Action using Actionable Knowledge. Asking “Who is Tom Petty?” followed by a command “listen to him on Spotify” will start playing his music. This is a powerful feature that provides a great user experience and rapid Time to Action® .
The three pillars of the Aiqudo’s Q Actions Platform allow us to implement downstream Actions:
- Semantically rich Entities in Actionable Knowledge
- AI-based Search
- Powerful Action execution engine for mobile apps and cloud services
We are not limited by just the name of the entity. Our AI-based search allows you to find entities using various attributes of the entity. For example, you can search for stock information by saying “How is Tesla stock doing today?” or “Show me TSLA stock price”. Aiqudo understands both the corporation name or the stock ticker when it needs to find information on a company’s stock price. Some apps like Yahoo Finance can only understand the stock ticker; it may not be built to accept the name of the company as an input. Our platform allows us to fill this gap by decoupling action execution from search intent detection. A middle-tier federation module acts as a bridge between intent extraction and Action execution by extracting the right attributes of the Entity returned by the search to those required by the Action execution engine. In the above example it extracts the stockTicker attribute (TSLA), from the corporation entity retrieved by the search (Tesla) and feeds it to the Action engine.
Voila! Job done!
So, what can you do with that Thing? Well, you can instantly perform a meaningful Action on it using the apps on your mobile phone. In the example above, you can jump to Yahoo News to get the latest finance news about Tesla, or go to the stock quote screen within E*Trade, the app you use and trust, to buy Tesla shares and make some money!
“It’s a dog’s life!” – Aiqudo work from home #4
Every Friday afternoon, during this lockdown, the Silicon Valley Team gets together for “Social Hour”. We can only assume that the Belfast team is more focused on Irish Whiskey and Guinness on Friday evenings!
Online meetings are not a new thing for Aiqudo. We’ve been doing this twice a week for our entire global team since Belfast came on board in mid-2017!! We’re experts at effective virtual meetings.
And … unlike other startups that just place cute photos of their dogs on Teams’ pages on their websites, our dogs actually participate and provide their opinions during our meetings. Their barks have bite!!
Do more with Voice
Q Actions 2.0 is here. With this release, we wanted to focus on empowering users throughout their day. As voice is playing a more prevalent part in our everyday lives, we’re uncovering more use cases where Q Actions can be of help. In Q Actions 2.0, you’ll find new features and enhancements that are more conversational and useful.
Aiqudo believes the interaction with a voice assistant should be casual, intuitive, and conversational. Q Actions understands naturally spoken commands and is aware of the apps installed on your phone, so it will only return personalized actions that are relevant to you. When a bit more information is required from you to complete a task, Q Actions will guide the conversation until it fully understands what you want to do. Casually chat with Q Actions and get things done.
- “create new event” (Google Calendar)
- “message Mario” (WhatsApp, Messenger, SMS)
- “watch a movie/tv show” (Netflix, Hulu)
- “play some music” (Spotify, Pandora, Google Play Music, Deezer)
In addition to providing relevant app actions from personal apps that are installed on your phone, Q Actions will now display rich information through Q Cards™. Get up-to-date information from cloud services on many topics: flight status, stock pricing, restaurant info, and more. In addition to presenting the information in a simple and easy-to-read card, Q Cards™ support Talkback and will read aloud relevant information.
- “What’s the flight status of United 875?”
- “What’s the current price of AAPL?”
- “Find Japanese food”
There are times when you need information but do not have the luxury of looking at a screen. Voice Talkback™ is a feature that reads aloud the critical snippets of information from an action. This enables you to continue to be productive, without the distraction of looking at a screen. Execute your actions safely and hands-free.
- “What’s the stock price of Tesla?” (E*Trade)
- Q: “Tesla is currently trading at $274.96”
- “Whose birthday is it today?” (Facebook)
- Q: “Nelson Wynn and J Boss are celebrating birthdays today”
- “Where is the nearest gas station?”
- Q: “Nearest gas at Shell on 2029 S Bascom Ave and 370 E Campbell Ave, 0.2 miles away, for $4.35”
An enhancement to our existing curated Actions Recipes, users can now create Action Recipes on the fly using Compound Command. Simply join two of your favorite actions using “and” into a single command. This allows the users the capability to create millions of Action Recipe combinations from our database of 4000+ actions.
- “Play Migos on Spotify and set volume to max”
- “Play NPR and navigate to work”
- “Tell Monica I’m boarding the plane now and view my boarding pass”
Simply do more with voice! Q Actions is now available on Google Play.
In many cases, a single action does the job.
Say it. Do it!
Often, however, a task require multiple actions to be performed across multiple independent apps. On-the-go, you just want things done quickly and efficiently without having to worry about which actions to run, and which apps need to be in the mix.
Compound commands allow you to do just that – just say what you want to do – naturally – and, assuming this makes sense and you have access to the relevant apps, the right actions are magically executed. It’s not that complicated – just say “navigate to the tech museum and call Kevin”, firing off Maps and WhatsApp in the process. Driving, and in a hurry to catch the train? Just say “navigate to the Caltrain station and buy a train ticket” launching Maps and the Caltrain app in sequence. Did you just hear the announcement that your plane is ready to board? Say “show my boarding pass and tell susan I’m boarding now” (American, United, Delta,…) and (Whatsapp, Messenger,…) and you’re ready to get on the flight home – one, two … do!
Compound commands are … complex magic to get things done … simply!
Wonder why you can’t talk to your apps, and why your apps can’t talk back to you? Stop wondering, as Talkback™ in Q Actions does exactly that. Ask “show my tasks” and the system executes the right action (Google Tasks) and, better yet, tells you what your tasks are – safely and hands-free, as you drive your car.
Driving to work and stuck in traffic? Ask “whose birthday is it today?” and hear the short list of your friends celebrating their birthdays (Facebook). You can then say “tell michael happy birthday” to wish Mike (WhatsApp or Messenger). And if you are running low on gas, just say “find me a gas station nearby” and Talkback™ will tell you where the nearest gas station is and how much you’ll pay for a gallon of unleaded fuel.
Say it. Do it. Hear it spoken back!
When an action or a set of actions require specific input parameters, Directed Dialogue™ allows the user to submit the required information through very simple, natural back-and-forth conversation. Enhanced with parameter validation, and user confirmation,Directed Dialogue™ allows complex tasks to be performed with confidence.Directed Dialogue™ is not about open-ended conversations, but it about getting things done, simply and efficiently.
With Q Actions, Directed Dialogue™ is automatically enabled for every action in the system because we know the semantic requirements of each and every action’s parameters. It is not constrained, and applies across all actions across all verticals.
Another application of Directed Dialogue™ is input refinement. Let’s say I want to purchase batteries. If I just say, “add batteries to my shopping cart” I can get the wrong product added to my cart, as on Alexa, which does the wrong thing for a new product order (the right thing happens on a reorder). In the case of Q Actions, I can provide the brand “Duracell” and the type “9V 4 pack” with very simpleDirected Dialogue™, and exactly the right product is added to my cart – in the Amazon or Walmart app.
Get Q Actions today.