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Audrey, the smarter assistant for everyday tasks

(TECHNOLOGY) Siri and Cortana have become synonymous with task automation, but oftentimes they make mistakes. What if you could teach them to work smarter? A new assistant promises to do just that.

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Smarter, better, faster, stronger

Having a virtual assistant like Siri or Cortana comes in handy when you need to send a quick message, play your favorite song, or check the time.

On the other hand, think about all the times you’ve had to tap those assistants off, to get what you need manually because the AI assistant didn’t understand what you were asking – more than once, right?

A New Intelligent Assistant

What if you could train your AI, instead of trying to remember which commands you need to use in order to reach the desired effect?

Audrey is a new intelligent assistant that promises to do just that.

It’s a little bit like IFTTT meets Siri/Cortana. When Audrey doesn’t understand something you’ve said or typed, you can teach it what you want it to do. If you ask it to “Tell John Smith I’ll be late for work today.”

Audrey might respond, “I do not understand that, would you like to teach me how to respond?”

If you say “yes,” you can then give Audrey an example of what you’d like it to do. This is called a “card,” similar to IFTTT’s formulas.

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Teaching New Tricks

Audrey will ask you which service you’d like to train and you’ll be able to select from platforms like Slack, Uber, Twitter, and more, and tell it what to do and how to do it. For the example above, you would create the card to teach it: “Tell (Slack channel contact) that (text) I will be late for work today.”

This is made a bit clearer on the company’s site.

Once you’ve made a card, Audrey can also be enhanced by going “social.” When you have help creating cards, Audrey will learn what you need even faster. When you submit your card, it will also go to the “intelligence lab” for curation. Think of the intelligence lab, as the Audrey community hub. The intelligence lab is managed by official members of the service. (e.g. Uber intelligence lab is managed by Uber team with moderators).

You can also discover new phrases and card other users have submitted in the “hub.”

You can vote for cards you find helpful with “♥” and cards that are not helpful you can click “x.” This will help Audrey consistently increase its knowledge every week.

Automating Tasks

You can make requests with Audrey like greetings, ordering pizza, getting an Uber ride, checking flight ticket prices, or getting an update on current affairs.

Audrey will fetch the information for you.

You can automate routine tasks, like getting coffee delivered, as well as, creating a “hot button” phrase for commonly used commands/tasks to save time.
Once you get the hang of it, it sounds like it will be quite handy. Other intelligent assistants have been launched in the past without much success however; I think the key to Audrey’s success will lie in how effectively the “community” is able to manage the submitted cards and whether or not the most popular cards prove to be the most useful cards for the greatest number of people.

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[clickToTweet tweet=”Audrey could be a great way to increase productivity and go completely hands-free.” quote=”If the cards are useful, Audrey could be a great way to increase productivity and go completely hands-free in the car and on-the-go.”]

Will you try Audrey?


Jennifer Walpole is a Senior Staff Writer at The American Genius and holds a Master's degree in English from the University of Oklahoma. She is a science fiction fanatic and enjoys writing way more than she should. She dreams of being a screenwriter and seeing her work on the big screen in Hollywood one day.


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