Clever Sense acquired by Google — Alfred assistant app now launched on Android

News 09:16, 14 Dec 2011

Google launches Alfred assistant app, following Clever Sense buy-out

It looks as though Google is making moves to mimic Apple’s Siri voice assistant with the company’s acquisition of Clever Sense, developers of the Alfred app.

So what is the Alfred app? Well it’s not quite as fully-fledged as Siri in the range of things it can help you with but at the root of it the principle is the same, the emphasis here though is certainly on the artificial intelligence side of things.

Essentially, the app asks you to answer a few questions about what cuisine you like and hangouts you like to frequent, it’ll then make suggestions on places near you to visit based on your preferences.

It's capable of continuously learning from feedback you give on places you visit so it'll get a clearer image of what you enjoy and make better suggestions.

This is interesting because Google is also reportedly hard at work on voice technology to compete with Siri, codenamed Majel, after the Star Trek computer.

With the acquisition of further artificial intelligence capability the likelihood of Google releasing a combined ‘intelligent voice’ service has increased significantly and it seems pretty likely the search-giant is working on something to rival Apple’s popular voice feature.

Clever Sense announced the acquisition by Google on its website on Tuesday, where co-founder and CEO Babak Pahlavan said:

‘Google helps local businesses connect with potential customers, and its worldwide presence can bring the value of Clever Sense to a much larger audience.’

‘With Google and Clever Sense working together, our entire team looks forward to building more intelligent, serendipitous and magical services,’ he added.

Meanwhile, Google released a statement, saying:

‘The Clever Sense team is at the forefront of developing a recommendation engine that connects the online and offline worlds by delivering personal and sophisticated information to users at the right time, the right place and within the right context’.

‘By combining their technology and expertise with our team and products, we’ll be able to provide even more people with intelligent, personalized recommendations for places to eat, visit and discover.’

The Alfred app is already available on iOS through the iTunes App Store, but following Google’s acquisition it has now launched on the Android Market too. It’s free to download on either platform.

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