Editor’s Note: Jon Michaeli is the EVP of Strategic Partnerships at Medisafe, a Boston, MA-based personalized medication adherence platform where he is responsible for consumer growth and adoption, strategic partnerships, and commercialization through industry stakeholders such as biopharma, life sciences, and consumer hardware and medication packaging companies.

Alexa is surging. An upgraded Siri and Samsung’s upcoming Bixby may soon compete in the home. Google is successfully catching up.

Today’s virtual assistants make it feel like Artificial Intelligence (AI) is more pervasive than ever. And it is – with some substantial caveats. These agents are all powered by a combination of machine learning software and behavioral algorithms. Their “learning” is based on finding patterns in data, then (a) adjusting themselves by applying lessons learned to newly incorporated data and (b) making increasingly accurate predictions about our likes and dislikes as the dataset continues to expand. But they’re fully dependent on this data; without it, they’re nothing. They’re “pseudo smart” – not applying a previously learned skill to tackle a new problem the way Google’s DeepMind can.

AI technology

And these digital assistants all use the same AI technologies: the aforementioned machine learning and behavioral …read more

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