Recently, IBM’s ‘Watson’ computer software managed to win the popular game-show ‘Jeapardy’, playing against previous show champions. The game show was chosen because not only does it require a great breadth of knowledge, but the questions are often posed using ambiguous or cryptic language. The Jeapardy challenge was a great PR stunt for demonstrating the software, but this marked a significant leap forward, opening the door to natural language communication with machines.
Apple has a long-standing tradition of bringing products and technologies into the mainstream and achieving widespread adoption: the iPod was by no means the first MP3 player on the market, but it’s success quickly made the label ‘iPod’ into a generic term for portable MP3 player; the iPhone was the first touch-screen only device; and the iPad still remains by far the most popular and sought-after tablet despite numerous aspiring competitors. This is not only down to clever marketing, Apple has achieved widespread consumer adoption of their devices for their ‘it just works’ approach to ease of use. Customers trust that not only will their products be easy to use, but they will also work well together.