Smart apps think (so you don't have to)

A new generation of free intelligent assistant apps represents the future of everything. But are they too smart?

By , Computerworld |  Hardware

Tempo can snatch information from your iPhone's Mail, Contacts and location to improve what happens with your Calendar. For example, if you have a call, it will grab the number for you. If you have a meeting, it can give you details about the person you're meeting with (from Contacts and Linkedin).

Tempo is also designed to give you estimates of drive times, even allotting time for parking.

Tempo was created by some of the same software people who created Siri, and it really does things Siri should do by now.

The new intelligent agent apps and services are fun to play with, can keep you informed, and can make you far more productive. All of them are free and easy to use, but they're not trivial.

In fact, these products represent the future of computing.

Over the next few years, almost every app we use and every website we visit may function less like a machine we're using and more like a person helping us to do our work and live our lives.

If we rely more and more heavily on algorithms to make decisions, communicate with our friends and otherwise act on our behalf, will we lose the ability to do things for ourselves?

In other words, as our machines get smarter, will we get dumber?

I wish there was an app that could tell us the answer to that question.

Mike Elgan writes about technology and tech culture. You can contact Mike and learn more about him on Google+. You can also see more articles by Mike Elgan on Computerworld.com.

Read more about mobile apps in Computerworld's Mobile Apps Topic Center.


Originally published on Computerworld |  Click here to read the original story.
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