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Intelligent virtual assistant

Intelligent virtual assistant

(also IVA)

Intelligent virtual assistant definition

An intelligent virtual assistant is a software application that uses artificial intelligence (AI) and machine learning (ML) to help users complete tasks or provide information. Examples of intelligent virtual assistants include Siri, Google Assistant, Alexa, and Cortana.

See also: artificial intelligence, machine learning

How do IVAs work?

  • Users interact with IVAs through voice, text, or both, depending on the platform.
  • IVAs use speech recognition technology to translate the user’s words into text for voice interactions.
  • Natural language processing (NLP) allows IVAs to interpret and understand human language.
  • After understanding a user’s command, the IVA performs the requested action (like setting an alarm or sending a message) or provides the necessary information.
  • IVAs can connect to other applications to help them complete their tasks. For example, Alexa might connect to a weather app to answer a question like “Is it raining in London right now?”.
  • Users can provide feedback on the IVA’s performance, which is used to train and improve the accuracy and efficiency of the assistant over time.

Intelligent virtual assistant advantages

  • Saves users time. IVAs automate tasks so the user spends less time on them.
  • Multitasking. They can perform various tasks such as setting reminders, giving weather updates, answering questions, or managing smart home devices — at the same time.
  • Learning over time. With ML capabilities, IVAs can improve their responses and actions by learning from past interactions.
  • Availability. Intelligent virtual assistants are available round-the-clock, providing users instant responses and assistance anytime they’re needed.

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