Digital Assistants and AI in the Home

Artificial intelligence (AI) is a technology receiving much excitement over its futuristic possibilities. This human-like avenue of computer science is already making significant progress across a variety of markets, including the smart home. The home is abundant with opportunities to automate tasks and create more personal experiences with technology. AI technologies can be used to enhance solutions that help consumers better manage energy consumption, keep homes safer and more secure, and create more intuitive home automation. Digital assistants foster this vision by acting as a major interface for AI in the home. Many players recognize this potential, and large tech incumbents like Amazon, Google, Apple, Samsung, and Microsoft are quickly investing in AI and digital assistants for the home.

Despite promises of market disruption and estimates of aggressive growth, it is important to stay realistic about AI in the home. Current AI is prolific across industries, but it is not creating human-like robots with the potential to take over the world, like those seen in popular media. Real-world AI is about automating tasks and identifying consumer trends to make people’s lives more comfortable, convenient, and efficient. It is about delivering value, not about the marketing lingo or hype surrounding it. While AI has the potential to develop smarter homes that consumers have a more personal connection with, the technology is still developing. It remains to be seen how AI will evolve in the smart home.

This Navigant Research report examines how machine learning, deep learning, and neural networks fall under the umbrella term of AI. The study provides an analysis of how digital assistants play a role in this technology ecosystem and the applications that AI is enabling in the smart home. It also examines the major market drivers and barriers and technology trends related to AI, as well as the key players and digital assistants.

Key Questions Addressed:
  • What is artificial intelligence (AI)?
  • How are machine learning, deep learning, and neural networks different from AI?
  • How do digital assistants relate to AI?
  • How is AI being used in the smart home?
  • How is AI expected to proliferate in the home?
  • Which companies and their respective digital assistants are the major AI players?
  • What are the best practices for developing AI in the smart home?
Who needs this report?
  • Energy retailers
  • Connected device manufacturers
  • Home automation solutions providers
  • Home security solutions providers
  • Energy management platform providers
  • Customer engagement software providers
  • Large tech incumbents
  • Regulators
  • Investor community

Table of Contents

1. Executive Summary

2. Market Update

2.1   Market Definitions

2.1.1   Artificial Intelligence

2.1.2   Machine Learning

2.1.3   Deep Learning

2.1.4   Digital Assistants

2.2   Market Drivers

2.3   Market Barriers

2.4   AI Applications in the Smart Home

2.4.1   Home Energy Management

2.4.2   Home Automation

2.4.3   Home Security

2.4.4   Control and Convenience

2.5   Technology Trends

2.5.1   Embedded Digital Assistants

2.5.2   Image Recognition

2.5.3   Device Disaggregation

2.6   Key Players and Digital Assistants

2.6.1   Amazon’s Alexa

2.6.2   Apple’s Siri

2.6.3   Google Assistant

2.6.4   Microsoft’s Cortana

2.6.5   Samsung’s Bixby

2.6.6   Vivint’s Sky

3. Conclusions and Recommendations

List of Charts and Figures

  • Venn Diagram of AI Technologies
  • Opower’s Customer Segmentation via Machine Learning
  • Digital Assistant Device Shipments by Region, World Market: 2017-2026
  • Deep Learning for Image Recognition

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