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Eavesdropping 2.0: Samsung, Intel and Telefonica invest in voice recognition tech that anticipates your every need

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Human-machine interaction -- the term sounds so clinical, yet it's the most important relationship we need to foster in the 21st century. Which is why the venture arms of Samsung, Intel and Spanish telco Telefonica have sunk considerable funding into Expect Labs' voice recognition software, an investment the trio announced earlier today. The startup's prescient tech, known as the Anticipatory Computing Engine (or ACE, zing!), aims to guesstimate a user's actions or information needs by listening in on and analyzing real-time conversations. It's understandable if the prospect creeps you out -- it should -- but the end goal isn't to invade a user's privacy (though the data mined would be significant), it's to anticipate and assist.

That three major corporations with stakes in computing, mobile and home electronics would want to proactively invest in Expect Labs' tech is a no-brainer. Apple, Samsung and Google all already offer voice navigation services (to varying degrees of success) on smartphones and the potential for current smart TVs (defined by their internet connectedness) to get smarter and change channels or record programs independently would do well by their slack-jawed worshippers. What's more, practical applications for ACE aren't some far-off prospect; the tech could easily make its way into Samsung's next Galaxy S flagship. And then every other machine in your life not long after...

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