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Nokia's voice assistant is for engineers, not ordering Ubers

MIKA will talk telecoms technicians through fixing network faults.
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Amazon, Microsoft, Google and Apple are all developing their voice assistants to be the perfect companions for our busy lives, helping us control our smart homes, buy things, summon Ubers, play funky music and find out what show that guy from that film is in. Nokia's newly announced voice assistant, on the other hand, is strictly business -- we're talking the Nokia that specializes in network technologies here, not the Nokia brand of devices licensee HMD Global puts out. The Multi-purpose Intuitive Knowledge Assistant, or MIKA for short, is a voice assistant built specifically for telecoms engineers, quickly surfacing the information they need to fix network faults and such.

As Nokia so succinctly puts it, MIKA "will provide voice-dictated automated assistance to reduce time spent searching information resources, enabling operators to focus on key business tasks without being distracted by the complexities of multi-technology network environments." In human-speak, MIKA will talk engineers through reconnecting the interlacing nodes with the transponder array to reconfigure spectrum when they're a bit rusty in that procedure (yes, I made all that up). MIKA will also be able to recommend a course of action by remembering how familiar issues have been resolved in the past, since Nokia has some experience with network infrastructure.

Problems will hopefully arise less often thanks to another new Nokia technology, too. Also powered by the company's AVA cloud platform -- the grunt that puts MIKA on computers, smartphones and other devices -- the Predictive Repair service can apparently foresee network faults up to two weeks in advance with 95 percent accuracy, further lightening the load on engineers.

There have been rumblings that Nokia was cooking up an AI helper, registering a trademark for one "Viki" bot earlier this year. There's every chance the company is still developing a consumer-facing, less-specialized digital assistant under that name, but MIKA will still be Nokia's first as it's now available for telecoms providers to try out. It's unlikely you or I will ever see it in action first-hand, of course, but when your 4G connection unexpectedly dies later this year, MIKA may well be on the case.

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