The Emergence of the AI-First Mobile App

Artificial Intelligence(AI ) is changing the software world and mobile is not an exception. Recently, many high profile mobile apps have started to leverage cognitive of AI capabilities in areas such as natural language processing(NLP) or cognitive vision. Despite the impressive progress, the transformation of mobile apps using AI technologies is in very early stages. In the near future, AI has the opportunity of becoming a native element of mobile apps. We might be entering the era of the AI-First mobile app.

The idea of the AI-First mobile app is conceptually simple despite the catchy term. As AI evolves, mobile apps will start leveraging cognitive toolkits as natively as they use constructs such as UX events, OS interactions or geo-location APIs today. In other words, AI will become a native component of mobile apps and mobile OSs. Incorporating AI capabilities into mobile apps goes beyond using APIs to process input from cognitive data sources. AI could change the way we design mobile apps to enable intelligent interactions with users.

Some Ideas for AI-First Mobile Apps

There has been plenty of speculation about how mobile apps will incorporate AI capabilities. From new forms of UX design to the processing or cognitive inputs, the ideas are endless. However, there are a few areas that are closer to other to become an important part of AI-First mobile apps in the immediate future.

Cognitive Inputs

Processing inputs from cognitive data sources such as language, text, vision or speech will become a key capability of aI-First apps. There type of cognitive inputs will complement the explicit input in the form of UI events that drives most of mobile UX design techniques today.

Conversational Interfaces

Complementing the previous point, we can single out NLP from other cognitive capabilities as conversational interfaces are going to become an essential factor on AI-First mobile apps. In the near future, mobile apps are likely to combine natural language dialog with explicit UI elements to provide a more natural user experience.

Intelligently Contextual

Contextual UIs has been part of mobile apps for a few years but it could be take to the next level with AI techniques. In addition to traditional contextual elements such as location or time zone, AI-First mobile apps can leverage techniques such as sentiment analysis or intent analysis to uber-personalize the experience for users.

Invisible Interfaces

AI-First mobile apps can become very effective performing background tasks on behalf of a user. As AI-First mobile apps become more intelligent in aspects such as user preferences or behaviors as well as complementary social, economic or environmental aspects they will be able to accomplish tasks on behalf of the users without being explicitly directed to do so.

Self Learning

AI-First mobile apps can become the first generation of truly self-learning mobile apps. While today, the concept of self-improving apps is constrained to aspects such as user preferences, AI techniques can leverage other elements such as sentiment analysis, user intent or environmental conditions to learn and “reason” in order to improve the user experience.

CEO of IntoTheBlock, Chief Scientist at Invector Labs, I write The Sequence Newsletter, Guest lecturer at Columbia University, Angel Investor, Author, Speaker.

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