|By Business Wire||
|April 17, 2013 09:51 AM EDT||
Sherpa, the number one virtual personal assistant for the Spanish speaking world, is now available in beta for the U.S. market. Starting today, Android smartphone users will be able to enjoy the platform’s many features – including searching for information, completing transactions, managing schedules and operating the device itself.
Sherpa arrives to the U.S. market with a broader knowledge base and more proactive and predictive capabilities than current market offerings and includes transactional capabilities that are unique in the virtual personal assistant category. Furthermore, Sherpa has a lively and fun “personality” that makes it easy for consumers to integrate the platform into their digital lives – whether they are updating social networks, requesting and playing music, navigating to desired destinations or interacting with a broad set of informational sources. Sherpa’s combined capabilities give users the impression that there is a team of personal assistants, or “Sherpas,” at the ready to help them accomplish tasks and save time.
“Sherpa has been designed to be the interface to our digital lives,” commented Xabier Uribe-Etxebarria, founder and C.E.O. of Sherpa. “The perfect personal assistant has vast knowledge, can predict your needs and learns about you over time, almost as if by magic. With Sherpa, we are building a platform that delivers unlimited possibilities to make people’s lives easier. Sherpa’s capabilities will only continue to expand; we have developed less than 0.01 percent of our vision and what our amazing technology is capable of.”
Sherpa is the result of 10 years of research and development by Uribe-Etxebarria in advanced Natural Language Processing (NLP) and semantics technologies. Sherpa users can interact with the application through instructions given via voice, type or touch for a richer user experience. Sherpa has been designed to be truly multilingual; its unprecedented technology uses an intermediate language of meanings, making it scalable for any language in the world.
Sherpa’s capabilities were recently analyzed in a Gartner research note titled “Sherpa: The End of Search as You Know It for CRM,” by Johan Jacobs, research director.
Sherpa is able to deliver highly accurate results in response to consumer queries and requests due to its sophisticated Natural Language Processing and advanced semantic technology. Sherpa relies on five levels of linguistic analysis which include morphological, syntactic semantic, pragmatic and functional analysis. Building on Sherpa’s strong linguistic foundation, the platform algorithms further enhance the user experience, interactivity and capabilities.
Today, the beta version of Sherpa incorporates the following technology capabilities to deliver a highly functional personal assistant platform:
- MultiKnowledge System: Draws information from several sources to deliver relevant and targeted content, minimizing dependency on search engines. Instead of simply providing search results, Sherpa takes users directly to the information requested, removing a step in the information-gathering process. Sherpa searches across many sources and finds relevant results that are displayed beautifully to the user. The MultiKnowledge system can also retrieve information such as sports results, Yelp-based searches, LinkedIn profiles, translations and dictionary definitions.
- Interactive Information Card: The platform delivers the right information based on Sherpa’s ability to contextualize the topic at hand, delivering a rich, natural user experience. For example if the user asks, “Who is President Obama?” Sherpa will know that this is a person and will provide relevant, deep information gathered from LinkedIn profiles, photos, informational pages and websites. If the user simply says “Chicago,” Sherpa will present the user with information about the city of Chicago, including directions, maps and Wikipedia results.
- Transactional: Sherpa’s sophisticated transactional capabilities enable users to conduct searches and complete related transactions. For example, the user can ask Sherpa, “What concerts are taking place in San Francisco today?” After getting the results, Sherpa helps navigate the user to purchase tickets for the selected option. Users can also search for airline tickets and complete full PayPal transactions. These functions are completely unique to Sherpa and not available through any other personal assistant application on the market today.
- Proactive: Sherpa learns from user habits and provides timely alerts. Sherpa’s proactive knowledge is not based on what the user tells it to do, it is based on the history of what the user does. Sherpa’s proactive capabilities will continue to expand to anticipate additional user needs with future releases.
- Operations and Device Interaction: Sherpa allows users to perform simple tasks and interact with the mobile device itself. Users can turn the ringer volume up or down, set alarms, make calendar appointments, update their Facebook or Twitter status or retrieve Twitter mentions – all from the Sherpa app by voice command.
Xabier Uribe-Etxebarria is a serial entrepreneur now on his third venture. He is the recipient of TR35 Spain. His previous venture, Anboto, was named the world’s best start-up at Innovate!100. Xabier is a member of the World Wide Web Consortium and is the president of the organizing committee for the Bilbao Web Summit, a global event that attracts leading business decision makers and industry thought leaders to Bilbao to discuss the future of the internet.
The beta version of the English platform is being introduced today in San Francisco at DEMO Mobile. Sherpa is free and available starting today in the U.S. through Google Play.
For more information, visit http://www.sher.pa.
Sherpa is the most advanced multilingual voice-enabled personal assistant designed for smartphones, cars and digital devices. With headquarters in Bilbao, Spain and Redwood City, California, the application uses advanced Natural Language Processing (NLP) and semantics to create a natural dialogue between humans and digital devices. Sherpa was developed based on research done by Xabier Uribe-Etxebarria, who founded Anboto Group, named Startup of the Year by Guidewire Group’s 2010 Innovate!100, a list of high-potential, fast-moving startups worldwide. Sherpa is hosting the upcoming Sherpa Summit on May 23 in Bilbao, Spain.
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