Cellphones take on new snooping keys

Updated: Nov 14 2005, 05:30am hrs
Imagine mobile devices leap-frogging technology (moving over from SMS, MMS and voice mail features) to track your behaviour Sounds improbable but if researchers from the International Institute of Information Technology (IIIT), Hyderabad, are to believed, recent advances made in artificial intelligence (AI) technology will not make only present-day mobile devices more smarter, but personalised too. Their contention: Smartphones are providing value-added services through search engines. Perhaps, it is due to new trends in AI systems which are now becoming a hit among cellphone providers.

As per a recent survey, in the next three to five years, mobile devices might become smarter and start talking too. IIIT has signed a pact with the Nokia Research Centre to build search engine technology. The goal is to make Psearch personalised search accessible on Nokia mobile devices, says Rajeev Sangal, director, IIIT.

Intelligent systems are being embedded in mobile devices, thus becoming more personalised. A fusion of multi-modal and multi-lingual interfaces is happening through speech, gestures, and machines will respond to both desktops and phones, Mr Sangal says.

Though there are limits in having advantages, cellphones which have become personal devices, will soon become intelligent devices to know ones behaviour with key words such as search for web pages. Besides, it can keep track of information based on location, besides understanding the time and talk to the user. In simple terms, mobile devices will tend to analyse ones behaviour as an user, and like a desktop search, get relevant answers approximately with five results, says Vasudev Varma, assistant professor, IIIT.

IIIT is trying to build a dynamic user profile using the users browsing actions. Though this might sound easy, there is a challenging task ahead to put all the data such as the number of results to be displayed, title of document, etc, in a limited space and memory. In a limited mobile environment, the user has to receive maximum information within a short span of time. IIIT is working with Nokia Research and will be presenting the proof-of-concept in a month or so. Further, Nokia proposes to build the product based on the prototype developed by IIIT with robust engineering technologies for evaluating a business proposition, Mr Varma says.

In an another initiative, IIIT and Nokia have teamed up to convert text to speech synthesisers (TTS) for bundling them in WAP-enabled phones.