That process, unrolling over the next two years, is The Transition. When millions of people begin conversing with Google, through the Assistant, the seas of difficulty suddenly part. (With Google Home, conversing is the only way you will get any use out of it — there’s no keyboard.) “You can start doing machine learning on that,” Pereira says. “You can move much faster; you can accelerate the process of getting deeper and broader in understanding. This 2016-to-2017 Transition is going to move us from systems that are explicitly taught to ones that implicitly learn.” Think of it as a mini-Singularity.
Maybe this is exactly right. We shall see. But I am always skeptical of any technology that is promoted for how good it is going to be rather than for how good it is right now.