An intelligent personal assistant (IPA) is software that has been designed to assist people with basic tasks, usually providing information using natural language. Most IPAs use online resources to answer a user’s questions about the weather, sport scores, to provide driving directions and to answer similiar information-based queries.
Some IPAs may provide business services, such as calendar and meeting reminders while many offer essential services, like health monitoring and alerts via special applications. Typically, an IPA will answer queries and perform actions via voice commands using a natural language user interface.
Assistants are available as smartphone (or other mobile device) applications and may also feature Internet of Things (IoT) integration. Many companies and device manufacturers develop IPAs that are unique, have a bit of a personality and actually become part of the brand (or device) experience. Examples of well-known intelligent personal assistants include the following:
Recommended Reading: Webopedia’s intelligent agent definition.