Definition[edit | edit source]

An Intelligent Virtual Assistant (IVA) is an artificial intelligence system that emulates human interaction to perform particular tasks.

Overview[edit | edit source]

There are two types of IVAs:

(1) built-in IVAs that use multi-purpose devices (endpoints) and
(2) stand-alone IVAs that use dedicated devices.

In general, IVAs consist of multiple components in heterogeneous environments. As shown in the diagram below, there are two user-side components: (1) companion applications, and (2) IVA-enabled devices. The main components of Amazon's Alexa ecosystem are grouped into two categories:

(a) The client side – that has 2 components:
(a.1) Endpoint1: an Alexa-enabled device (Echo);
(a.2) Endpoint2: a companion app that needs to be installed on user's device of choice;
(b) The cloud side - the 'intelligent assistant' Alexa that operates in Amazon's cloud environment.
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