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How MindMeld Is Letting Companies Add Voice Recognition to Any App The days of talking to all of your devices are closer than you think.

By Grant Davis

This story appears in the June 2015 issue of Entrepreneur. Subscribe »

Eva Kolenko
Voice of reason: MindMeld’s Tim Tuttle.

In the 2013 movie Her, Joaquin Phoenix plays a man who falls in love with his cloud-based operating system, which has been given Scarlett Johansson's voice. She anticipates his moods, arranges his schedule—all he has to do is talk to her. Director Spike Jonze set the action in the near future, but according to Tim Tuttle, founder and CEO of San Francisco-based Expect Labs, this type of anticipatory computing is already here.

"In the last two years, we've seen voice-recognition and artificial-intelligence research advance and become more accurate by 30 percent," he says. "That's more progress than we made in the last 10 years."

Tuttle—who has been working on the artificial intelligence behind voice-recognition technology since the '90s, first as a student at the Massachusetts Institute of Technology and then at Bell Labs—says Apple's Siri and Google Now have played a sizable part in that advancement. The more people use voice commands to activate apps and searches on their smartphones, the smarter the machine intelligence becomes. Indeed, Tuttle cites data showing that one in three searches on a smartphone are now done through voice.