From Mobile Phones to Siri

The Advanced Research Division at USC, which is celebrating its fiftieth anniversary in the year, has indeed been responsible for the creation of the majority of the technology you use each day.


The World Wide Web

Just as USC’s Information Sciences Institute (ISI) was just being formed in 1972, researchers across the nation were trying to connect computer systems from various organizations, forming what would ultimately become “the Internet,” putting ISI researchers in an ideal position to dive right through into crazy modern paradigm of computer networks.

Alexa, Siri, Virtual agents, and Other Assistants

Alexa has to be able to interpret your phrases in order to provide you with the daily weather prediction – this seems to be the natural language processing (NLP) in work. In 1988, William Mann, an ISI artificially intelligent scientist, made a significant contribution to NLP research by developing the Rhetorical Structure Theory, which describes what renders published words logically.

Virtual World (VR)

Certain technologies look like science fiction, while others produce science fiction. ISI set up the USC Institute for Creative Technologies (ICT) in 1999, which was a leader in VR and other immersion technology for army and civilian use. ICT’s efforts, including revolutionary 3D special effects, can be seen on the big screen ten years later in the Academy Award-winning science fantasy movie Avatar.