A new artificial intelligence (AI) technology was announced recently that could challenge existing technologies such as Siri, Google Now and Cortana. It is being developed by Carnegie Mellon University (CMU) and named after the angel Gabriel, who is the messenger of God in the Bible.

"Gabriel" is designed to look into the user's shoulders and whisper instructions on how to complete a task. This could include simple actions such as assembling a furniture to a more complex one such as giving first aid. The idea is to replace the experience of having to go to websites such as YouTube in order to learn something, a CMU spokesperson told Popular Science.

"Ten years ago, people thought of this as science fiction," Mahadev Satyanarayanan, professor of computer science and the principal investigator for Gabriel, said in a press statement. "But now it's on the verge of reality."

Like Google Glass, "Gabriel" uses a wearable vision system powered by a proprietary cloud computing technology called "cloudlet," which combines mobile and cloud computing. CMU developers also call it "Elijah," and it enables "Gabriel" to tap information from the nearest computing device rather than a remote server. More information about "Elijah" is available in this link. The video below shows an earlier iteration of the technology using Google Glass.

The National Science Foundation is supporting the "Gabriel" project, having awarded CMU a $2.8 million grant to further develop the technology. The research has been on-going for at least a year.