Apple was the first company to integrate a voice-controlled virtual assistant into a smartphone’s operating system, although its main competitors such as Google, Amazon and Microsoft have since come up with similar solutions. Apple hasn’t stopped evolving Siri, however. In fact, a new discovery reveals that Apple is interested in bringing Siri to one of its best mobile products, iMessage, and further increasing the assistant’s capabilities. More →
Over the last few years, there’s no denying that Siri has improved by leaps and bounds. While Apple’s intelligent personal assistant was easy to make fun of a few years back, Apple has devoted a lot of R&D resources towards expanding Siri’s skill-set while also making it much more reliable. Siri still isn’t perfect and, to be fair, it still has some serious competition from the likes of Google and Amazon. Nonetheless, Apple has been upfront about how seriously it takes AI and, as a result, we can expect to see some exciting new Siri improvements in the years ahead, perhaps as early as next year when Apple drops iOS 11.
Siri has been lambasted in the press lately, with no shortage of tech observers opining that Apple’s personal intelligent assistant lags woefully behind competitors like Google Assistant. Part of the problem, some believe, is that Apple’s dutiful approach to user privacy fundamentally and detrimentally impacts the effectiveness of Siri.
When asked about Siri during the company’s earnings call yesterday, Cook reiterated Apple’s commitment to privacy and emphatically scoffed at the notion that Siri’s ability to handle queries is at all being affected by Apple’s stance on privacy.
A lot has been made recently over Siri’s shortcomings as an intelligent personal assistant, especially relative to the capabilities of Google Assistant on Google’s new Pixel phones. Speaking to this point, Walt Mossberg not too long ago penned a widely circulated post lambasting Siri for its frustrating inability to answer layered questions.
Siri has undoubtedly come a long ways since its introduction on the iPhone 4s back in 2011, but there’s no getting around the fact that Apple’s intelligent personal assistant faces increasingly stiff competition not only from Google, but also from Amazon and upstarts like Viv (now a Samsung property).
If the Starwood hotel chain has its way, the hotel room of the future will be more of a customizable set of experiences that listens to you and stands ready to cater to your wishes — and that’s less of, well, just a room.
The company’s hotel brand Aloft in recent weeks started trialing voice-activated hotel rooms in its Boston Seaport and Santa Clara properties. The service, currently enabled in 10 rooms at each property, includes guests being greeted by a personalized welcome letter on the in-room TV when they check in.
They quickly learn that a branded iPad is ready to be set up with a “Hey Siri” to learn the sound of their voice so it can go on to control the guest’s room experience. More →
Over the past few years, Siri’s functionality and reliability has improved by leaps and bounds. Not only is Siri’s feature-set more expansive than ever, but it operates much more quickly and does a much better job at understanding and processing language. To this point, Medium last week published a fascinating and detailed profile on how Apple’s advancements in the field of AI and machine learning have helped take Siri’s performance to the next level.
In fact, Siri Senior Director Alex Acero boasted that advancements in Siri’s underlying technology has cut down the error rate “by a factor of two in all the languages” and “more than a factor of two in many cases.”
We heard a few days ago that Barbra Streisand decided to pick up the phone and call none other than Tim Cook to demand a certain update in Siri. She wasn’t happy with the way Siri pronounces her name, and the Apple CEO obliged, letting her know that it’ll all be fixed come September 30th. Naturally, all tech blogs speculated that we’re going to get a new version of iOS on that date, likely the first iOS 10 release, though it would be a little late compared to Apple’s usual iOS rollout. But this isn’t about that at all. No, we’re just going to take a look at Streisand explaining the entire thing to Jimmy Fallon. More →
Apple doesn’t just invent things in its labs in Cupertino. The company also buys companies with impressive frequency — five so far this year. Actually, make that six, because Apple just picked up a significant Seattle-based artificial intelligence outfit, Turi.
The news comes in a report from GeekWire, which heard about the deal through sources. Neither Apple nor Turi is confirming right now, although Apple is famously tight-lipped about these kinds of deals. The acquisition is rumored to be worth more than $100 million.
When Siri was first introduced as a beta product alongside the launch of 2011’s iPhone 4S, people couldn’t wait to get their hands on Apple’s new virtual personal assistant and give it a try. Then… they actually gave it a try. Siri got off to a rocky start to say the least, with server issues that plagued early users and a limited feature set that often didn’t work as advertised. Despite the “beta” label, it seemed like no one was really prepared for how unreliable Siri was going to be, so many people were turned off and ditched Siri completely.
Of course, launching a half-baked software product and then fixing it over time is par for the course at Apple. What started as a frustrating mess has grown into one of Apple’s most useful software tools, but many people still don’t use Siri because of the bad taste that was left in their mouths the first time around.
Now, it’s time to give Siri another shot. More →
What were you planning on doing this evening? Having fun? Interacting with real human beings? Cancel all that, because here’s a wonderfully comprehensive video of Siri describing every single emoji in words.
The folks at Motor1 discovered that if you receive a message containing emoji while using Apple’s CarPlay, Siri describes each individual emoji. So of course, the only logical thing to do was send a text containing every emoji in the book, set a camera to record, and enjoy.
In the face of stiff competition from Android, Apple continued its push to make the Siri digital assistant useful to a large chunk of its users at its Worldwide Developers Conference (WWDC) this week. But will it be enough?
Siri, Apple’s intelligent voice-activated digital assistant, has been around for a long time, since it was first introduced in 2011 with the iPhone 4s. But it’s still not widely used, according to a survey conducted by Fluent, an advertising technology company. Fluent engages in “performance marketing,” which requires an iPhone user, for example, to respond directly to an ad. More →
In what may become something of a tradition, Apple executives Phil Schiller and Craig Federighi on the second day of WWDC sat down with Daring Fireball’s John Gruber for a wide-ranging interview about all things iOS and macOS. The full interview will soon be available on Gruber’s popular The Talk Show podcast but MacRumors managed to highlight some of the more noteworthy portions in the interim.