When Siri first hit the scene in 2011 — as the flagship feature on the iPhone 4s, no less — it was a novel piece of software to say the least. The early version of Siri wasn’t terribly powerful, but it was able to answer relatively basic queries and handle rather simple tasks such as setting reminders. In subsequent updates, Siri became much more powerful, even adding contextual awareness along the way. Equally as important, Siri’s ability to parse and understand language improved by leaps and bounds as well.
Though Siri’s capabilities today are far more advanced than the version that shipped six years ago, it’s not as if Apple has the market cornered on AI-powered assistants. On the contrary, Siri today faces stiff competition from a number of tech behemoths, including Amazon, Microsoft, and of course, Google. Pitting competing intelligent assistants against one another is nothing new, but a team of researchers at Cornell recently implemented a rather unique approach.
According to HotHardware, engineers at Cornell decided to stack a number of competing AI assistants against each other to determine which boasted the highest IQ. When the dust settled, researchers found that Google’s AI has an IQ of about 47.28, putting it slightly below the IQ of an average six-year old. Siri, in contrast, din’t fare all that well, with researchers finding that Apple’s AI checked in with an IQ of 23.9.
Although this work is still in progress, the results so far indicate that the artificial-intelligence systems produced by Google, Baidu, and others have significantly improved over the past two years but still have certain gaps as compared with even a six-year-old child,” the researchers wrote in a paper published on ArXiv.
Of course, if you’re curious about real-world performance as opposed to an academic evaluation, you may want to check out this video from a few months back which saw Siri in iOS 11 go head to head with Google Assistant. At the very least, it’s overwhelmingly clear that Siri today is light years more advanced than it was back in the day.