siri

Siri at WWDC 2018: what it needs to be smarter

Siri at WWDC 2018: what it needs to be smarter

Apple's annual developers' conference is barely two weeks away and the Internet is already abuzz at what's expected to make a big splash there. Considering it will cover the whole breadth of Apple's products and services, it's not surprising that there's quite a lot to talk about. One thread that does seem to be more common than other is how much smarter Siri will magically become. But what does "smarter" really mean in this context and how will we be able to judge if Siri has finally caught up with its peers? Here are a few points to consider.

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Apple HomePod by Beats: Cheaper but not enough to save it

Apple HomePod by Beats: Cheaper but not enough to save it

Apple products don't always become an overnight success. Some take years of constant marketing to hammer them into consumers' skulls. So while the HomePod's reported lackluster sales are disappointing for Apple fans, they might not be as fatal as some predict it to be. That said, the company seems to be trying to salvage its image by making a rather odd move. Not only is it coming out with a cheaper HomePod, according to reports it might not be launched as a HomePod at all.

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Alexa, Google Assistant, Siri vulnerable to inaudible commands

Alexa, Google Assistant, Siri vulnerable to inaudible commands

Smart assistants, especially those in smart speakers, have to always be listening. There is no other way to have them ready to answer your questions or obey your commands at a moment's notice, whether or not you have trigger phrase for it. Unfortunately, this also means that they will always be receiving and hearing any and all audio to intercept commands. The problem, according to researchers, is that these smart assistants might follow even those commands that you might not be able to hear.

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Ask Siri to define “mother” twice and you’re in for a shock

Ask Siri to define “mother” twice and you’re in for a shock

AI-powered voice assistants and their smart speaker abodes are hot items these days. But useful (or not) as they may be, they come with some inherent risks. Driven primarily by voice, there is no quick way for users to screen results and stop the assistants before they blurt out something private, sensitive, or inappropriate. Take, for example, Siri, who will gladly inform you of a definition of the word "mother" that you may not really care for or want to hear.

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Alexa Blueprints will DIY you straight to the dark side

Alexa Blueprints will DIY you straight to the dark side

I'm a luddite when it comes to our future AI overlords, but when I saw how fun Amazon Alexa Skill Blueprints were, I gave in. Or at least I expect to give in a little bit. When I'm able to customize Alexa's responses to my questions, that's where I change a tune. When I "see how easy it is to create a skill with blueprints," I sort of lose my mind and go into silly mode.

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Apple’s “Hey Siri” team just spilled what’s coming next

Apple’s “Hey Siri” team just spilled what’s coming next

Apple has pulled back the curtain on Siri, and specifically the "Hey Siri" voice trigger feature that, from iPhone 6 on, allowed the assistant to recognize only its owner. In a new article published on Apple's Machine Learning Journal, the Siri team details a paper it submitted to the International Conference on Acoustics, Speech, and Signal Processing (ICASSP) which kicks off today.

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A cheaper Apple HomePod won’t help, analyst predicts

A cheaper Apple HomePod won’t help, analyst predicts

The pessimism around Apple HomePod continues to mount, with suggestions that the smart speaker could only sell a small fraction of the total amount predicted for 2018. The Siri-powered speaker launched earlier this year to no shortage of fanfare from Apple, promising the slickest way to consume Apple Music as well as smart home and iPhone integration.

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Apple looking to make significant Siri improvements, hints hiring spree

Apple looking to make significant Siri improvements, hints hiring spree

Apple's HomePod smart speaker released earlier this year with impressive audio quality and Apple Music integration, but there's no denying that the tech powering the device, Siri, still lags behind virtual assistant rivals like Amazon's Alexa and Google Assistant. While Siri handles music playback requests with ease, it still struggles with general knowledge questions that the others have no problem with. It seems Apple is in a hurry to address this shortcoming, however, as indicated by a big increase in Siri-related hiring.

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Siri can now control your Tesla Model 3

Siri can now control your Tesla Model 3

AI assistants can do a lot for us these days, from telling you jokes to warming up your home just the way you want it. How about opening your car? If you have a Tesla Model S or Model X, that has been on the table since November last year. But what if all that you have is the more budget-friendly Model 3? If you update your Tesla iOS app to the latest version, you will. Now you can finally tell Siri to unlock your Tesla Model 3. Hopefully, it’s really you telling it to do so.

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Siri needs these features to catch up with the competition

Siri needs these features to catch up with the competition

The smart speaker market is heating up and it’s being driven not just by the “speaker” part but, more importantly, the “smart” part as well. Apple can sing all it wants about the quality of the HomePod’s audio experience, but it will only be a matter of time before high-quality Amazon or Google speakers pop up. Siri, in contrast, might have a harder time catching up with its AI rivals. Here are just five features where Siri has clearly lagged behind Amazon Alexa, Google Assistant, and maybe even Samsung Bixby.

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Siri development reportedly mired in drama, incompetence, denial

Siri development reportedly mired in drama, incompetence, denial

Very few, even Apple’s staunchest fans, will probably deny that Siri has become a lost opportunity. The first to arrive and popularize the voice-controlled, AI-powered smart assistant, it has been quickly overtaken by Amazon Alexa and Google Assistant. The Apple HomePod was envisioned to be Siri’s new castle but instead left many disappointed in that particular aspect. It turns out, Siri has had a rough journey right from the start, and Apple’s development culture might have prevented it from regaining lost ground.

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Google Assistant, Alexa, Siri, Bixby, Cortana feature showdown

Google Assistant, Alexa, Siri, Bixby, Cortana feature showdown

We are well in the age of AI. No not the genocidal kind of dystopian science fiction. Fortunately, the AI we have today isn’t yet that smart, though they’re smart enough to be on our smartphones. From Google to Amazon to even Huawei, AI-powered smart assistants are more and more becoming a bullet point in phone spec sheets and marketing materials. But how smart are they really, especially in competition with each other? We take a look at some of the features available, or absent, from smart assistants to find out.

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