siri

Eight things AI assistants need to improve on

Eight things AI assistants need to improve on

HTC's announcement of its U Ultra and U Play phones, and consequently the revelation of its Sense Companion, may have you cringing at yet another AI-powered, disembodied, virtual assistant. But HTC's spiel has a nugget of sense. AI agents today are so bright they can tell jokes or even hold conversation, whether with humans or with each other. But when it comes to actually assisting us humans to get things done, they're not that smart yet and need more than a little nudging to work. If these assistants are to be the way we interact with our devices, our homes, and our digital selves, they need to be able to do a bit more, and soon. Here are some things these virtual secretaries and butlers need to be able to do in order to really make a significant impact in our modern lived. Not all of them even require substantial advancements in artificial intelligence.

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4 ways Apple could make AirPods the best wireless earbuds

4 ways Apple could make AirPods the best wireless earbuds

Apple's AirPods are a wireless tour de force, streamlining the Bluetooth process in a way that no other accessory has done before, but there are still rough edges in everyday use. As I found in my full AirPods review, although the cable-free earbuds get the fundamentals right, you should still expect some frustrations along the way. Luckily, there are a few easy things Apple could do to fix that: read on for my big AirPods complaints, and how they could be addressed.

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Galaxy S8 confirmed to feature Samsung’s own smart assistant

Galaxy S8 confirmed to feature Samsung’s own smart assistant

Confirming what most have already guessed at this point, Samsung shared that its next flagship, which will undoubtedly be called the Galaxy S8, will have an AI-powered digital assistant, but significantly different from Samsung’s obsolete and underpowered S Voice. This new assistant will be the fruit of Samsung’s acquisition of Viv Labs, which was formed by the a co-creator of Apple’s Siri. But while that’s pretty much a given, the biggest question is how Samsung plans on differentiating itself from the increasingly competitive market.

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Skype for Business comes to Mac, Skype iOS gets Siri messaging support

Skype for Business comes to Mac, Skype iOS gets Siri messaging support

Microsoft's messaging and video calling platform Skype has released two updates heading into the weekend, one each for the Mac and iOS. The first isn't technically an update, but a brand-new app for the desktop: Skype for Business, the platform's service that focuses more on inter-office communication and productivity, along with heavy Office integration. The second is an update the regular Skype app on iOS, which introduces the ability to send messages by dictating them to Siri.

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Elgato Eve Light Switch puts Siri in your wall

Elgato Eve Light Switch puts Siri in your wall

Today Elgato showed the Eve Light Switch for the first time, connecting to Apple devices with HomeKit. Using Apple's HomeKit, Elgato puts Siri in control of the lights a user has at home. Unlike other similar systems, this switch puts the control at the switch instead of the plug. In this way, the user is able to control all lights in their home, not just the lamps. There's also Elgato Eve Energy for lamp-lovers.

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Apple to cut iPhone bugs by harmonizing dev teams

Apple to cut iPhone bugs by harmonizing dev teams

It would appear that Apple thinks the development of its cloud services could be more efficient. Anonymous sources close to this issue have told Bloomberg that Apple plans to unify its cloud development teams in the same space, potentially making the production of services like Siri, Maps, iCloud, and Apple Music easier for everyone involved.

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Samsung buys Viv, the smart assistant from Siri’s creators

Samsung buys Viv, the smart assistant from Siri’s creators

Google just took the virtual personal assistant wars to the next chapter when it made Google Assistant the star of its recent press event. Not to be outdone, Samsung has just made an announcement that it, too, is getting into the game. No, it isn’t simply just evolving its perhaps mostly unused S Voice feature. Instead, it has acquired Viv Labs, developers of the AI bot of the same name. It is an interesting and somewhat strategic purchase, too, as Viv was created by the very same people behind the now iconic Siri.

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Skype for iOS updated with Siri support

Skype for iOS updated with Siri support

Now that Apple's iOS 10 has been out for over a week and is making its way to most users' iPhones, lots of popular apps are updating to take advantage of the software's new features. One such release is today's update for Skype, which allows the app make use of the new Siri API for third-party developers. Now users can ask Siri to place a Skype call to someone without even opening the app.

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Apple reportedly testing its Siri-powered smart home speaker

Apple reportedly testing its Siri-powered smart home speaker

Amazon may have flopped with its attempt to get into the smartphone game with its own Fire Phone, but the company has found a sure-fire hit in its internet-connected Echo smart speaker. Now others a rushing to play catch-up, including Google with its own Home device, and, if rumors are true, Apple has a product brewing that will use Siri to control a home's lights, appliances, and other connected products.

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Siri unlocks door for a neighbor without owner’s permission

Siri unlocks door for a neighbor without owner’s permission

Some find Siri very helpful, though perhaps only those that the virtual assistant actually understands, but there is such a thing as being too helpful. According to a post on Reddit, Apple’s iconic personal assistant was only too willing to give its owner’s neighbor access to the house, via the front door even. Despite being locked by an August Home Smart Lock, controlled Apple HomeKit via an iPad, said neighbor was given easy entry by doing nothing more than shouting “Hey, Siri, unlock the door!”

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Uber now lets you request rides using Apple Maps and Siri

Uber now lets you request rides using Apple Maps and Siri

It's been a big couple of days for Uber. Yesterday the company announced that it was rolling out a fleet of self-driving vehicles in the Pittsburgh area for testing, and now the app is getting a pretty major upgrade on iOS. A new update to the Uber iOS app is offering up some increased functionality, as users can now use Apple Maps and Siri to hail a ride.

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macOS Sierra launch date revealed, Siri front and center

macOS Sierra launch date revealed, Siri front and center

To say that Siri is the star of the upcoming new macOS release is perhaps an understatement. Even Apple’s macOS Sierra page dedicates no small amount of space to the feature. Of course, that’s not the only new thing in the new OS version and you will soon be able to experience all of those first hand, for free if you already own El Capitan, when you upgrade to Sierra in two weeks’ time.

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