siri

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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Huawei HiAssistant to square off with Alexa, Google Assistant, Bixby

Huawei HiAssistant to square off with Alexa, Google Assistant, Bixby

They say what doesn’t kill you makes you stronger and since Huawei hasn’t been killed by a recent failure in the US market, it might be coming back stronger and bolder than ever before. Huawei has been tipped to be embarking on its most ambitious venture yet, not with a new device but with a new service. Simply called HiAssistant, the AI-powered voice-controlled smart assistant might be coming to offer the features that Amazon Alexa, Google Assistant, Samsung Bixby, and Apple Siri have but in ways that those have not been able to do in China.

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Apple HomePod vs Google Home vs Amazon Echo showdown

Apple HomePod vs Google Home vs Amazon Echo showdown

With the launch of the Apple HomePod, and pending the launch of a Bixby speaker, if there will ever be one, the major pieces on the smart speaker game board are now all in place. And so are the three major voice-controlled AI-driven smart assistants (sorry Cortana, you’ll have to sit this one out). That means, of course, questions on which one you should buy. “Should” is probably too strong a word, because it really depends on multiple factors. We can, however, give you the lay of the land so that you can decide better where to sink your hard-earned money into.

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Smart assistants need to be more proactive to be useful

Smart assistants need to be more proactive to be useful

You have an important meeting with a client at 9 a.m. but you got so engrossed in that novel you read at night that you overslept. Luckily, your smart assistant (let’s call it “Bucksbee”), sounded a reminder an hour before your appointment. You frantically prepare, without giving your phone a second glance. You rush out the door to the nearest bus stop, only to be drenched in an unexpected (for you) downpour. You hop on a bus, soaking wet, but had enough time to try in the unexpected (for you) heavy traffic. You mentally compose a profound apology email and then whip out your phone, only to see the client sent an email hours earlier canceling the meeting for an emergency. We humans sometimes aren’t smart, but our smart assistants are often not that much better.

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HomePod is changing how I listen to music

HomePod is changing how I listen to music

Is Siri better than the Google Assistant, or worse than Alexa, or the downfall of Apple's HomePod, or the reason it's so good? The questions around the Cupertino company's first connected speaker are numerous and fairly predictable, just like the tests pitting one virtual assistant against another in fact. From the start I'd figured Siri makes an excellent guide through Apple Music - you can credit Apple's otherwise frustratingly tight integration between streaming service and speaker for that - but what I didn't expect was how much she would change how I listen to music.

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