Items tagged with Siri

We are now just two weeks shy of Apple's annual Worldwide Developers Conference (WWDC), which means that new product and service announcements from the Cupertino company are right around the corner. So, what can we expect out of WWDC? Some users posed that question to Siri, and surprisingly the digital assistant obliged with some interesting answers teasing what might be in store. One of the things Siri revealed is that the digital assistant is getting a "brand new voice." It's not clear if that means a new voice option, as in a different accent, or more likely if Siri will simply sound different... Read more...
For many people, digital assistants have become a party of daily life—you might have Siri set a reminder for an upcoming appointment on your iPhone, or tell Alexa to order more laundry detergent from Amazon. These AI (artificial intelligence) assistants are becoming more capable by the day as well. But can they be used for nefarious purposes? Perhaps so, and it could happen right under your nose—over the past couple of years, researchers have demonstrated that Apple's Siri, Amazon's Alexa, and Google's Assistant can each receive 'hidden' commands that are undetectable to the human ear.... Read more...
Wouldn't it be awesome if one of the voice options for Siri was Samuel L. Jackson? That is not likely to happen, given the actor's penchant for swearing profusely (on the big screen, anyway). Be that as it may, you might be surprised that Siri is not afraid to drop an f-bomb on occasion, as one user discovered. In a video uploaded to YouTube, Siri can be heard reading a vulgar answer to a simple question. The video shows an iPhone owner asking Siri to "define the word mother." Siri's initial response is G-rated, as she reads off the first dictionary definition that says, "A woman in relation to... Read more...
If you have ever used the AI personal assistants baked into smartphones, you know they aren't always that helpful. Research firm Stone Temple has issued an update for 2018 on its Digital Personal Assistants accuracy study. The study tested 4,952 queries on five different devices including Alexa on Amazon Echo, Cortana on the Invoke speaker, Google Assistant on Google Home, Google Assistant on an Android smartphone, and Siri. The test structure asked the 4,952 questions to each personal assistant. In testing, the team recorded if the assistant answered verbally, if the answer was from... Read more...
When Apple pushed Siri as a standout feature of its iPhone 4S way back in 2011, there was skepticism over the need for a digital assistant. Fast forward to today and they are commonplace, with Amazon, Google, Microsoft, and Samsung all heavily invested in AI assistants. To compete with those other technologies, and in particular Alexa, Apple has been on a hiring spree of sorts with a focus on Siri. Thinknum, a data analysis startup, combed through Apple's job listings and found that the number of open positions containing the term "Siri" has accelerated in recent weeks. Specifically, it found 161... Read more...
Siri was one of the first digital assistants to be released for smartphones, but it arguably hasn't kept pace with its rivals when it comes to adding new features and overall performance. And earlier this week, it was revealed that Siri has a penchant for reading notifications that are hidden on your lock screen when asked (even the request is being made by someone other than the rightful owner). In a statement released to the press, Apple said that it will fix the privacy lapse in a future iOS update. So, you may be asking, what's the big deal? With iOS 11, lock screen notifications are hidden... Read more...
Apple launched its somewhat funky-looking AirPods (some people likened them to Q-tips dangling from your ears) back in late 2016, and they became widely available in 2017. Given that Apple didn't announce an update for the wireless earbuds during the iPhone X's introduction last year, it's about time for the rumor mill to churn with respect to the second-generation product. In this case, Mark Gurman is back with his take on what's cooking in Cupertino. According to his sources, the next generation model will be upgraded with hands-free Siri support. The current generation AirPods require you to... Read more...
When it comes to standalone media streaming hardware, Roku is the market leader with it family of affordable devices. Roku has even managed to integrate its streaming goodness into smart TVs, including popular budget brand TCL. First initiated in 2014, the Roku TV initiative has grown to include eight television brands (the recent addition of Magnavox will make it nine), and Roku claims that one out of every five smart TVs sold in the United States is running the Roku OS. Now, Roku is looking to further extend its reach by expanding its technology licensing program to include smart speakers and... Read more...
If you are bummed out that Apple has decided to delay the HomePod speaker until next year sometime, it least looks like Siri will still be getting a new home somewhere other than an iPhone. The iMac Pro is still set to launch in the next month or so; it's reportedly due before the end of the year. In addition, a new rumor has surfaced concerning the iMac Pro that claims Siri will get a home inside the high-end AIO desktop PC. The rumor stems from some digging that developers Jonathan Levin and Steve Troughton-Smith did in the available BridgeOS 2.0 software package. In their sleuthing they... Read more...
If you were hoping to get a HomePod smart speaker to round out the Apple hardware ecosystem in your home in time for Christmas, you will have to wait a bit longer. Apple originally unveiled HomePod way back in June at its annual Worldwide Developers Conference, and said that it would ship in December. However, Apple today confirmed that HomePod will miss the holiday shopping rush. “We can’t wait for people to experience HomePod, Apple’s breakthrough wireless speaker for the home, but we need a little more time before it’s ready for our customers," said Apple in a statement... Read more...
Perhaps Google should invest in a bumper sticker that reads, "My AI is an honor student," and then motor around Redmond and Cupertino where Microsoft and Apple are respectively headquartered. Compared to Bing and Siri, Google's artificial intelligent system is a cut above the competition, according to new research at Cornell University. Researchers Feng Liu, Yong Shi, and Ying Liu set out to test and rank the intelligence quotient (IQ) of various natural and artificial intelligent systems, including humans, Google, Bing, Baidu, and Siri. Based on the tests conducted, Google's AI has an IQ of 47.28.... Read more...
Apple may be at odds with Google when it comes to iOS versus Android, but it appears that the two can still find common ground on search. Google has been a long-time fixture in iOS and macOS as the default engine for Safari searches. However, Microsoft Bing has been the default provider for Siri queries, iOS Search and Spotlight on macOS. In a bid to provide a more consistent experience across all of its platforms and areas of search, Apple is kicking Bing to the curb, and has retained Google's services for nearly all areas of search (by default), with the sole exception being image searches via... Read more...
It turns out there is a very real downside to the many digital assistants that were designed to make our day-to-day lives easier. Researchers at Zhejiang University discovered it is possible to flex control over Siri, Alexa, and others using a technique called DolphinAttack. By translating voice commands into ultrasonic frequencies that are inaudible to the human ear, a hacker could instruct someone's smartphone or other device with a digital assistant to perform any number of tasks, such as visiting a malicious website. Apple and Amazon are the not the only companies affected by this. The vulnerability... Read more...
If you already find yourself glued to Apple's Siri assistant, then you may be glad to learn that it's only going to become an even bigger part of your life going forward. That is, as long as assumptions are correct with regards to the latest shuffling around of executive responsibilities at Apple. Since 2012, Apple's Senior VP of software and services Eddy Cue has been overlooking Siri. Cue has a long history with Apple, and much success to gloat about. He's played an important role in securing streaming deals with content companies, and if that's not enough of a job in itself, he also oversees... Read more...
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