Hey Siri

Credit: apple.com

“Hey Siri, what’s the weather today?”

Daily, I am pretty sure Siri has been asked on that million of times.  Also if Siri would have sex with the person, as well as where to find the latest joint for weed.

It is really a learning stage for the artificial intelligent which was first introduced by Apple in 2011, during its famous World Wide Developer Conference (WWDC), which I used to tune in to watch the latest development.  I could watch the podcast or YouTube later, or best still, the summarised version on some of the technology blogs or news sites.

Siri is a spin-off from a project originally developed by the SRI International Artificial Intelligence Center. Its speech recognitionengine was provided by Nuance Communications, and Siri uses advanced machine learning technologies to function. Its original American, British, and Australian voice actors recorded their respective voices around 2005, unaware of the recordings’ eventual usage in Siri. The voice assistant was released as an app for iOS in February 2010, and it was acquired by Apple two months later. Siri was then integrated into iPhone 4S at its release in October 2011. At that time, the separate app was also removed from the iOS App Store. Siri has become an integral part of Apple’s products, having been adapted into other hardware devices over the years, including newer iPhone models, as well as iPad, iPod Touch, Mac, AirPods, Apple TV and HomePod. ~ Wikipedia 

Now, Siri is available in more Apple devices, including the AirPods and HomePod.

Some how I feel the Siri integration into Mac, still needs a bit of work.  It is not the easiest to use, unless you set the shortcut key, or simply press on Siri top right icon.

In comparison, Siri is not as conversation as much as Google Assistant and Alexa by Amazon.  I think the Siri may had been the pioneer in voice assistant, but the rest have already caught up with the trends, by leapfrogging forward much faster than Apple.

So I had some reservation about Siri.

Recently I was in Kuching, and I had an opportunity to meet with one of the top surgeon in the nation.  During the dinner, we chatted about Apple, and he brought up how he used Siri.  He told me, kind of reluctant at first, but now he uses it almost all the time.

“WhatsApp (name) to meet me at 4pm.”

“Call my wife on speaker.”

“Show me the fastest way to hospital.”

“Read my schedules for the rest of the day.”

“Remind me to leave here in 10 minutes.”

Of course he shown me many more other functions using Siri.

He shared with me, how to make Siri really work well.

  1. Use it all the time.  It is a machine learning experience for Siri.  He told me he used to spend half a day in front of the computer training the Dragon (a software dictation by Nuance), by reading multiple pages of phrases, over and over again.  I had used the software before when Nuance was part of the clients Retna’s former agency used to handle.  I got a review copy.
  2. The more people using it, the efficiency rate increases.  Just like Waze, Google searches and Google Maps.  The more people involves in the ecosystem, the more data the machines collect.  So ultimately the accuracy improves.
  3. Localised the language for the users.  Unless you love in Australia for a long time, do not set it to Australian English.  So the closest we have is Singaporean English.
  4. More trainings needed.  Everyday, the Siri machines are learning from us.  Knowing what we like, who we are, our families etc.  Of course you can set the privacy level here.
  5. It is good to be frustrated with Siri.  When you are in an ecosystem, we want everyone to work well.  When one does not, you either switch side or continue with the ecosystem by pushing what you want forward, aggressively.

So, glad if you could share your digital assistant experience with me.