Showing posts with label Siri. Show all posts

In a press release today, Apple has officially announced that John Giannandrea, Google's former Search Chief, now named To the company’s executive team as Senior Vice President of Machine Learning and Artificial Intelligence Strategy, he joined Apple in April 2018, and will reporting to CEO Tim Cook directly.

According to Apple, Giannandrea oversees the strategy for artificial intelligence and machine learning across the company and development of Core ML Siri technologies and making it easier and faster to integrate machine learning into apps. Apple CEO Tim Cook says that the company is "fortunate" and thrilled to have Giannandrea at the helm of its AI and machine learning efforts.
“John hit the ground running at Apple and we are thrilled to have him as part of our executive team,” said Tim Cook, Apple’s CEO. “Machine learning and AI are important to Apple’s future as they are fundamentally changing the way people interact with technology, and already helping our customers live better lives. We’re fortunate to have John, a leader in the AI industry, driving our efforts in this critical area.”
Prior to Apple, Giannandrea spent 8 years at Google where he led the Machine Intelligence, Research, and Search teams, even before that, he found Tellme Networks and Metaweb Technologies. Meanwhile, John Giannandrea will still respect Apple's commitment to Privacy and makes computers even smarter and more personal.

Loup Ventures analyst Gene Munster recently tested the voice assistant accuracy of four smart speakers. The four voice assistants are Alexa on Amazon Echo, Siri on HomePod, Google Assistant on Google Home mini, and Microsoft's Cortana. Each speaker were given the same 800 questions and is divided into 5 categories, including local, commerce, navigation, information, and commands. The result was somewhat surprising...

Siri on HomePod correctly answered 74% of the questions. In December last year, HomePod's success rate was only 52.3%, the increase was rather sizable. However, Siri is still lags behind compares to Google Assistant, which has an success rate of 87.9%, while Alexa's correctly answered 72.5% quires, and the last place were taken by Microsoft's Cortana, which only answered 62.3% correctly.

Munster believes that because a series of software updates in recent months have enabled the speaker to make and receive calls, schedule calendar events, set up multiple timers, and search Songs via lyrics, and all these makes HomePod becomes more versatile and assistants become more capable, the analyst will continue testing it to remain exhaustive.

Finally, Munster claims that HomePod and Google Assistant are neck and neck when it comes to queries on local and navigation due to the fact that they both properly uses its own Map data. Yet, Siri on HomePod is limited in comparison to Siri on iPhone, probably because Apple is not positioning it as the "Smart Speaker", but rather a Home speaker with just Siri on board.

Apple has released the final beta version of its next-generation of the mobile operating system, iOS 12 GM, to developers on this Wednesday, Apple will roll out the iOS 12 official version next Monday to all of the users. However, the Shortcuts app Gold Master version is also now available for download to those who are testing the app on their devices.

Registered developers can request access to the new Shortcuts app beta through the developer portal at The Shortcuts app was first introduced at the WWDC 2018 Keynote on June 4th, and later it was only limited to developers, nevertheless, that should change soon since iOS 12 will release to all users Monday the 17th.

Shortcuts intelligently associate your daily habits with third-party apps and provide quick guidance when you need them, you can create your own voice commands for multiple actions. For instance, you create heading home commands, like set the thermostat to 70F, play music while driving, get direction to home, now you need just ask Siri "heading home", it will do all it all for you within a minute.

The bad news is that Siri Shortcuts likely not support on older devices like iPhone 6 and iPhone 5S due to it requires deep integration with Siri and higher speech recognition processing, the processor requirements are high, so even with iOS 12's great performance boost, it can't make the hardware faster, therefore, they will not capable of running it.

Image Via iDownloadBlog

As an important feature of iOS 12 and the major evolution of Siri in the future, Apple has shown Siri Shortcuts to everyone on WWDC 2018. Siri Shortcuts allows you to create your own voice commands, it also integrated into many apps. For instance, you lost a key, "Add to Siri" will appear on Tile app, so when you ask the virtual assistant "I lost my key", it will be automatic alerts you.

In iOS 12 betas, users can experience some of the features of Siri Shortcuts, and when the official version goes live tomorrow, Siri Shortcuts will become a standalone native app. However, the problem is that Siri Shortcuts seems to have high requirements on majority devices, which means some iOS devices may not be able to get full features.

Developer Federico Trevisani found that Siri Shortcuts was running out of system resources on older devices and was unable to perform at least one of its feature. In his email discussion with Apple Software Engineering SVP Craig Federighi, he said that despite Apple’s efforts to provide new features for as many devices as possible, but it's necessary to compromise on the overall performance of the old devices.

So it basically confirms that Siri Shortcuts will not be able to support older iOS devices, and the iPhone 6 and iPhone 6 Plus are among them. Because Siri Shortcuts requires deep integration with Siri and higher speech recognition processing, the processor requirements are high, so even with iOS 12's promised better performance boost, it can't make the hardware faster.

Image Via Engadget

Apple has released the latest version of the Siri Shortcuts, which is currently only available for registered developers to download and use. Some testers have found that the latest version of the Siri Shortcuts has begun to support HomeKit, but the features are still limited.

In Siri Shortcut 2.0, developers can find the HomeKit commands under the Siri Suggestions section or type "Home" in the search box, though users must first trigger a desired scene in the Home app, return to Shortcuts and access the command through Siri Suggestions.

In addition to HomeKit support, the Siri Shortcuts 2.0 released this week also included bug fixes and stability improvements. At this year's WWDC, Apple officially announced iOS 12, and the Siri Shortcuts is one of the main features.

Shortcuts intelligently associate your daily habits with third-party apps and provide quick guidance when you need them. For example, if you are used to buying a cup of coffee on your way to work, Siri will remind you to buy coffee at the right time on the lock screen. What's more exciting is that you can create your own voice commands for multiple actions.

Image Via iMore

A few months ago, market research firm Loup Ventures conducted a test that was mainly targeted at the smart speakers from a number of technology companies to see how they performed in answering questions. Now, they conducted a new test focused solely on digital AI assistants. Though Siri still needs work, the correct rate has significantly improved.

In order to get more objective results, Loup Ventures asked 800 questions on Apple's Siri on iOS 11.4, Google Assistant, Amazon's Alexa and Microsoft's Cortana on a smartphone during the test. The result shows, Apple's artificial intelligence voice assistant Siri was able to understand 99% of the questions and correctly answered 78.5% of it.

Compared to a similar AI-focused test from April 2017, which Siri answered 66.1 percent of 800 questions correctly, it was a big improvement with no doubt. However, researchers explain that it's "not worthwhile to compare" the results across these tests since "the use cases differ greatly between digital assistants and smart speakers."

Regarding the results, Siri performed best in the “Command” category, with 90% of the questions were answered accurately, better than its all competitors. In other categories, the “Location” queries were 87% correct, “Navigation” 83%, “Information” 70%, and “Commerce” of only 60%.

As for other AI assistants, Google answered 85.5 percent of the 800 questions correctly and understood all of them. Alexa accurately answered 61.4 percent but misunderstood 13. Meanwhile, Microsoft's Cortana was way lag behind as it only answered 52.4 percent of question right and misunderstood 19.

According to The Information, Tom Gruber, who heads Apple's Siri development team, has left Apple, one of the founders of the Siri. At this point,  all three founders of Siri have left Apple. An Apple spokesperson has confirmed the news and said Gruber wants to retire and pursue personal interests: photography and marine protection.

In 2010, Gruber created Siri with Dag Kittlaus and Adam Cheyer and launched it on the iOS App Store. Two months later, Apple acquired Siri, so Cheyer, Kittlau, and Gruber also joined the company.

Kittlaus left Apple in 2011, whereas Cheyer left Apple in 2012. After leaving Apple, Kittlaus and Cheyer jointly developed Viv, a new artificial intelligence project. Samsung acquired Viv in 2016 and turned Viv into the Bixby, Bixby is Samsung's AI assistant platform.

Currently, the head of the Apple Siri team is John Giannandrea, who was hired in May this year. He is the former director of Google search and artificial intelligence unit. His current position at Apple is Machine Learning and Ai Strategy chief. He is primarily engaged for Apple AI and machine learning teams, namely CoreML and Siri.

Image Via CCT NEWS

Apple today released the second public beta of iOS 12 and tvOS 12 to public beta testers. To download these betas, you need to sign up online at Apple’s Beta Software Program site, once you registered, install it via the over-the-air update method.

Since iOS 12 public beta 2 comes a few days after developer beta 3 was released, many new feature and changes should apply to the new update. In iOS 12 beta 3, Apple introduces new Maps app for the San Francisco Bay Area with new map data collected by Apple itself. Location sharing setting now in a user's profile settings. New animation when clear all notifications, Voice Memos app has redesigned for iPads, and Watch app now shows third-party apps that work with Siri watch face.

Apple today also introduced a beta version of its Siri Shortcuts app that will be available in iOS 12. Currently, the Shortcuts beta is being handled through TestFlight, meaning it needs to be requested to access it after you have logged in the Developer Center, and then will be notified via email.

For those unaware, Siri Shortcuts is designed to help users create custom commands, once a command is made, a user can ask Siri to perform the command. For example, enables Siri to turn on Thermostat, getting a direction to home, and turn on NPR new radio with just a “heading home” Siri command.

New report from The New York Times revealed that Apple hired John Giannandrea, who's the head of Google's search and artificial intelligence unit, and responsible for integrating artificial intelligence to the company’s entire suite of products.

Tim Cook made the announcement in an email to employees, noting that Giannandrea will be officially to running Apple's overall “machine learning and A.I. strategy”, and reporting directly to Tim Cook. Here are words of Cook's high praise for Giannandrea:

John shares our commitment to privacy and our thoughtful approach as we make computers even smarter and more personal. Our technology must be infused with the values we all hold dear.

The hiring can be seen as a sign that Apple's intention to makes Siri capable of doing more things. Recent study shows Siri has serious shortcomings compared to Google Assistant and Amazon's Alexa because of its concern with the privacy issues.

John Giannandrea, who served as a senior vice president has spent 10 years at Google's AI team, he joining the company following Google's acquisition of Metaweb, a startup where he worked as a chief technology officer.

Image Via CNET

According to hiring data tracked by Thinknum, Apple appears to take its Siri intelligent assistant seriously, as the company posted 161 job listings, which sets an all-time high record, and the number is up 24 percent over the last month.

As the chart in the above shows that Siri-focused positions have increased since summer of 2016, even though it really spiked last month, 125 of the 161 Siri job openings are in Santa Clara Valley at Apple’s new headquarters, nearly 78% of the openings being for that area.

When broken down into departments, 154 of the listings are for software engineering job. Meanwhile, there is 3 for product management, 3 for information systems and technology, and only 1 for Information Systems and Technology.

It's well-known that Apple has come under fire for lagging behind other smart assistants on the market like Amazon Alexa and Google Assistant. Hopefully, these job listings indicating that Apple is trying to ramp up efforts to know that where it needs to improve.

According to Brazilian site Mac Magazine, one of their reader whose name is Danilo Finardi reports that he had discovered a new privacy bug which Siri could allow someone to access hidden message notifications on a locked iPhone.

In iOS 11, you can hide message notifications on the Lock screen, you'll see that a message has arrived, but its content is hidden. That setting is on by default on the iPhone X, where simply glancing at it will unlock the phone and allow the content to be displayed, it can be also set on other models. And that's where it get complicated, because Siri will read them out, even there are hidden.

Image Credit Fast Company

The only exception is Apple’s own Messages app, where Siri reads them only if the phone is unlocked. Still, for other messaging apps like WhatsApp, Telegram and Skype, Siri could be happily disclose the content of the messages to someone picks up the locked phone. As the bug works on both iOS 11.2.6, as well as beta of iOS 11.3.

As of now, the best work grounds we can think of is to disable the messaging app's content on the Lock screen, or just directly disable Siri on the Lock screen by going to the Settings - Siri & Search, and turn off "Allow Siri When Locked".

I bet you were annoyed by this that when you use Siri on iPhone and iPad, or just converse with the smart assistant and it misunderstands you might be in for a surprise seeing some explicit languages that you don’t really want others to see, it makes embarrassing if your kids are present. 

By disabling explicit language feature in Siri, the virtual assistant will instead use asterisks to cover up curse words and bad language, like f**k, and Siri will literally bleep explicit language if spoken or repeated by the AI voice for whatever reason. Here is how to disable that feature!
  1.  Tap SettingsGeneralRestrictions.
  2.  If Restrictions are disabled, tap Enable Restrictions and create a passcode to access and change your settings or to turn off Restrictions.
  3. Under the Allowed Content heading, tap Siri.
  4. Switch off Explicit Language to disallow mature language for Siri and Dictation features.
  5. And that's it!

You can disable explicit language for Siri on Apple TV 4, by going to Settings - General - Restrictions. Turn on Restrictions and create a four-digit passcode to access or change these settings. Once you enter the Siri Explicit Language section, select Hide to filter mature language. And here is what look like when you turn on the feature.

This should be a particularly helpful tip for parents and educators, even if Siri will typically never report bad language unless it is dictated as a command. Since Apple makes Siri able to translate, some foreign language translations may be dirty, and this tip could help you with that.

Via iDownloadBlog And OSX Daily, Image Credit OXD And iDB

Apple has upgraded Siri with iOS 11.2 that it is able to recognize certain commands even when offline. As discovered by EverythingApplePro, Siri on iOS 11.2 beta which seems smart enough to be able to recognize commands such as “play”, “pause” etc, even when your iPhone is not connected to the internet.

Siri processes voice commands through Apple’s servers that means it requires access to active internet connection, but it looks like the Cupertino firm has tweaked the voice assistant makes it recognize some basic commands when offline in iOS 11.2.

Google Assistant has had offline voice commands support for over a year now. For now, as discovered by Reddit users, only a few of basic commands like “play”, “pause”, “next song”, “previous song”, “repeat song” work. Due to the feature still in early development, so any change in command like “play music” or “play songs from Taylor Swift” will trip Siri and requires access to the internet.

Since all the commands that work offline are related to music playback, it is likely that Apple in the future to add support for Siri to allow AirPods users to easily control music playback without having to take out their phone from their pocket.

Via iPhoneHacks And iPhoneTricks
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