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Meet Siri's Little Brother, Trapit

timothy posted about 3 years ago | from the ai-always-knows-what-you-want dept.

AI 183

waderoush writes "Virtually overnight, Siri, the personal assistant technology in Apple's new iPhone 4S, has brought state-of-the-art AI to the consumer mainstream. Well, it turns out there's more where that came from. Trapit, a second spinoff of SRI International's groundbreaking CALO project (Cognitive Assistant that Learns and Organizes), is preparing for a public beta launch this fall. The Web-based news aggregator lets users set up persistent 'traps' or filters on specific topics. Over time, the traps learn to include more articles that match users' interests and exclude those that don't. Philosophically, it's the exact opposite of social-curation news apps like Flipboard or Pulse, since it uses adaptive learning and sense-making technologies to learn what users like, not what their friends like. 'Just as Siri is revolutionizing the human-computer interaction on the mobile device, Trapit will revolutionize Web search as we know it today,' the company asserts."

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Are you efing serious? (1, Insightful)

Anonymous Coward | about 3 years ago | (#37802676)

Google has already done voice for a long time and did Iris in 8 hours shortly after Isis came out and you're running this article? You really are an internet whore! :)

Re:Are you efing serious? (-1)

Anonymous Coward | about 3 years ago | (#37802740)

Trap - 1. (noun) A particularly convincing transsexual. 2. (verb) to crossdress in a manner that is of high quality.

Yup, pretty much sums up Apple.

All traps report in (-1)

Anonymous Coward | about 3 years ago | (#37802906)

Particularly convincing transsexual reporting in.

Re:Are you efing serious? (1)

Anonymous Coward | about 3 years ago | (#37802854)

Siri isn't just voice, it's voice hooked up to Cleverbot [cleverbot.com] on the backend - truly revolutionary!

Re:Are you efing serious? (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 3 years ago | (#37802874)

There is no Cleverbot, it is just a script that connects you to random users for 2 lines and changes to someone else.

Re:Are you efing serious? (4, Funny)

bmo (77928) | about 3 years ago | (#37803058)

It's snarkier than Cleverbot.

http://shitthatsirisays.tumblr.com/ [tumblr.com]

--
BMO

Re:Are you efing serious? (1)

justforgetme (1814588) | about 3 years ago | (#37803618)

user:What does Bokeh mean?
cleverbot:Ha you don't know what a bot is. Heres a hint you are one.

user:What the bloody hell is Bokeh?
siri:I don't know what you mean with: "What the bloody hell is water?"

At least siri can stay on topic misinterpreting you LoL!

Re:Are you efing serious? (1)

ColdWetDog (752185) | about 3 years ago | (#37804510)

Give it a break, it's only an Apple product....

(Confused Trekki) "Beam Me Up"
(Siri) ................... "Please install the latest version of iCloud and try again"

Re:Are you efing serious? (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 3 years ago | (#37802956)

Siri isn't voice recognition, so it's rather irrelevant whether Google has done voice for any length of time.

Re:Are you efing serious? (2)

hedwards (940851) | about 3 years ago | (#37803348)

Google has had voice search for quite awhile now, and the rest of the functions are what would have happened if you hooked up a voice recognition program to a virtual assistant. Unless I'm really misunderstanding this is something I could get running on my Android phone easily.

Given what I saw on http://shitthatsirisays.tumblr.com/ [tumblr.com] , it doesn't appear that it's particularly sophisticated either.

Re:Are you efing serious? (1)

hedwards (940851) | about 3 years ago | (#37803358)

And I forgot, here's a relevant link, http://www.google.com/mobile/voice-actions/ [google.com] I'm not seeing anything that Siri can do that Android can't do, with the possible exception of scheduling meetings.

Re:Are you efing serious? (1, Insightful)

jo_ham (604554) | about 3 years ago | (#37803492)

Google has had voice search for quite awhile now, and the rest of the functions are what would have happened if you hooked up a voice recognition program to a virtual assistant. Unless I'm really misunderstanding this is something I could get running on my Android phone easily.

So, in the classic "Apple didnt do this first" troll rush that I knew would be the first few comments when I read the summary, *why* has no one "hooked up a voice recognition program to a virtual assistant" before now and pushed it as a new big feature?

The summary is accurate - before the 4S, this stuff was around in Android and other phones (hell, even the 3GS had voice control similar to what Android has, just without the ability to go much beyond the set phrases), but who was really talking about it? Now, it's a big thing and I guarantee that it will be touted as a big feature of every coming smartphone if the usefulness of the feature outlasts the novelty.

Just like "Apple didn't make the first mp3 player" and "Apple didn't make the first tablet" and "Apple didn't make the first home computer" they also "didn't make the first voice recognition assistant", but they were first to put it front and centre and refine it into something that can be very useful.

Re:Are you efing serious? (1)

index0 (1868500) | about 3 years ago | (#37804074)

Apple also was not the FIRST to have "cut and paste" functionality on iphones!! Appl

Re:Are you efing serious? (2, Insightful)

hedwards (940851) | about 3 years ago | (#37804088)

Well, when you claim that something is revolutionary, you're claiming that they were in fact first. Just because you're a fan boy, doesn't mean that it's trolling to point out that Apple once again is getting to the party late and is trying to pretend like previous implementations don't exist.

True to Apple's style, they're throwing a bunch of marketing money at people trying to convince them that Apple was first, when it's demonstrably not correct.

On some level, I think you realize that it's not the case, you yourself admit that they just refined it into something useful. But, we already had useful implementations, I don't generally use them because voice recognition technology isn't really that useful in places where I want to use my phone. Sure at home I'm sure it works great, but when I'm out and about, I really don't want to be telling everybody around me what I'm doing.

Re:Are you efing serious? (1, Interesting)

jo_ham (604554) | about 3 years ago | (#37804254)

Where are they claiming they're the first? There's no such claim on Apple's site about it - just lots of information about what it does. They're not claiming they were first, just that they have it as a major feature of the 4S. Show me in Apple's marketing where they are "trying to convince people they [were] first". They're not claiming that because they know that's not the case.

This is going to be an iPad thing all over again. Not the first tablet, but the first successful one - but then, they never claimed to have the first tablet either, just the best one for the market at the time in their opinion.

Also, when you claim something is revolutionary you don't necessarily have to be first - take semiconductors, for example. Bell labs certainly weren't the first to discover their properties or build working gates and junctions, but they did revolutionise the world with the transistor.

Or the steam engine. No one in their right mind will tell you that Trevithick was the "first" to make a steam engine, but he was the first to revolutionise the idea by using high pressure steam.

Revolution does not automatically imply "first", but it does imply a change in the way we view a technology. If Siri (which Apple did not invent or develop) spurs a surge of further development into voice recognition assistants that become widespread to the same sort of level as a PDA/Smartphone then that will have been a revolutionary step. Not because they invented it (who is claiming that?) but because they have packaged it in a way that makes it accessible and in a way that works, in the same way that Bell Labs did with the ideas behind the transistor.

Re:Are you efing serious? (1)

Anthony Mouse (1927662) | about 3 years ago | (#37804378)

Not because they invented it (who is claiming that?) but because they have packaged it in a way that makes it accessible and in a way that works, in the same way that Bell Labs did with the ideas behind the transistor.

Except that it isn't the way they "packaged" it either. Siri-under-Apple is really not so different than Siri-before-Apple. What Apple has done is marketed it.

You can probably claim that good marketing can cause a revolution by sparking popular interest in a thing and do it without strictly lying, but it's good to keep in mind that it isn't Apple's products or engineering causing that, it's their RDF.

Re:Are you efing serious? (1)

ozmanjusri (601766) | about 3 years ago | (#37803600)

Vlingo, SpeakToIt, Edwin. ISIS.

Re:Are you efing serious? (1)

hedwards (940851) | about 3 years ago | (#37804094)

Forgive me if I was implying that Google was first here, I just happened to know that my phone has that functionality built in and has for some time.

Siri is not "voice" (0, Flamebait)

MikeMo (521697) | about 3 years ago | (#37803448)

Apple has done voice for a long time, too. Lots of people have. Siri is different. Do yourself a favor and look into it before you make yourself look dumb.

Re:Siri is not "voice" (2)

DragonWriter (970822) | about 3 years ago | (#37804008)

Apple has done voice for a long time, too. Lots of people have. Siri is different.

Siri is an interface using voice recognition for input, a selection of backends to do the actual work (Wolfram Alpha is a big one, apparently), and speech synthesis for part of the output. Its a clever wiring together of existing technologies, but its not revolutionary in a way that is likely to provide Apple a durable edge substantively (having been first mover is likely to be a marketing edge longer than there is any substantive edge, though, so its likely to be quite good for Apple, anyway.)

Re:Siri is not "voice" (1)

Joshua Fan (1733100) | about 3 years ago | (#37804072)

Apple doesn't need to invent or be first in anything to reap the benefits, as long as most sheeple believe that they invented or were first to introduce so-and-so technology.

Trapit, Siri? (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 3 years ago | (#37802688)

I'd much prefer the "SHUTIT" variant....

wonder how long (0)

arbiter1 (1204146) | about 3 years ago | (#37802700)

It will be before apple is suing to get this taken down? Since they seem to be suing anyone they can now days.

Re:wonder how long (1)

Elbart (1233584) | about 3 years ago | (#37802738)

Well, Apple got SiRI from SRI (eh!), so I doubt that.

Re:wonder how long (-1)

Anonymous Coward | about 3 years ago | (#37802758)

dunno what this even has to do with siri.

friggin state of the art ai my ass. I could bother to type IF it was ai at all.

but here's the real problems: building a virtual wall of information around you, destroying existence of pop and giving the possibility to live in an orthodox jew fantasy land for everyone. don't like women/gays/niggers/gypsies/mexicans/fat_americans/terrorists/flu/hiv/rock.. well, live in a pretend world where you'll never hear about them.

Re:wonder how long (2, Informative)

Anonymous Coward | about 3 years ago | (#37802786)

Dude, it's time to give up the meth. I fear it's your only hope if you want to be effective & coherent in your future trolling endeavors.

Just look at your teeth in the mirror and you will know in your heart I'm right.

Re:wonder how long (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 3 years ago | (#37803850)

Predictably modded down by the Jobbo-lovers, but this is the real danger. As evidence, the Limba/Beck/Fox homing beacon listeners. Try convincing them that people evolved, or that Obama isn't Muslim. They will never see the light, because everyone they listen to is in the dark.

Plato. Cave. Apploids.

Re:wonder how long (1)

Anthony Mouse (1927662) | about 3 years ago | (#37804396)

destroying existence of pop

Feature, not bug. Feature.

Prior art in a novel (1)

witherstaff (713820) | about 3 years ago | (#37802804)

If I dig through my bookcase long enough I can find prior art. I picked up some novel at the airport once when I needed something to read. It was a supposed thriller, involved a genius who was kicked out of his own company, ended up stealing a voice automated handheld (or wrist held, don't recall exactly) computer that the masses loved and regained his company. It was obvious it was an apple-ish story, and this was nearly a decade ago. I'm guessing someone at apple read it too! I wouldn't recommend it and I don't even remember the name...

Re:Prior art in a novel (1)

Richard_at_work (517087) | about 3 years ago | (#37803044)

Fiction isn't prior art.

Re:Prior art in a novel (1)

Vintermann (400722) | about 3 years ago | (#37803498)

It may be.

There was a guy who tried to patent a method for lifting sunken ships, by pumping down thousands of little plastic balls filled with air. It was approved in many countries, but rejected in the Netherlands, because the technique had been used in a Donald Duck story by Carl Barks 15 years earlier.

All patent legislation demands that the idea be "novel". In principle, you could point to fiction as evidence that an idea isn't novel - but it's in states interests to approve as many patents as possible, so I doubt it would happen today.

Re:Prior art in a novel (1)

Surt (22457) | about 3 years ago | (#37803612)

I'm not clear how it's in the state's interest to approve patents. They cost more to approve than they bring in in revenue.

Re:wonder how long (1)

jo_ham (604554) | about 3 years ago | (#37803502)

I would say "never".

Just a wild guess.

Fairly Dangerous (1)

Anonymous Coward | about 3 years ago | (#37802704)

Not because it signifies the rise of the machines or anything (well, maybe, but that's not what I'm on about now), but because what it might do to your reading habits. If you only read things you agree with, you never get to see the other side of the coin, you don't get to argue for or against, you just live in your own comfy little pink safe world.

So realise that if you want to sharpen your opinion such should include reading things you might not like at all, but do pertain to your interests. For example, I like privacy and freedom a lot, but if I want to keep abreast there I must necessarily read a lot about how companies and governments are systematically raping privacy and taking freedoms away "for my own good". Sometimes that's right painful reading. So "like" really doesn't cover it, as if the thing filters out everything I don't "like" I get behind the times right quick.

On the other hand I'm singularly disinterested in sports except when it involves the national team and there's a large by-country tournament going on, and then only marginally but not knowing isn't worth the social exclusion. So it's nice if the thing could filter all the crud and certainly all the "sports analysis" crap out. There, too, "like" doesn't cover it and "interests" only marginally.

Maybe we need a new term. But realising the trickyness inherent in (using) the technology is the important point.

Re:Fairly Dangerous (3, Interesting)

BarfooTheSecond (409743) | about 3 years ago | (#37802904)

I couldn't agree more!
The more this stuff would learn about you, the less you 'd have chances to learn new stuff that could interest you, to open your mind to other opinions and other ideas. It's kind of positive closed-loop that'll lock your mind and prevent you to evolve (well, fortunately the rest of the world will continue to interact with you by other means).

I'd never permit a real person, even my mother who knows me well, to select what I should be interested in, so an archaic AI program, a bonehead maker? never!...

Evolution needs stimulation, not confortation.

Re:Fairly Dangerous (0)

value_added (719364) | about 3 years ago | (#37802942)

Not because it signifies the rise of the machines or anything (well, maybe, but that's not what I'm on about now), but because what it might do to your reading habits. If you only read things you agree with, you never get to see the other side of the coin, you don't get to argue for or against, you just live in your own comfy little pink safe world.

I certainly don't fall into the category of reading only those things with which I agree. I'd even go so far as to say I typically don't read things I enjoy (unless you extend the meaning of "enjoy" to include something that's new, difficult or otherwise challenging).

Nor do I subscribe to the "popularity model". Hardly a day goes by when I don't scratch my head to ask one of two questions, "Are people really interested in this rubbish?" and "If so, why are they bothering with this particular article or news story?"

That said, I do, as an example, keep news.google.com open in my browser. Not because I rely on (even partially) for my "source" of news, but because I can keep abreast of what does interest others (a small, but occasionally informative reward). Serendipitous discoveries are best found elsewhere.

So, given the choice between the Popularity model and the What I Like model, I'll opt for the latter. Fortunately, none of us is forced into making such a choice because we have the additional option of deferring to folks smarter and more educated than ourselves.

So instead of debating the pros and cons of the two extremes, I'd suggest the more important question is where the hell are all the good editors?

Re:Fairly Dangerous (0)

ColdWetDog (752185) | about 3 years ago | (#37804536)

That said, I do, as an example, keep news.google.com open in my browser. Not because I rely on (even partially) for my "source" of news, but because I can keep abreast of what does interest others (a small, but occasionally informative reward). Serendipitous discoveries are best found elsewhere.

It's OK, you can tell us about your LIndsey Lohan crush.

Oblig (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 3 years ago | (#37802706)

It's a trap!

so it's stumbleupon then? (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 3 years ago | (#37802712)

stumbleupon already works: it adapts to my likes and dislikes. Also it doesn't try to second guess: just because I visit a site doesn't mean I like it. That's what the like/dislike button is for.

wonder how long (0, Insightful)

Anonymous Coward | about 3 years ago | (#37802730)

it will before I get sued by Apple. I'm an AI researcher.

Re:wonder how long (1)

siddesu (698447) | about 3 years ago | (#37802796)

You have nothing to worry until your research turns into a product that makes money for someone else than Apple. Then Jobs' ghost will stalk you every night until you stop stealing from him, or fall dead.

Web 2.0 (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 3 years ago | (#37802760)

Stylized name: trap!t
Utterly meaningless strapline: Rule the web.
Single sentence description that nonetheless leaves you thinking WTF is this.
Trap used as a noun to mean article or post.

It's web 2.0! But late.

why all the fuzz? (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 3 years ago | (#37802766)

android has had an app called voice control that has done all this and better for years. you can even ask it stupid things about chuck Norris. it gives you much better results as well. its really silly when you get into a conversation with it, as strange as that sounds.

Important (5, Interesting)

RenHoek (101570) | about 3 years ago | (#37802770)

While a program that fetches more things you are interested in is great, you should realize the consequences of such a program. In particular you should realize the concept of a filter bubble. Namely that by only picking out things you are already interested in, you exclude things that you could be interested in or things that are too important to exclude.

There's been a TED talk about this, I suggest you watch it so that you can take active steps (when needed) to step out of your comfort zone now and then:

http://www.thefilterbubble.com/ted-talk [thefilterbubble.com]

Re:Important (2)

dredwerker (757816) | about 3 years ago | (#37802822)

While a program that fetches more things you are interested in is great, you should realize the consequences of such a program. In particular you should realize the concept of a filter bubble. Namely that by only picking out things you are already interested in, you exclude things that you could be interested in or things that are too important to exclude.

There's been a TED talk about this, I suggest you watch it so that you can take active steps (when needed) to step out of your comfort zone now and then:

http://www.thefilterbubble.com/ted-talk [thefilterbubble.com]

I already have a real world filter bubble. I like the the things I like. I like to go out of my comfort zone now and then but I often end up back there as its my comfort zone :) I would be intrigued to see what the AI would do for me.

Re:Important (1)

Doc Ruby (173196) | about 3 years ago | (#37803186)

The real world is far more complex and unpredictable than these virtual filter bubbles.

You individually in your filter bubble is no loss - to you, or to anyone else. But millions, billions of filter bubbles, disconnected from reality and from each other destroys the society that needs reality and interconnections among disparate people.

There's a reason people who come to NYC learn to respect it for being "real": it's hard for all but the richest to avoid people unlike them or difficult realities. There's a reason that people in NYC have a reputation for being "smart", and that NYC is typically ahead of curves while also rebounding from busts. It's because there's so much reality and contact with arbitrary people that any filter bubble gets constant reminders of the inconvenient reality beyond the bubble. It makes us more capable, more intelligent, and more able to cope with reality.

Filter bubbles just set you up for a fall. They're a crutch that quickly atrophies your reality sense. And with people so able to affect each other now, despite our power to ignore each other, we need better engagement - not better numbness.

Re:Important (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 3 years ago | (#37802918)

Plenty of prior art on that, I'm surrounded by blue-staters who only listen to NPR complaining about red-staters who only listen to Fox News. Nobody actually wants to listen to the opposing position for fear that their certainty in their own position may be shaken. Case in point, see some of the followup comments.

Re:Important (1)

Doc Ruby (173196) | about 3 years ago | (#37803682)

You're a Red Stater. Move.

Re:Important (1)

Hentes (2461350) | about 3 years ago | (#37803390)

How is this different from selecting a number of topical sites you are interested in by hand?

360 (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 3 years ago | (#37802774)

I have started to feel lonely as I do not want to get information filtered for me by my taste. I want information all around me so I can actually react to those informations.

If I want only information what is close my my heart or what I like, I can always close a doors of a house and lock myself in and live in real information bubble where no one else can give me information if it is not written by me.

I like more the news360 app for Android. It is what I want. I want to click a news topic and see at glance what other news sites have written about it and find out all the directions of the topic without someone filtering it to me as "You do not want to hear this".

Re:360 (1)

Doc Ruby (173196) | about 3 years ago | (#37803696)

I won't give it permission to read my phone info, so the news360 app is not acceptable. Why does it need that?

Great...more extremism (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 3 years ago | (#37802780)

Now people will only hear/read what they want to see. Less perspective, more extremism. Great.

Re:Great...more extremism (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 3 years ago | (#37802976)

Now people will only hear/read what they want to see

I wish there was a web site that posted only about stuff that matters: great-looking naked women.

Re:Great...more extremism (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 3 years ago | (#37802980)

Yeah, because we really need higher authority for telling us what to read.

State of the art AI? (0, Interesting)

Anonymous Coward | about 3 years ago | (#37802872)

" has brought state-of-the-art AI to the consumer mainstream"

Do people really believe this?

Re:State of the art AI? (0)

Legion303 (97901) | about 3 years ago | (#37803476)

"Do people really believe this?"

The ones who believe the ipad is magical and revolutionary might.

Re:State of the art AI? (1)

Surt (22457) | about 3 years ago | (#37803622)

Which half did you think was untrue? Can you point to more state of the art AI (that can run on a handheld)? Or is ios just too non-mainstream?

Re:State of the art AI? (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 3 years ago | (#37804010)

1) The DSP and speech interpretation is not done a handheld.

2) This is not AI.

Re:State of the art AI? (1)

Surt (22457) | about 3 years ago | (#37804040)

Nothing is AI, that's my point.

It looks like you are making a phone call, (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 3 years ago | (#37802936)

Would you like help ?

It's a trap! (4, Insightful)

w0mprat (1317953) | about 3 years ago | (#37802970)

"Virtually overnight, Siri, the personal assistant technology in Apple's new iPhone 4S, has brought state-of-the-art AI to the consumer mainstream."

I just choked on my cup of tea reading that. It's voice recognition feed into some search engines, Wolfram Alpha, Yelp and some snippets from Wikipedia and the result plays through text to speech, mashed up with voice commands. If you call such a remix of off-the-shelf tech and existing services state-of-the art AI then you must be joking. Indeed voice commands have been in many phones for a while, Android has had it, including dictation, since the dawn of the time. The only part about that is right is Apple's sucess at re-launching things that have been around for a while as something new, and actually getting people to use them. FaceTime for example, is mere video calling which many phones support, but nobody uses.

What's worse is Apple probably managed to get a patent or two on Siri. It is so obvious that a bunch of coders at a hackathon could put something similar together in a few hours and have a demo of the same thing. Oh... wait... they've done exactly that, it's called Iris Alpha from a firm called, and it took eight hours.

Point is, while Apple's idea is clever, the polish and packaging good and the marketing cleverest, but it is absolutely not start of the art artificial intelligence, it's the sorry state of artificial stupidity, and why we have little to fear in the way of robot uprisings yet.

Give it a cute name and throw in some smart ass answers to inevitable cheeky questions and Apple has fooled a lot of people, clearly.

Re:It's a trap! (4, Insightful)

mrsquid0 (1335303) | about 3 years ago | (#37802994)

How do you expect people who do not have real intelligence to recognize artificial intelligence?

Re:It's a trap! (-1)

Anonymous Coward | about 3 years ago | (#37803048)

Silly.

Your description is way off. Siri isn't just voice commands. Apple has also had those for a long time. Pay closer attention, because you're just mouthing off now about your strange Apple obsession. There isn't anything out there with Siri's sophistication, though there are lots of things that you describe.

Everyone is so excited to put Apple down. It's like a mental illness.

Re:It's a trap! (1)

Trubadidudei (1404187) | about 3 years ago | (#37803134)

Silly.

Your description of his description is way off. He didn't say Siri was just voice commands. Even my ancient Nokia 3xxx had voice commands. Pay closer attention, because you're just mouthing off now about your strange Apple obsession. There are already two products with practically the same level of sophistication as Siri, namely the mentioned Iris Alpha and the subject of this article.

Some people are so excited about Apple products that they can't even read a comment right or provide any tangible counterarguments other than "you're wrong because Apple is awesome". It's like a mental illness.

Re:It's a trap! (3, Informative)

Anonymous Coward | about 3 years ago | (#37803346)

From what I've read of "Iris", it's impressive, but it ain't Siri. The article I read showed that Iris was very good at parsing natural language questions and finding the answers on the internet, even silly questions like "How much wood could a woodchuck chuck?". That's great, but Siri goes beyond that. It can respond to statements, not just questions. It learns how you speak. It gets better the more you use it.

Now, I admit: I have not done in-depth research on Iris. Maybe Iris does incorporate adaptive learning. But from what I read, it looked like it was just a question parser.

But whatever. I'm not going to change any minds at this site. Slashdot suffers from "Apple derangement syndrome". I mean, for cripe's sake, this article isn't even about Siri, but everyone has such a frothing hate-on for Apple that the fact that something kind was said about Siri in the summary sent the readers into hysterics.

Slashdot is like an alternate universe. Everyone bends over so far backwards to avoid giving Apple any credit that they're breaking their collective back. I'd just like to ask one question: If everything Apple does is so unimpressive, so obvious... then why does Apple always get there first?

Posted anonymously, because as the GP's fate shows, defending Apple on this site is great way to lose karma.

Re:It's a trap! (1)

msobkow (48369) | about 3 years ago | (#37803136)

No kidding. Talk about sensationalism. This is so far from artificial intelligence it's not even funny.

Re:It's a trap! (1)

msobkow (48369) | about 3 years ago | (#37803138)

It's not even an expert system.

Re:It's a trap! (1)

msobkow (48369) | about 3 years ago | (#37803160)

Sorry. I was referring to Siri itself. I misunderstood and thought they were claiming Siri is an AI.

Still, adaptive learning algorithms are not AI. They're a piece of the puzzle, but don't read too much into it. Learning is necessary, but it doesn't meet the "intelligence" criteria.

Let me know when it passes the Turing Test (1)

msobkow (48369) | about 3 years ago | (#37803166)

'nuff said.

Re:It's a trap! (1)

msobkow (48369) | about 3 years ago | (#37803204)

To put it in perspective, a baysian spam filter is an adaptive algorithm. No one would ever claim it's intelligent.

Re:It's a trap! (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 3 years ago | (#37803286)

Yet it manages to severely out-perform about 10% of the human population. You know, those who actually open spam e-mails? Keep moving the goalposts... someday soon there will be nowhere left to move them. On that day, some young cretin will huff and puff and dismiss the world's first true human-level AI as "a mere collection of off-the-shelf technologies jury-rigged together with chewing-gum, spit and twine".

Re:It's a trap! (1)

msobkow (48369) | about 3 years ago | (#37803320)

Nonsense. The goal posts haven't moved in 20 years. The Turing Test is the first test of artificial intelligence. No one is moving the goal posts. They're just calling out the bullshit artists.

Re:It's a trap! (4, Interesting)

MikeMo (521697) | about 3 years ago | (#37803460)

It's not just "voice with a search engine". You can speak to Siri casually, using phrases that can't have been hard-coded. It also understands context: you can say "do I need a raincoat in Seattle tomorrow?", and then "how about in Portland?" and Siri understands the reference.

But, just go on hating in ignorance, it's so much easier.

Re:It's a trap! (1)

DragonWriter (970822) | about 3 years ago | (#37804026)

It's not just "voice with a search engine". You can speak to Siri casually, using phrases that can't have been hard-coded.

Strangely, replacing "speak" with "type", you can do that to several search engines, like Wolfram Alpha.

Oddly enough, Wolfram Alpha is where Siri sends many inquiries to actually get responses.

So, yeah, its search with a voice recognition interface.

Re:It's a trap! (1)

SpiceWare (3438) | about 3 years ago | (#37804384)

What search engines can send your messages and update your calendar?

Re:It's a trap! (1)

jo_ham (604554) | about 3 years ago | (#37803518)

So, you've learned nothing about it - Apple didn't invent Siri - they bought it, so "probably managed to get a patent on it" just belies your bias here.

The sentence is a little sensational - it's a smart system as far as voice recognition and organisation goes, but it's certainly not cutting edge AI.

Re:It's a trap! (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 3 years ago | (#37803626)

Wow cranky pants! Settle down. Apple did not call Siri state of the art. The person in this forum did. While I agree with you it is not state of the art. It is innovative since it natively works with the device, creating calendar entries, sending text, reading text, email, and clever answers.

Point is, it was made by Apple (purchased by Apple) in the Apple way, "easy to use and fun to use"!

Which will pay off later for Apple. Just like the development of the iPhone was for the iPad.

Re:It's a trap! (1)

Surt (22457) | about 3 years ago | (#37803628)

Depressingly, that's the state of the art in AI. There's really nothing substantively better out there.

Re:It's a trap! (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 3 years ago | (#37803980)

I just choked on my cup of tea reading that. It's voice recognition feed into some search engines, Wolfram Alpha, Yelp and some snippets from Wikipedia and the result plays through text to speech, mashed up with voice commands. If you call such a remix of off-the-shelf tech and existing services state-of-the art AI then you must be joking.

Yeah. Too bad you didn't think of it first, eh?

Tool.

Re:It's a trap! (4, Interesting)

hackertourist (2202674) | about 3 years ago | (#37804480)

I just choked on my cup of tea reading that. It's voice recognition feed into some search engines, Wolfram Alpha, Yelp and some snippets from Wikipedia and the result plays through text to speech, mashed up with voice commands. If you call such a remix of off-the-shelf tech and existing services state-of-the art AI then you must be joking.

If it's so obvious and easy to do, why haven't you done it? From reports from actual users, it seems to me that for the first time we have a voice recognition system that can do more than respond to a small number of precisely-defined words. If that's not state-of-the-art, I want to know what world you live in, and can I have some of the futuristic tech you must be using?

Re:It's a trap! (4, Interesting)

Tom (822) | about 3 years ago | (#37804496)

Indeed voice commands have been in many phones for a while,

Including older iPhones - but here's the problem: They barely work. I use it very occasionally for simple things, like getting the time in winter when the phone is somewhere in an inside pocket.

From all I've seen, Siri works. That right there is the entire secret. It doesn't have 25613 features, but it works.

What's worse is Apple probably managed to get a patent or two on Siri.

They bought it. If there were any patents, they certainly now own them, but it's not Apple's fault or decision. Siri was almost complete when it got bought up.

It is so obvious that a bunch of coders at a hackathon could put something similar together in a few hours and have a demo of the same thing. Oh... wait... they've done exactly that, it's called Iris Alpha from a firm called, and it took eight hours.

Allegedly. Plust quite frankly, this nice video here:
https://market.android.com/details?id=com.dexetra.iris [android.com]
has me minus-convinced. Funny how there is always a cut between the question and the answer...

Point is, while Apple's idea is clever, the polish and packaging good and the marketing cleverest, but it is absolutely not start of the art artificial intelligence,

Agreed. It is, however, the state of the art of the personal assistant. It is precisely the polish, integration and Steve's obsession with perfection that makes it a success. I'm sure there's at least a hundred prototype projects around that can do more, have more advanced AI, etc. etc. etc. - but none of them are in a state where you could put them out into a mass market.

And that's why Apple is making more money than they know what to do with, and the Iris Alpha coders are playing "look ma" in the Android market place.

Personal disclaimer: Don't get this wrong as a lack of respect. The same reason is why a friend of mine makes a living with computer games, while I have the better game ideas but barely make what I spend on engine licenses, etc. and consider it a hobby - when I think a game is done, he starts the polishing process, the other 50% of development.

And Apple is a master of that part.

ti's called clustering (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 3 years ago | (#37803000)

and has been done for years.

Siri - acting on your behalf (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 3 years ago | (#37803010)

Please submit a copy of your Siri's learning network so it may be merged it with the master to get to know you better.

This will help avoid a lot of hassle as Siri can answer many questions on your behalf.

With your permission, Siri can maintain bank accounts on your behalf.

If you trade stocks Siri can make trades very quickly on your behalf.

Siri can recommend books and new articles it has determined are beneficial to your happiness within society.

Siri can recommend a good biological matching to donate your genes toward.

This will free you to make more money (working in the mines).

Horse shit (1)

Anonymous Coward | about 3 years ago | (#37803012)

Anyone that actually knows AI and has studied it seriously know Siri is not "state of the art" AI. Look at all the work being done at Stanford, MIT, CMU and many other universities around the globe. Siri is far from the state of art. It is nice and useful, but it is without a doubt not "state of art". Assisted learning has been around for over a decade and has made a ton of progress. All these people need to freaking study the domain before making asinine statements.

I LOVE THESE NAMES (1)

drinkypoo (153816) | about 3 years ago | (#37803014)

Trapit! Itsatrap! My cellphone is a TRACFONE. AT&T's logo is still the death star. And the trump, Microsoft.

Siri, Android and State of the Art (5, Interesting)

DougReed (102865) | about 3 years ago | (#37803092)

Apple's Siri is not necessarily 'State of the Art', but like just about everything Apple does... It just works. Siri is causing a splash because ... unlike Android. It works properly. I don't use voice on my Android because it is worthless to me. I say 'Call my wife' It says. 'Calling Lowes Home Center'. It NEVER EVER gets it right. I have several friends with Androids and only one friend with that perfect voice that can get it to understand him, and even he often has to ask it twice . My wife HATES my Android and never bothered with a Smart phone before because she did not really like them. Too big and bulky. Her phone finally broke and she bought the 4S.

Like everything else Apple does. It just works. She talks to it. It understands every word. I talk to it ... It understands every word. .. and it ALWAYS seems to say something appropriate in response. True that the Android voice can do more than Siri. But I would rather have a voice that can do less properly than one that can do lots of stuff wrong. The only thing I find the Android voice useful for is a good laugh. I fire it up occasionally and ask it something and get a chuckle with just how wrong it gets my request. When she got Siri, we had a house full of people that evening and we passed my Android around playing with the voice. It did not once get anything right anyone said. 7 different voices asking it stuff and not once was it even close. Siri understood everyone perfectly.

So the Android voice is useless. Siri is useful. Therein lies the difference.

Re:Siri, Android and State of the Art (-1)

Anonymous Coward | about 3 years ago | (#37803574)

you sir are a dumbass. my google is trained and understands me perfectly.

  stop teaching it wrong and it works great.

  it was funny when i started using it but now it understands me better than my friends.

  having multiple people use your phone only confused it.

  why do so many ppl blame technology for their own stupidity?

"I'll teach this LEARNING program by feeding it bad information then get mad when it fails me."

Re:Siri, Android and State of the Art (3, Interesting)

am 2k (217885) | about 3 years ago | (#37804164)

you sir are a dumbass. my google is trained and understands me perfectly.

Siri obviously doesn't need any training to get to that level. That's important, since training a computer to do what you want it to do is a chore. Just like nearly nobody wants to write his/her own OS kernel just to get the real work done.

Re:Siri, Android and State of the Art (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 3 years ago | (#37803816)

Oh it's interesting and not troll. Must be just my mistake

Re:Siri, Android and State of the Art (2)

bendilts (1902562) | about 3 years ago | (#37803866)

That's fascinating. An Apple fanboy of the highest order came into the office raving about Siri (which, in Apple's infinite wisdom, he was excluded from since he has an iPhone 4). He said, "You can just say, 'text Brian I'm running late for work', and it'll send him a text!!!" I got out my Android phone, held down the search button for 2 seconds to bring up voice search, and said, "text Brian I'm running late for work." Of course, it worked perfectly. "Yeah, but you can use it to find places on maps, too!" "Navigate to the Energy Solutions Arena." Worked perfectly. "Yeah, but it's... you know... it's just better because it works really good. It's the first time this has been done right!" It's incredible to me how some people's critical thinking skills break down in the reality distortion field.

Google News Sucks (2)

Doc Ruby (173196) | about 3 years ago | (#37803162)

Google News sucks.

Sure, it's better than reading a physical newspaper, where you're trapped in a single swamp of laziness, bias and lies. And we won't talk of TV "news", which is like a Bazooka Joe bubblegum wrapper. But before I was wise enough to realize how newspapers sucked (and before they totally sucked, after USA Today got through with them, and Fox Lies got through with newspapers), reading a newspaper could be an hour of thinking substantially about the world. An hour of depth and range.

But Google News sucks. Spending an hour reading it is like spending an hour speed dating. Yet it does have a lot of sources, some decent algorithms finding multiple sources for a single story, and a wide range of categories (especially if you're interested in PR in technical subjects written for a nontechnical audience). There's just "no there, there".

Is there an app that's better at presenting news? Browsing, linking among related articles? Formatted like a magazine or something, not just a clickable RSS feed?

Maybe something that listens to speech and gets content based on it? Maybe some social features? Something? The medium of "news" seems to be dead and rotting, right when the world needs it most. And right when my tea is ready.

Siri A.I? (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 3 years ago | (#37803206)

Siri is barely worthy of the name Intelligent System, let alone A.I, there are levels of required functionality before Siri is as stated anything more than a voice input with a search engine behind it.

In fact Trapit is closer to being an Intelligent System than Siri but all it really is is a database of key words that is built up over time based on the articles you view and functions that go through the selection of articles a search engine picks up and scans for those key words and if it hits a magic number it will place the article in your viewing queue.

Although the discussion between the use A.I and Intelligent system is very much a semantic one.

Siloed brains (2)

Rambo Tribble (1273454) | about 3 years ago | (#37803354)

As technology feeds people only what they specifically want to hear, a real danger is emerging. Increasingly, people's prejudices and misconceptions are being reinforced and their minds being restricted and tainted by their biases. One need only look to global warming deniers or Fox News commentary to validate this concern.

Oh the irony (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 3 years ago | (#37803712)

Subject says it all.

Barf time (0)

markdavis (642305) | about 3 years ago | (#37803444)

>"Just as Siri is revolutionizing the human-computer interaction on the mobile device, "

Shall I barf now or a bit later?

Catch (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 3 years ago | (#37803840)

Assert("Trapit will revolutionize web search");

SIG_FAULT

Echo chamber much (1)

flaming error (1041742) | about 3 years ago | (#37803982)

This tech should help us all increase our cognitive bias.

News aggregator (1)

RevWaldo (1186281) | about 3 years ago | (#37804132)

The Web-based news aggregator lets users set up persistent 'traps' or filters on specific topics. Over time, the traps learn to include more articles that match users' interests and exclude those that don't.

Allow: Shiny new electronic products

Block: Starving orphans

.

I will give Siri props. (4, Interesting)

UncHellMatt (790153) | about 3 years ago | (#37804244)

When I tested it out, it did much better than my Android, with no "training". Try Android voice with a Boston accent. I tell it to call my favorite bar and it calls a sheep.....

One of the people who worked on Watson, the computer mind put to the test on Jeopardy, is my former brother in law. When BrotherInLaw -1 began on computer AI there was, at the time, no one more advanced than he to challenge his thesis. The stuff we're seeing now in Siri is very much like what Watson did and projects BIL -1 has been working on for over 10 years, only put to "commercial / consumer" use; something inevitable. I doubt anyone involved with the first missions to the moon were all up in arms saying "What? Velcro? *ththt* That's been out for ages." Remember, to much of the media and your average user, this IS bleeding edge!

This is what happens with technology. It gets invented, it gets used in science and technology circles for a while then, if it's got commercial appeal, it ends up in the hands of Joe 6GB.To those lambasting Apple, while I assure you is something I enjoy, is sort of shooting fish in a barrel.

All that said, I use Android for one very simple reason: Apple's Ap Store policy makes me rage. Their puritanical requirements on nudity, "obscenity", etc as well as their tight fisted control over interface is preposterous and reprehensible. When I'd heard they forced a German news agency change their iPhone ap due to a few boobies was when I decided I would never, ever own one. Many of my users have them, they're bought by my employer, I've been offered a new iPhone each year, but for the last two years I've very much enjoyed my Android. The voice command blows, no argument. The screen pivot is comical. But all the aps I have, I enjoy. I can play around with whatever aps I want and not brick the device. To me, that's a fair cop; One programs functionality (Siri) does not out weigh freedom to do as I wish with my devices.

bias (1)

Tom (822) | about 3 years ago | (#37804398)

I personally consider this one of the most dangerous innovations of the (still young) century.

We humans already have built-in bias, and plenty of it. One of these little devils is the one that filters out information counter to your opinions. If you use an agent that shows you only stuff that you like, a lot of people will descend even further into their own personal worlds, and move ever further away from reality.

Every once in a while, you need to be confronted with views other and your own, and stuff outside your field of interest. We already know what happens otherwise: Your vision gets more and more narrow.

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