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Siri Gives Apple Two Year Advantage Over Android

samzenpus posted more than 2 years ago | from the head-of-the-class dept.

Android 800

Hugh Pickens writes "Gary Morgenthaler, a recognized expert in artificial intelligence and a Siri board member, says that Apple now has at least a two-year advantage over Google in the war for best smartphone platform. 'What Siri has done is changed people's expectations about what's possible,' says Morgenthaler. 'Apple has crossed a threshold; people now expect that you should be able to expect to speak ordinary English — and be understood. Siri has cracked the code.' The threshold, from mere speech recognition to natural language input and understanding, is one that Google cannot cross by replicating the technology or making an acquisition adds Morgenthaler. 'There's no company out there they can go buy.' Morgenthaler's comments echo the recent article in Forbes Magazine, 'Why Siri Is a Google Killer' that says that Apple's biggest advantage over any other voice application out there today is the massive data Siri will collect in the next 2 years — all being stored in Apple's massive North Carolina data center — that will allow Siri to get better and better. 'Siri is a new interface for customers wanting to get information,' writes Eric Jackson. 'At the moment, most of us still rely on Google for getting at the info we want. But Siri has a foot in the door and it's trusting that it will win your confidence over time to do basic info gathering.'"

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800 comments

First (0)

Saintwolf (1224524) | more than 2 years ago | (#37932426)

Inb4 troll

Two Years? (1)

mrclisdue (1321513) | more than 2 years ago | (#37932506)

Two years? Siri-ously...two weeks, perhaps.

So some Apple dude, echoing the tech-savvy Forbes magazine folk....

Say no more.

cheers,

Re:Two Years? (1)

papasui (567265) | more than 2 years ago | (#37932544)

Well 4gs was announced more than 2 weeks ago were's the competition?

Re:Two Years? (3, Interesting)

Motard (1553251) | more than 2 years ago | (#37932666)

Even Microsoft has this now. I was playing with voice recognition on a WP7 device and it worked pretty well. "Find Pizza", or "Call Norman" worked as expected. When I asked "What is the meaning of life?" it searched and found a couple of news stories about Siri being asked the same question. It might have been more fun if it came back with a canned answer like Siri does, but I have to wonder if that would've truly been more useful.

Microsoft's capabilities are also server based and they'll be able to tweak the capabilities fairly easily. All-in-all, I think the VR from iPhone, Android and WP7 are mostly a wash. Google appears to be ahead in other languages though.

Re:Two Years? (2)

supremebob (574732) | more than 2 years ago | (#37932802)

I'll give Google six months to catch up. Android has had voice search and voice actions for awhile now, so it really only needs a few interface tweaks to make it as user friendly as Siri.

But, seriously, Slashdot should really stop posting articles from Forbes. They're not a technology magazine, and their technology news seems to be little more than regurgitated PR press releases from the technology manufacturers.

Re:Two Years? (2)

Low Ranked Craig (1327799) | more than 2 years ago | (#37932870)

Maybe. Maybe not. See also, Google Reader overhaul, GMail iOS app. Google seems to be sucking lately at application creation. Used to be yo could count on Google to release new stuff that would be awesome. They're phoning it in now that they are big and corporate.

So true (2, Informative)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#37932438)

Yes, because only Siri can do this. No-one else can. Arsehole.

Re:So true (3, Insightful)

papasui (567265) | more than 2 years ago | (#37932524)

The only true finite resource in the world is time. Just because you can afford to pay 2 million programmers doesn't mean that a project that would normally take 5 years can be done in like a week. While voice narration/navigation has been available for years I'd describe the results as lukewarm. SIRI appears to be a leap forward in terms of both recognition and the tasks it can actually perform. It is really pretty cool.

Re:So true (4, Interesting)

dintech (998802) | more than 2 years ago | (#37932722)

I'm an iphone 4s owner and wish that instead of Siri, I had a phone that could actually just not drop calls every 5 minutes. Seriously, the 4s is way worse than my old iphone 3G in this respect.

Re:So true (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#37932792)

You have an iPhone 4 (design wise) + you are dropping calls = you are holding it wrong. This is a design feature, you knew what you were getting into, not being an early adopter of the original iPhone 4.

Re:So true (1)

dintech (998802) | more than 2 years ago | (#37932826)

The dual-aerial was supposed to fix this issue and it seems that it doesn't loose signal strength, just that the radio kit within it can't hold the call. Time will tell what the actual issue is, it could just be a manufacturing defect with my particular phone.

Apple finally learned how the process works (0, Flamebait)

suso (153703) | more than 2 years ago | (#37932776)

All that the iPhone 4S has shown is that once again it doesn't matter if you have a better product with more features and are first to market with it, its just how you market it.

will never use it (-1, Troll)

gottspeed (2060872) | more than 2 years ago | (#37932440)

Intentionally not supporting Apple at this point. Their entire product line is aimed at people who can barely power up their computers, the Iphone and this Siri are no exception. It may be cool to be useless and dependant these days, but its never made me feel good.

Re:will never use it (4, Insightful)

AdrianKemp (1988748) | more than 2 years ago | (#37932480)

Really?

Really!?

You feel that a voice interface makes people useless and dependant? Do you intentionally only communicate between other people using morse code via hand signals? (that's just the least user friendly and effective method I could think of)

Sometimes I weep for the stupidity of humanity... I can't even laugh at you because it's just not funny... it's fucking scary

Re:will never use it (4, Interesting)

Eraesr (1629799) | more than 2 years ago | (#37932672)

Talking to a device is just awkward. You try popping out your iPhone 4s in public transport and start giving voice commands to the thing. People will look funny at you. And this won't change in the next two years. So that's why this 2 year head start (assuming that's not hugely over-estimated) is a head start in a direction that's dead to begin with.

Re:will never use it (1)

AdrianKemp (1988748) | more than 2 years ago | (#37932754)

You couldn't be more wrong.

When I'm driving, talking to my device is the *only* meaningful way to communicate with it.

When I'm running, talking to my device is the *only* meaningful way to communicate with it.

Not to mention the fact that it *is* quicker for me to say "Siri, move my next appointment to 2:30" than actually do it myself.

You're cherry picking bad scenarios either due to jealousy or ignorance, I'm just not sure which.

Re:will never use it (1)

Riceballsan (816702) | more than 2 years ago | (#37932778)

In most cases siri doesn't save time in setting things. I don't know anyone who can *hit button, say "Am I going to need an umbrella tomorrow" then get an answer, faster then I can hit the weather button on my android and look at tomorrows weather. I don't think siri is completely useless, but I consider it's situational usefulness on the low side. I'd say it is useful 10% of the time, a drawback 90% of the time (if the task is either easier to do via normal buttons, or if you are in a location with either too much background noise, or you don't want to be heard talking to a phone.

Re:will never use it (4, Insightful)

Spinland (1865248) | more than 2 years ago | (#37932490)

"Their entire product line is aimed at people who can barely power up their computers"

Opinions and assholes, et al. This is simply overstated and wrong. Take it from a ton of users who are a wee more capable than you seem to give credit for. There are some who simply want their tech to Just Work without a lot of configuring and fiddling and other time-wasting nonsense.

Re:will never use it (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#37932516)

"cool to be useless and dependent"
Pretty much sums it up. I miss when it used to be cool to be leet and independent. Gave you something to aspire too.

Re:will never use it (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#37932540)

Then sell your car. Philosophy of Self Worth 101 is down the hall and to the left.

Re:will never use it (3, Insightful)

foniksonik (573572) | more than 2 years ago | (#37932600)

You are an idiot.

By extending your logic only trained pilots should ever fly in a plane; only mechanics should ever drive a car, only engineers should ever operate machinery, only physicists should ever use electricity.

Technology should empower people. That is its sole purpose. Apple groks this. They don't make computers or gadgets for geeks to tinker with, they make tools for average people to use in their everyday life.

LOL (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#37932442)

U Mad Bro? Looks like everyone wants to be a google killer these days

Re:LOL (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#37932518)

Being the defacto gateway to the web is a lustworthy position.

Though I have to wonder... how do they make profitable use of Siri's data collection when the app itself is strictly bound to a single mobile device platform? What's Apples plan for getting in between you and the web when it comes to every internet connected device that's NOT an iphone?

Re:LOL (2)

BosstonesOwn (794949) | more than 2 years ago | (#37932860)

Possibly map the human language and slang terms ?

Other then that they have to be able to tie it to a service that collects money.

Or maybe they will tie it to heavier data usage and collect a notch of data usage collection from the telco's who have an iphone on their network ?

There are places to make the money. Im guessing that they will start marketing location aware advertising where say dominos gets preference over pizza hut when they ask for pizza ? Maybe trying to steal some of googles worth in that arena ?

Iris (2, Interesting)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#37932456)

http://www.xda-developers.com/android/enter-iris-so-long-siri-we-hardly-knew-ye/
Just letting you know that android has a similar service and it was only made in 8 hours time.
So I suppose this will get alot better

Re:Iris (4, Insightful)

poetmatt (793785) | more than 2 years ago | (#37932774)

It's mostly done for the few people that care. As much as apple would love for siri to sound like an amazing feature, it is far from groundbreaking and most people just don't care.

Essentially what it gets used for is a decent voice command here or there. I forgot what site it was that was analyzing siri's data usage and categorized people by number of uses per day. I think the average was 3. People use their phones more than that in a day, let alone what that shows of siri.

"and a Siri board member" (5, Insightful)

EponymousCustard (1442693) | more than 2 years ago | (#37932458)

Stopped reading after that

Re:"and a Siri board member" (5, Informative)

Superken7 (893292) | more than 2 years ago | (#37932498)

Not only that, he completely disregards for no apparent reason those existing services that are exactly like Siri was before Apple acquired it (read: same functionality, inferior interface/design). Speaktoit allows you to speak english to your phone and will do almost the same that Siri does. Google would need to buy them and integrate it in a nice way with Android. The current interface is a bit lacking but the technology is definitely there.
This is obviously a VERY biased opinion from a Siri board member.

Re:"and a Siri board member" (2, Informative)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#37932634)

there is an app in the android market called " Iris "
it is in the Alpha stage and work great, it is after 8 HOURS developing. imagine after the Final release .

another thing about siri, it is very hard to all software like that to deal with different accent of English, and its only work with English.

you can check you tube, but android done the real-time translation and i think if that joined the Iris or something similar in Android we will get Android version of Siri which works with any language.

Obvious troll is obvious (1)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#37932462)

Because, of course, the one and only thing that matters in choosing a smartphone is voice control.

Really? (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#37932466)

That's funny. I've been using voice commands on my android for two years. Guess they got that advantage backwards.

Re:Really? (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#37932502)

iOS supported voice control before Android. iOS 3.5 (something) was out a year before Froyo which was the first Android OS with voice recognition

Re:Really? (1)

moronoxyd (1000371) | more than 2 years ago | (#37932838)

Your missing the point.

It doesn't matter who was first, it matters that it will not take 2 years for Google (or somebody else) to come up with something that is similar enough to Siri.

Very common misconception (2)

Spinland (1865248) | more than 2 years ago | (#37932522)

"Voice commands" on Android are markedly the Siri interface. If you think that's all this is, you clearly have done absolutely no research on the tech.

Re:Really? (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#37932556)

That's funny. I've been using voice commands on my android for two years. Guess they got that advantage backwards.

Yes, so have I. It doesn't work well, so I don't use it anymore. On Android at least, it is a novelty. "Send text to Jackie Waters Jackie comma can you pick up your brother from school today" ends up returning with something like "send mail to Cherie", "opening note". Yeah, that works. It does a little better with "navigate to 2499 Lone Tree Way Pleasant Hill California", however it will then ask you to confirm the action or ask whether to use Maps or VZ Navigator (in a dialog box - no voice input). So, yeah, it has it. It doesn't work worth beans. Oh, and that whole, "Set alarm for 6:00 AM" stuff that Google did a video on over a year ago? Yeah, still not implemented. If you try it, it tells you to go find a replacement alarm clock in the market that might support the feature. Their video demo mysteriously worked though. Google should be able to improve it though to be at least competitive in less than 2 years now that they have some competition that has them beat cold.

Oh this should be good (0, Offtopic)

papasui (567265) | more than 2 years ago | (#37932468)

I got my popcorn ready to read the comments in this thread. Let the Apple bashing commence!

Eleven! (1)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#37932496)

I just want to know whether it works with Scottish accents.

Why? (4, Insightful)

Threni (635302) | more than 2 years ago | (#37932472)

People aren't going to use Siri very much, because talking to your phone makes you look stupid. It's been on Android for years anyway, and no-one used it there. That Apple claim it's more useful now means nothing. It's like forward facing cameras - outside of a tiny niche no-one cares.

Re:Why? (3, Insightful)

miffo.swe (547642) | more than 2 years ago | (#37932548)

Exactly my take on this. Its fun for about ten minutes and then 99% of all people just shrugs and move on. I have played with voice control for a long time and i always thought the problem was the software. Later on i have come to accept that voice input is just a gimmick. No matter how good the software becomes it still sucks as an input method, unless you are speaking with another human.

And if we take a look at the world and all the killing going on, does it look like we humans are good at interpreting language?

Re:Why? (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#37932582)

at least the forward facing camera could be used for Skyping. Siri is just dope

Re:Why? (5, Funny)

Relyx (52619) | more than 2 years ago | (#37932558)

People aren't going to use Siri very much, because talking to your phone makes you look stupid.

How do you make phone calls then without looking stupid?

Re:Why? (2, Funny)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#37932618)

How do you make phone calls then without looking stupid?

By using a bluetooth headset so nobody can see I'm talking to my phone, duh!

Re:Why? (1)

marcello_dl (667940) | more than 2 years ago | (#37932718)

> How do you make phone calls then without looking stupid?
You don't. You always look stupid.

Jokes aside, I am not comfortable with siri servers, I'd rather have the phone contact the web services directly to get the answers. But I might have misunderstood its architecture.

Re:Why? (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#37932800)

Talking to someone through the phone, vs talking directly to your phone.

Remember when people first got cell phones or car phones (shut up if you're too young). Every last one of them thought they needed to shout into the things in the middle of a quiet room. Remember how much you wanted to punch them in the face?

Voice recognition is a crap shoot when you're speaking loud and clear and slow in a quiet room. So I guess we can thank Apple for the next two+ years of douches asking their phones things in a loud, slow, and overly annunciates manner. Hopefully they get the tech down so you can mumble something at below normal conversation level and it'll figure it out and respond, because even that is still considered a social oddity in todays world.

Re:Why? (2)

toddmbloom (1625689) | more than 2 years ago | (#37932586)

Wait, what? Talking to your phone makes you look stupid? The whole point of a phone is to talk to it. I have used it quite often, actually. Aside from the fact that I can get things done (or control my phone) just by speaking if I'm in my car or someplace it's also nice to have the ability to use voice input in place of the keyboard in nearly any app I come across.

Re:Why? (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#37932624)

Hi, you must be an introvert. No really, it's ok to talk to your phone. We, normal, sexually active adults, do it. The Android (and earlier iPhone) voice 'commands'? Garbage. Siri is fantastic to use. Wanna reply to a text message or email while driving? No problem. Wanna make a meeting or remind yourself to do something when you arrive somewhere? A snap. Keep on whining that Apple shit is teh-ghey and that Ubuntu is teh-shit. Bitter nerds are awesome.

Re:Why? (1)

Dulcise (840718) | more than 2 years ago | (#37932646)

because talking to your phone makes you look stupid.

I've heard a bunch of people say this but like, does no one use their phones to make phone calls any-more?
(I do agree, but this is a pretty silly reason.)

Re:Why? (1)

bsDaemon (87307) | more than 2 years ago | (#37932746)

Well, there is a big difference between talking to your phone and talking to another person using the phone. Talking to pretty much any inanimate object, and also some of your dumber animals, is going to make you look either dumb of crazy. Honestly, I suspect half the people I see with bluetooth headsets to be actually schizophrenic and talking to the voices in their head instead of having an actual conversation with a real person.

Re:Why? (1)

Rennt (582550) | more than 2 years ago | (#37932874)

does no one use their phones to make phone calls any-more?

Sure they do, but talking on the phone is entirely different to talking to a phone. Trust me.

Re:Why? (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#37932704)

Ahh, the old "that's been around forever" argument. Yeah, digital music players were around since forever too...

The reason nobody uses it is because, until now, it doesn't work well. Why does it always take Apple to commit enough resources to a good idea to finally make it actually work?

Re:Why? (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#37932770)

Why does it always take Apple to commit enough resources to a good idea to finally make it actually work?

Because they commit these resources to marketing and PR.

Re:Why? (4, Interesting)

samkass (174571) | more than 2 years ago | (#37932866)

I don't have any hard data yet, but anecdotal evidence so far says you're incorrect. ArsTechnica's poll of their employees with a 4S indicate anywhere from 3-15 average Siri uses per day. My wife already prefers it to typing on the phone. I think it's especially interesting since it integrates fairly well with a car's bluetooth integration.

I can imagine a future screen-less phone that's just a stick with a speaker, mic, and button, with everything being done via voice...

OS future usage is more important (1)

darthium (834988) | more than 2 years ago | (#37932510)

iOs can only run on Apple iPhones and iPads, Android in any other kind of equipment (not only smartphones and tablets) and brand, for developers, Android is more attractive if you see it that way, I see some parallelism of what happened with Apple and IBM compatible PC at the 80s. . Siri is far from being a killer app, IMO, the former consideration is clearly more important.

AI Expert? (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#37932528)

If he's an artificial intelligence expert, why hasn't he invented artificial intelligence?

All aboard! (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#37932532)

The Apple PR edifice is quite amazing, reaching from grass roots product evangelism to middlebrow business porn to continuous Jobs hagiography by analysts. I even saw a troll on the Economist the other day saying that "Jobs probably had more ideas than his 50000 staff combined".

It's not like they don't have consistently good industrial and UX design. I just don't see this amount of all-aspect marketing on other status goods. Maybe I should quit /.

BS. Google voice search is 99% of what Siri is. (2, Informative)

Xpendable (1605485) | more than 2 years ago | (#37932536)

What a crock of BS. Has nobody seen Google's voice seach? It already does 99% of what Siri does, and all they have to do is make a different app with the same code as google voice and just add a series of lookup tables that convert common phrase fragments into Android commands. Easy Peasy. If I had the source code to google voice search, I could do it easily. (I am a professional programmer, btw) it should be fairly easy for Google to duplicate everything Siri does just by adding a little additional code. It would take them days, not years. I love how the author doesn't know jack about anything.

Re:BS. Google voice search is 99% of what Siri is. (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#37932590)

Has nobody seen Google's voice seach?

Of course not. Apple zealots and their paid sycophants do not live in the real world with the majority of the population, and deliberately avoid anything without an Apple logo. They take other peoples' opinions as personal slights and become offended that one would actually prefer something else.

Re:BS. Google voice search is 99% of what Siri is. (1)

Assmasher (456699) | more than 2 years ago | (#37932732)

All true. The difficulty isn't in the voice recognition, the command grammars, or the 'AI' itself, it is in providing a solid process for pouring data in, and that is simply a matter of scale. If someone puts the money in, it happens.

Siri is now a search gateway (3, Insightful)

alen (225700) | more than 2 years ago | (#37932542)

Apple already sends a lot of the SiRi search outside of google. If a lot of smaller data companies sign up to be apple partners then google will lose a lot of search traffic. or at least a lot of the good and profitable search traffic

Re:Siri is now a search gateway (2)

KarolisP (1538799) | more than 2 years ago | (#37932608)

what's the point of good search traffic when you cannot put ads nearby? OR if you put ads INTO search results - they become biased and unwelcome (mcdonalds for EVERY meal EVERYtime?)

A jedi mind trick (2)

pjlehtim (679236) | more than 2 years ago | (#37932546)

Siri is the best jedi mind trick Apple has pulled so far. It is amazing how much press this one feature is generating. My prediction is that in 6months nobody is using it anymore.. just like facetime (anyone still remember what that was?).

Gee, there's an unbiased source... (5, Insightful)

NiteShaed (315799) | more than 2 years ago | (#37932550)

"Gary Morgenthaler, a recognized expert in artificial intelligence and a Siri board member

Wow, board member of company says company's technology is the most amazing and groundbreaking thing since sliced bread. What a surprise. This just in, Bill Gates says Windows is the best OS, and Larry Ellison says Oracle databases are hands-down unbeatable.

I don't blame the guy for saying it, of course he probably thinks his product is the best. Maybe he even believes the thing about the two-year advantage, but he's also got a pretty vested interest in making other people believe it too.

Most financial news stories are PR (2)

Crashmarik (635988) | more than 2 years ago | (#37932554)

I just see this as a confirming instance of large advertisers being able to control the content of publication. I know from personal experience that if I advertised enough in a publication they would let me write the stories. When you are at Apple's level it looks like they give you a reporter to do it for you.

By whom? (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#37932560)

Gary Morgenthaler, a recognized expert in artificial intelligence and a Siri board member

It;s hardly surprising that a Siri board member thinks that Siri is great, but if you're going to tell us that he's a "recognized expert in artificial intelligence" then for pity's sake, please tell us WHO recognizes him as an expert. If you mean that he has some relevant phd or something then tell us that, if he's written some seminla work on the subject then tell us that, but don't tell us vaguely that someone somewhere 'recognizes' him because that's completely worthless.

Completely Disagree (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#37932562)

Not only do I not think that Siri is *so* good that it is a whole 2 years ahead of Android's speech-to-text capabilities, but is it really that big of a deal?

Its not the speech-to-text software on my Android which is apparently so behind that stops me from using it; its because I generally don't like speaking commands to my phone out in public (except when driving) and risking potential embarrassment (I would be much less likely to text 'Hey mum, whats for dinner' at work if I had to say it aloud infront of all my colleagues)..

Im sure im not the only one who doesn't like speaking to inanimate objects.

Re:Completely Disagree (1)

MysteriousPreacher (702266) | more than 2 years ago | (#37932790)

Attitudes change. I used to feel that way using mobile phones in general, and certainly self conscious when whipping out a laptop 12 years ago. These days those things are far more run of the mill. It'll take time. Voice interfaces are perfect for capturing the imagination - particularly when they are seen as being smart.

Um.. (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#37932564)

I can already do anything siri can do pretty easily with voice command on my galaxy II s. Including relatively abstract commands like "Find a bar" or call my gastroenterology. So ... its a two year lead in smugness, and scripted responses to nonsensical questions that give an appearance of personality? Its like jobs never died!

Apple has the 2 year advantage in pointless shit. (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#37932578)

Because when I look for a phone I don't look for call quality, screen, or battery life, I look for a feature that lets me waste time talking at my phone like a retarded goon instead of just pushing 2-3 buttons and getting the same data.

I mean, why discreetly browse my calendar for an appointment on the street or on the bus when I can hold my phone in front of me and command it to show my appointments?

Siri was first??? (1)

Grave (8234) | more than 2 years ago | (#37932596)

I'm confused. I've been doing voice search on my Android phone for quite some time. Google has been collecting this data for at least a year (probably longer), and also has voicemail transcription data as well, so accuracy is not an issue.

I actually much prefer having it take me to Google search results instead of just giving me one answer, because sometimes my question is not that simple. Most of the time, the first search result is accurate, but I like having the options there.

I guess maybe I just prefer to have the answers clearly referenced. Maybe if I used Siri, I'd understand what all the fuss is about. But ultimately, I have zero interest in using the iPhone, because I do not like iOS.

Peeing my pants...so funny. (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#37932610)

Because this is so asinine, it's beyond me. I'm using the speech feature on my android phone as I write this and it's working fine...

FWIW, I thought the iOS platform was supposed to be the end-all-be-all of smartphones anyway; if you have to use a gimmick to beat the competition, you're already failed.

This is just scary (3, Insightful)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#37932636)

"Apple's biggest advantage over any other voice application out there today is the massive data Siri will collect in the next 2 years"

Anyone else regard that statement with pure horror?

Re:This is just scary (4, Insightful)

autojive (560399) | more than 2 years ago | (#37932862)

Yet you've probably had no problem with Google collecting your data over the past decade?

My understanding of the principles of SIRI (1)

G3ckoG33k (647276) | more than 2 years ago | (#37932642)

My understanding of the principles of SIRI is that they use a similar approach to voice patterns as Google did to search phrases.

Whenever someone typed in a search phrase into Google and it turned out to be wrong because of a spelling error, people corrected their search and typed in the correct phrase next time. By storing these chains of searches Google accumulated more and more data so that they could improve over and over.

It is my understanding that SIRI uses a similar technique, but for voice patterns. When people say what they want, they get an answer, if it is the wrong answer they repeat the question, giving the database a chance for improvement over time.

By altering the SIRI replies somewhat one then also improves the replies over time, seeing what minimizes the need for follow-up spoken questions.

If this is correct, one may wonder if Google patented some of their search algorithms... Yet another patent war? LOL

Speaking yep. Typing.. not so much (1)

MtlDty (711230) | more than 2 years ago | (#37932652)

"People now expect that you should be able to expect to speak ordinary English" ?

Siri is 'the next big thing'? (5, Insightful)

NimbleSquirrel (587564) | more than 2 years ago | (#37932654)

Seriously, Apple seems to be grasping at straws for any edge over Android phones. I'm not going to make comparisons between Siri and Google Voice Search, as plenty of others are doing that. What I will say is that Siri (and other voice command systems) are gimmicks at best. Unless their entire client base is visually impaired, I doubt that it will see any serious day-to-day use once the novelty has worn off. Texting and twitter are growing because people aren't talking into their phones. What makes Apple think that Siri will change that trend?

Re:Siri is 'the next big thing'? (5, Insightful)

AnttiV (1805624) | more than 2 years ago | (#37932820)

Seriously, mod parent up. Although voice-activated things have been possible for the longest time (voice dialling, google voice search, etc), I have NEVER heard ANYONE use those. Ever. At least here in Finland, people DO NOT speak to the PHONES, they speak, THROUGH the phone to someone else. Jeez, we don't even speak to answering machines, we hang up :D Much, much, MUCH than more important than Siri to people I know, is the ability to personalize, everything. Covers, ringtones, logos, you name it. I have witnessed about 5 or 6 circumstances where people have bought and Android phone over iPhone SOLELY for the fact that you can't "mod" iPhone in any way that would have a real impact. Every iPhone in this whole world looks (almost) EXACTLY like the other. You cannot make an iPhone "your" phone, it is "just an iPhone", where as with Android, you can. From where I stand, THIS is the killer feature, rather than voice commands. People customize pretty much everything they own, so phones are just a natural extension of that habit.

The Real Story (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#37932678)

The real story here is that people without iPhones now have a huge advantage over people who have forgotten how to use a phone book or figure something out on their own.

uhhh.. (2)

SuperDre (982372) | more than 2 years ago | (#37932686)

Why Siri Is a Google Killer' that says that Apple's biggest advantage over any other voice application out there today is the massive data Siri will collect in the next 2 years — all being stored in Apple's massive North Carolina data center

uhh.. did anyone actually know the program is collection data? for me this would be a big reason to stay the hell away from Siri.. also it's typically Apple, claiming something as if they invented it, even though there have been many likewise applications/designs on the market already.. Yes they are very good at marketing...

Re:uhhh.. (2)

foniksonik (573572) | more than 2 years ago | (#37932760)

Do you stay away from Google? They certainly collect all your data, to improve the service if nothing else. Apple has a fine history of privacy, addressing issues as they arise. Plus their business model isn't based in advertising, unlike Google.

Siri is great and all... (1)

closer2it (926190) | more than 2 years ago | (#37932696)

... in English, but what about voice recognition in other languages? Is it that good? I wonder.

Siri is mostly about voice recognition and Google/Android already has that. I think that if Google wants, with the inhouse search engine knowledge, they can bring to Android some kind of Siri overnight IMHO.

Vlingo (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#37932708)

Not sure how long Vlingo has been out, but its been at least 6 months before they even showed Siri and it does everything Siri does and more. The best option to me is car mode which you don't even have to press a button to begin talking, it's listening all the time so all you have to do is say 'Hey, Vlingo' and it will trigger Vlingo to listen to your voice actions. Honestly the only thing missing is the 'personality', which of course Apple put first and pushed the rest to the background to give it that 'cool' factor and have everybody talking about it like its the next best thing. 'Car mode' can even automatically activate itself, for example mine is set up to go off as soon as its paired with Bluetooth and if plugged into the charge it goes into listening mode so I never have touch my phone to interact with it in the car.

Siri needs to catch up to Vlingo if you ask me.

Oh yea, I'm not on the board of Vlingo, Android or Google.

Re:Vlingo (1)

cl0s (1322587) | more than 2 years ago | (#37932740)

Oops, forgot to login. But I do have to mention they could come up with a better name or let me name my device, saying 'Hey, Vlingo' isn't necc the easiest. I'm not even sure if I'm saying it right, the first few times it didn't even listen. Either it got used to me, or I somehow am pronouncing it correctly now with out noticing.

Just No (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#37932710)

Siri is nice and all, but no one is going to replace typing , with talking to their phone. There is just so many situations where typing is so much better. The only time you would rather talk is if you are driving, or maybe inside your own house. If you are out in public, like at work , at the mall, or on the street I'm sure more people would rather type.

    Perfect example... remember the Nextel walkie-talkie phones? I never see that type of communication anymore. You know why? Text messages replaced them.

Laughable... (3, Insightful)

Assmasher (456699) | more than 2 years ago | (#37932720)

...Siri is a decent aggregation of existing voice recognition, grammar based interactivity, and knowledge base retrieval. People, including ourselves, have been doing this for years. Our company does this in a more limited fashion, but technically very very similarly to allow Pentagon staff officers (and others) to navigate the GINORMOUS amounts of documentation that arise from large scale plans (thousands upon thousands of PDFs) - for example: "I need to see all of the documents produced in 2007 relating to humvee mine resistance testing" - "Sure, Dave, I can do that..." - and bingo 27 PDFs show up in a (rather special ;) ) UI.

Siri is Apple's way of drawing attention from the fact that they do not have an iPhone 5, or an iPad 3. It is Apple's way of drawing attention away from the fact that Android phones are out 'innovating' them in the hardware arena. Apple knows that they are winning the individual phone brand battle, but starting to lose the mobile war; ergo, the purchase of Saab defense systems mapping software in order to cut themselves further from Google.

It is the PC market playing itself out all over again. Apple makes a great software platform, but is greedy about it and doesn't let other hardware manufacturer's use that platform (not to mention their greed in the App market - protecting us from ourselves? LOL), locks out Flash, locks out Java (because they're unstable and really not part of the web - LOL again.) All of these decisions work great for Apple in the short run (5 years or so - just like with the PC) - in the long run it literally kills them.

Siri is a distraction akin to "hey, hey! Look over here at this hand, not the hand holding virtually the same phone you've been buying for so long now..."

I speak Spanish, you insensitive clod! (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#37932730)

English grammar is very simple compared to Romance, or Indo-European languages. maybe Google should try to flank Apple instead of attacking straight ahead.

60 comments (3, Insightful)

Pikoro (844299) | more than 2 years ago | (#37932750)

And nobody noticed that this means apple is recording and analyzing every Sirius command?! Creepy!

Re:60 comments (1)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#37932816)

And Googlus records and analyzes every Google voice command. So? Privacy is dead, people have gladly given it up for a small discount on an otherwise overpriced toy.

Re:60 comments (4, Insightful)

Oswald McWeany (2428506) | more than 2 years ago | (#37932840)

Not just that- they voice profile you.

Your Siri learns your voice and learns to understand you. The schematics of your individual voice is mapped.

So now in this privacy-free world- facebook can pick your face out of a crowd and identify you and Apple can hear your voice and identify you. Not long ago there was stories about software that can identify you by your walk.

Scary- there is no anonymosity anymore... ... except on slashdot- and I have ways of finding out who Anonymous Coward really is.

How good is siri really for non standard diction? (4, Interesting)

140Mandak262Jamuna (970587) | more than 2 years ago | (#37932766)

I am totally soured by most of the automated phone response systems that does voice recognition. All phone systems are irritating but the failure rate in these voice recognition is particularly aggravating. Some allow me to punch in the numbers. Others force me to speak the responses. I speak with a slight South Indian accent, (no stress on stressed syllables, rolled rr-s, pause at unexpected places. I say slight because I have made presentations to large audience and spoken on phone to customers and teleconferences without any problem, without people asking me to repeat, scored 5 out 6 in Test of Spoken English taken when I was a TA in grad school). The voice recognition in GPS devices and cellphones too are very substandard for people with even slight accents. How good is Siri for such groups?

One thing that really took me by pleasant surprise was Google's non-English transliteration engine built into edit boxes/text compose windows of all google sites. English has just five vowels with y and w coming in very occasionally to support vowel sounds . Most Asian languages have distinct glyphs for at least 12 vowels (long and short forms separated and a few more). Google allows me to type using an English key board, when I hit a space, it changes text to the selected Indian language. If the text is not exact, I press backspace, and it creates a drop down box that typically has a few variations, and I am surprised how good its guesses are about what I was planning to type.

If Google has been collecting such data about the most common english transliteration for the most common words in other languages, it has a treasure trove of stuff. If that probability engine could be adapted to voice, it would have a global reach. If Siri has an American English focus, its lead is definitely not two years. Do not count the non-native English speakers out. Hispanic population is increasing and they use smart phones to access the net mostly. On the high end, the median family income of Asian Americans is the highest for any ethnic group. Almost double that of Hispanics, the lowest. That probably would make the ratio 3 or even 4 when it comes to disposable income. Citation provided [census.gov] . Unless they tackle both ends of the income spectrum, siri is not going to make as big a wave as these talking heads are talking about.

People use siri? (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#37932768)

Is siri supposed to be a big deal or something? I disabled it as soon as I got my iphone 4s, figuring it was a pointless feature.

Hi Galaxy... (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#37932780)

So hang on, when I double click the home key on my S2, say "Hi Galaxy" and proceed to say "Text Mum, I will be coming over later put the kettle on" "send message" can someone tell me how Siri is 2 years ahead of my S2? Am I missing something here?

Android already has this. (2, Informative)

IGnatius T Foobar (4328) | more than 2 years ago | (#37932822)

Two year advantage? How about NO advantage? I've got a Samsung Galaxy S II in my pocket right now that I can talk to in "natural language" -- it's every bit as functional and accurate as Siri and I don't have to handcuff myself to the phone's manufacturer to use it.

You One (1)

foobsr (693224) | more than 2 years ago | (#37932846)

TFS: "people now expect that you should be able to expect to speak ordinary English"

Given the context, wouldn't it be 'one' in ordinary English?

CC.

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