Apple's Senior Siri Director to Discuss Natural Language Processing at AI Frontiers Conference

Apple's senior director of Siri, Alex Acero, will speak at the AI Frontiers conference in San Jose, California, this coming November.

The event brings together specialists in the fields of robotics, natural language processing, virtual assistants, autonomous driving, and more, with speakers from the likes of Google, Microsoft, Amazon, and Uber.

As part of a panel exploring the role of personal assistants, Acero will about how deep learning informs the way Siri works on Apple devices. From the AI Frontiers online schedule:
Siri brought personal assistants to the mainstream after its introduction in 2011 in the iPhone. Deep learning is powering many components in Siri: trigger word detection, large vocabulary recognition, text-to-speech, machine translation, and natural language understanding. In this talk I will show a few examples of how deep learning is used in Siri.
Also on Acero's panel are Amazon Alexa director Ruhi Sarikaya and Google research scientist Dilek Hakkani-Tur.

Acero arrived at Apple in 2013 after spending two decades at Microsoft, where he oversaw research into computer vision, speech, neuro-linguistic programming, machine learning and translation, amongst other areas. His work on Siri takes in speech recognition, speech synthesis, and machine translation.

The AI Frontiers conference takes place from November 9 to November 11. For more information on the event and scheduled speakers, check out the AI Frontiers website.

Top Rated Comments

(View all)
Avatar
21 months ago
In other news, a kindergartner is scheduled to deliver a lecture on the nuances of Shakespeare.

/s
Sry, but afaic Siri is where Apple falls completely flat.
Rating: 8 Votes
Avatar
21 months ago
What natural language processing? Siri appears to rely on a limited set of pre-defined phrases that accept variables, and if you stray outside of those you get booted straight to a web search or she answers some unrelated question. Siri is Eliza with operating system tie-ins.
Rating: 7 Votes
Avatar
21 months ago
What? There is a SENIOR DIRECTOR for Siri???? What the hell is he doing all day?? I thought they let the interns do the Siri jokes.
Rating: 6 Votes
Avatar
21 months ago
My dog is smarter than Siri. It is a great idea, but, today Siri has a very long way to go to be useful. Dealing with it is nothing but a head ache.
Rating: 5 Votes
Avatar
21 months ago

Speech title: natural language processing is HARD.


Google seems to be handling the difficulty quite well.
Rating: 3 Votes
Avatar
21 months ago

In other news, a kindergartner is scheduled to deliver a lecture on the nuances of Shakespeare.

/s
Sry, but afaic Siri is where Apple falls completely flat.


Apple is behind in many areas and the way they fix it is usually this:

Work in secret on a replacement for 4 years while everybody complains they’re not doing anything.

That’s how they fixed their file system, their programming language and apparently their maps.

Of course, there are times when they are really not doing anything (Mac Pro), so we can’t know …

The point is, don’t judge that guy on what’s shipping today. (Wait five years, then you may … )
Rating: 2 Votes
Avatar
21 months ago
Speech title: natural language processing is HARD.
Rating: 1 Votes
Avatar
21 months ago

Apple is behind in many areas and the way they fix it is usually this:

Work in secret on a replacement for 4 years while everybody complains they’re not doing anything.

That’s how they fixed their file system, their programming language and apparently their maps.

Of course, there are times when they are really not doing anything (Mac Pro), so we can’t know …

The point is, don’t judge that guy on what’s shipping today. (Wait five years, then you may … )

The current state is the only basis on which to judge Siri. They don’t get latitude from me just because they might have something functional down the road. I have a Photos album dedicated to screenshots of Siri’s idiocy. And now Apple of all entities is schooling people on natural language processing? I’m sure Acero’s very capable, but I’m just saying the optics are funny, that’s all. The simple truth is that if you ask someone familiar with Tech to pick people to lecture them about AI, Apple’s Siri leadership team ain’t the group that comes to mind.
Rating: 1 Votes
Avatar
21 months ago

What natural language processing? Siri appears to rely on a limited set of pre-defined phrases that accept variables, and if you stray outside of those you get booted straight to a web search or she answers some unrelated question. Siri is Eliza with operating system tie-ins.

That has been my experience. At least it was a couple of years ago when I gave up on Siri. The big frustration was normally perfect speech to text translation and then completely bombing out on carefully stated requests. If there was a viable IA there simple request like "Hey Siri I need a map to Muncy PA" should immediately launch maps with your directions there. Yet I had Siri bomb on that and similar requests that should have been easy for even normal computer code to parse and respond to, yet Apple with their billions and army of programmers cant even get an AI to respond to.

The other thing is that Siri has seemingly gotten worse over the years which is the opposite of what you would expect from such technologies. Considering how other companies have moved forward with their AI tech it does make you wonder if Apple needs to repopulate the AI center.
Rating: 1 Votes
[ Read All Comments ]