Siri


'Siri' Articles Page 2

Apple Drops Bing Search Engine Results for Siri and Spotlight in Favor of Google

Starting today, Apple search results from Siri and Spotlight on Mac and iOS will be provided by Google rather than Microsoft's Bing. Apple announced the news in a statement that was given to TechCrunch this morning, claiming consistency across iOS and Mac devices is the reason behind the switch. "Switching to Google as the web search provider for Siri, Search within iOS and Spotlight on Mac will allow these services to have a consistent web search experience with the default in Safari," reads an Apple statement sent this morning. "We have strong relationships with Google and Microsoft and remain committed to delivering the best user experience possible."Prior to this morning, all results from a search conducted on Spotlight using Finder on Mac or the swipe down search bar on iOS were Bing search results, as was all search information provided by Siri. Now, when you search using Spotlight or when you ask Siri a question that ends up involving a web search, info will come from Google. According to TechCrunch, the swap will include both web links and video results from YouTube, but web image results in Siri and Spotlight searches will continue to be provided by Bing for the time being. Google searches will use the standard search API and will provide the same search results you'd get from a Google.com search. While Apple has used Bing for search results for things like Siri and Spotlight, Google has remained the default search engine on iOS and Mac devices. Earlier this year, reports suggested Google paid Apple nearly $3 billion to maintain its position as the

Apple's Greg Joswiak on Siri: We Deliver a Personalized Experience Without Treating You as a Product

Ahead of the launch of iOS 11, Apple VP of marketing Greg Joswiak sat down with several publications to talk about Siri, the personal assistant built into all major Apple devices. His interview with Wired was published last week, and today, Fast Company published its interview, in which Joswiak talks Siri and privacy, among other topics. It's been long believed that Apple's Siri development has been hindered by the company's deep commitment to privacy, but according to Joswiak, privacy, respect for user data, and an intelligent AI can co-exist. "I think it's a false narrative," he told Fast Company. "We're able to deliver a very personalized experience... without treating you as a product that keeps your information and sells it to the highest bidder. That's just not the way we operate." Much of Apple's Siri functionality is done on-device, rather than in the cloud like other services. In Apple's 2017 software updates, that's shifting slightly with the company planning to allow Siri to communicate across devices to learn more about users. Still, many things, like Siri's ability to find photos with a specific photo or date are powered on-device."Your device is incredibly powerful, and it's even more powerful with each generation," Joswiak said. "And with our focus on privacy, we're able to really take advantage of exploiting that power with things like machine learning on your device to create an incredible experience without having to compromise your data."Apple does use the cloud to answer requests and to train Siri, but it strips all user identifiable data.

Apple's Greg Joswiak: Siri Wasn't Engineered to Be Trivial Pursuit

In iOS 11, Apple's AI-based personal assistant Siri has a much more natural voice that goes a long way towards making Siri sound human like. Siri speaks with a faster, smoother cadence with elongated syllables and pitch variation, a noticeable departure from the more machine like sound in iOS 10. The team behind Siri, including Siri senior director Alex Acero, has worked for years to improve the way Siri speaks, according to a new interview Acero did alongside Apple VP of marketing Greg Joswiak with Wired. While Siri's voice recognition capabilities were powered by a third-party company early on in Siri's life, Acero's team took over Siri development a few years back, leading to several improvements to the personal assistant since then. Siri is powered by deep learning and AI, technology that has much improved her speech recognition capabilities. According to Wired, Siri's raw voice recognition capabilities are now able to correctly identify 95 percent of users' speech, on par with rivals like Alexa and Cortana. Apple is still working to overcome negative perceptions about Siri, and blames many of the early issues on the aforementioned third-party partnership."It was like running a race and, you know, somebody else was holding us back," says Greg Joswiak, Apple's VP of product marketing. Joswiak says Apple always had big plans for Siri, "this idea of an assistant you could talk to on your phone, and have it do these things for you in a more easy way," but the tech just wasn't good enough. "You know, garbage in, garbage out," he says.Joswiak says Apple's aim from

Apple Acknowledges Siri Leadership Has Officially Moved From Eddy Cue to Craig Federighi

Apple has updated its executive leadership page to acknowledge that software engineering chief Craig Federighi now officially oversees development of Siri. The responsibility previously belonged to Apple's services chief Eddy Cue. Craig Federighi is Apple’s senior vice president of Software Engineering, reporting to CEO Tim Cook. Craig oversees the development of iOS, macOS, and Siri. His teams are responsible for delivering the software at the heart of Apple’s innovative products, including the user interface, applications and frameworks.Apple's leadership page is only now reflecting Federighi's role as head of Siri, but the transition has been apparent for several months, based on recent interviews and stage appearances at Apple's keynotes. At WWDC 2016, for example, Federighi and Apple marketing chief Phil Schiller joined Daring Fireball's John Gruber to discuss how Apple was opening Siri up to third-party developers with SiriKit later that year. At WWDC 2017, Federighi was on stage to discuss improvements to Siri in iOS 11, including more natural voice, built-in translation capabilities, and advances in machine learning and artificial intelligence. Cue continues to oversee the iTunes Store, Apple Music, Apple Pay, Apple Maps, iCloud, and the iWork and iLife suites of apps, and handing off Siri should allow him to focus more on Apple's push into original content. Apple's updated leadership page also now lists profiles for recently promoted employees Deirdre O'Brien, Vice President of People, and Isabel Ge Mahe, Vice President and Managing Director of

Apple Updates Machine Learning Journal With Three Articles on Siri Technology

Back in July, Apple introduced the "Apple Machine Learning Journal," a blog detailing Apple's work on machine learning, AI, and other related topics. The blog is written entirely by Apple's engineers, and gives them a way to share their progress and interact with other researchers and engineers. Apple today published three new articles to the Machine Learning Journal, covering topics that are based on papers Apple will share this week at Interspeech 2017 in Stockholm, Sweden. The first article may be the most interesting to casual readers, as it explores the deep learning technology behind the Siri voice improvements introduced in iOS 11. The other two articles cover the technology behind the way dates, times, and other numbers are displayed, and the work that goes into introducing Siri in additional languages. Links to all three articles are below: Deep Learning for Siri's Voice: On-device Deep Mixture Density Networks for Hybrid Unit Selection Synthesis Inverse Text Normalization as a Labeling Problem Improving Neural Network Acoustic Models by Cross-bandwidth and Cross-lingual Initialization Apple is notoriously secret and has kept its work under wraps for many years, but over the course of the last few months, the company has been open to sharing some of its machine learning advancements. The blog, along with research papers, allows Apple engineers to participate in the wider AI community and may help the company retain employees who do not want to keep their progress a

Apple AI Expert's Full TED Talk Now Available on YouTube

Back in April, Apple product designer and Siri co-founder Tom Gruber gave a TED Talk, where he spoke about his vision of the future of computers and artificial intelligence. The full 10-minute TED Talk was today published on YouTube, giving us a chance to hear his complete thoughts on the future of AI and Siri. In his talk, Gruber says computers should be used to lessen human failings, like memory, and augment human capabilities. He believes computers should log all aspects of our lives, allowing us to remember the people we've met and details about them, like favorite sports, family members, and name pronunciation. Gruber's talk also covers the importance of privacy and a range of useful applications for AI, like cancer detection and advanced personal assistants like

New 'The Rock x Siri' Ads Highlights Siri's HomeKit and Multi-Language Support

Apple today uploaded two additional videos in its series that stars Dwayne "The Rock" Johnson and Apple's personal assistant Siri, both of which are meant to show off Siri's range of functionality. In the first video, The Rock uses Siri to activate the HomeKit-connected lights in his gym, and in the second, he speaks in Mandarin, demonstrating Siri's ability to work with multiple languages. Support for multiple languages is one of the main differentiating factors between Siri and other voice-based AI assistants like Alexa and Cortana. Both of today's videos are new, but look similar to scenes that were in the original "The Rock x Siri Dominate the Day" spot, which is three and a half minutes in length. In the first ad, The Rock is seen using Siri throughout an entire day as he commandeers a plane, cooks a meal in a high-end restaurant, and ends up in space. Apple yesterday shared three other short ads depicting The Rock asking the personal assistant to set a reminder, set a timer, and take a selfie. Apple's partnership with The Rock to highlight Siri features comes as Apple gears up to release its first Siri-based speaker at the end of this year, the HomePod. Siri is also an important part of the iPhone, iPad, and Mac, with Apple undoubtedly hoping to increase awareness about all of the things Siri can do through the ad

Apple Shares Three Short 'The Rock x Siri' Ads

Apple today uploaded three short 15 second ads in its "The Rock x Siri" series, with content that's primarily been pulled from the main three minute "The Rock x Siri Dominate the Day" video, which was originally released on July 23. Each video features The Rock interacting with Siri to set a reminder, take a selfie, and set a timer. The reminder video is new, while the selfie and timer videos feature scenes from the original spot. Dwayne "The Rock" Johnson originally teased his partnership with Apple and Siri as a movie, complete with a movie poster, but it turned out that instead of a short film, his feature with Apple was simply an ad spot. "I partnered with #Apple to make the BIGGEST, COOLEST, CRAZIEST, DOPEST, MOST OVER THE TOP, FUNNEST (is that even a word?) movie ever," The Rock wrote on Facebook ahead of the ad's launch. Apple is using The Rock to show off the range of tasks that can be completed using the Siri personal assistant built in to the iPhone and the iPad. "You should never, ever, under any circumstances underestimate how much Dwayne Johnson can get done in a day with Siri," reads the description for the first video.

Facebook Hiring Apple Veterans to Build 'Siri-Style' Voice Assistant for Two Home Speaker Devices

Last week, a source in the Taiwanese supply chain reported that Facebook has entered into small production on a smart home speaker with a touchscreen, preparing to compete with companies like Apple and Amazon in the smart speaker market. A report by Bloomberg this week has continued that rumor, and added onto it by claiming the company is in fact working on two separate speaker devices to release to the public, and that it's hiring from Apple to get a "Siri-style" AI voice assistant up and running for the devices' launch. Coming out of Facebook's Building 8 lab, today's report confirmed many of the features already discussed regarding the touchscreen-enabled speaker. Facebook plans to launch it with a screen size between 13 and 15 inches, a wide-angle lens, and microphones and speakers all powered by artificial intelligence. The screen rests on a thin, vertical stand and Facebook is now deciding whether the UI will run on a version of Android or if it will build its own OS, according to people familiar with the plans. A few possible Siri commands on HomePod Although the touchscreen speaker is only in the prototype stage, Facebook has begun testing it in employee homes. Featuring a laptop-sized touchscreen, the device represents a new product category and could be announced as soon as next spring’s F8 developer conference, according to people familiar with the matter. They say the large screen and smart camera technology could help farflung people feel like they’re in the same room, which aligns with Chief Executive Officer Mark Zuckerberg’s mission of

Apple Teams Up With Dwayne 'The Rock' Johnson for Siri Movie

Dwayne "The Rock" Johnson today announced that he's teamed up with Apple for a movie that co-stars Apple's AI-based personal assistant, Siri. According to the poster tweeted by Johnson, the movie is called "The ROCKxSIRI Dominate the Day." There are no details on how long the film is or what it's about, but it apparently debuts tomorrow on Apple's YouTube channel. Based on the image, it appears to feature car chases, space travel, an alien fight, and a concert performance. In a Facebook post, Johnson calls it the "biggest, coolest, craziest, dopest, most over the top, funnest" movie ever.I partnered with #Apple to make the BIGGEST, COOLEST, CRAZIEST, DOPEST, MOST OVER THE TOP, FUNNEST (is that even a word?) movie ever. And I have the greatest co-star of all time - #SIRI. I make movies for the world to enjoy and we also made this one to motivate you to get out there and get the job done. I want you to watch it, have fun with it and then go LIVE IT.The film will premiere on Apple's YouTube channel on Monday, July 24, but it's not yet clear what time it will debut. This is the second time Apple has teamed up with a partner to release a short film. Last month, Apple highlighted "Détour," a film French director Michel Gondry shot on the iPhone in partnership with Apple and in a decidedly more Apple style. The project with Dwayne Johnson is unusual, but it comes at a time when Apple is preparing to release the Siri-based HomePod, so that may be why the company has decided to promote its personal assistant in a fun and unique way. Update: The short

Hands On: Siri's Translation Features in iOS 11

In iOS 11, Siri has a new feature that lets you ask the personal assistant to translate English into one of several different languages. We already did a Siri overview video showing off Siri's new capabilities, but we thought we'd take a closer look at translate, which can come in handy when you're traveling. Subscribe to the MacRumors YouTube channel for more videos. Translate works as expected -- ask Siri how to say something in another language, and Siri does it. For example, you might say "Translate 'Where's the bathroom' to Spanish," or "How do I say 'I am a vegetarian' in Chinese?" When translating, Siri speaks the translation aloud, so whomever you're speaking to can hear what you have to say directly in their language. There's also a button for quickly repeating the spoken translation. Siri can translate English to Mandarin, French, German, Italian, and Spanish, but not the other way around. Apple says there are plans to expand the feature to include additional languages in the coming months. As you might have noticed, Siri's new translating abilities are accompanied by a more natural, human sounding voice with better pronunciation and inflection. Siri's also much smarter in iOS 11, thanks to new on-device learning functionality and cross-device syncing. Siri can also make suggestions based on your browsing habits, and it knows more about music. For details on Siri's new capabilities and all of the other features in iOS 11, make sure to check out our iOS 11 roundup.

Listen to Siri's More Natural Voice in iOS 11

Siri gets smarter in every new version of iOS, and iOS 11 is no exception. This year, Siri has been improved with advances in machine learning and artificial intelligence, giving the personal assistant a much more natural, expressive voice. As you'll hear in the video, Siri sounds more human, adopting better pronunciation and different inflection depending on what's being said. There are also a lot of other improvements, which are covered in our Siri video and in the post below. Subscribe to the MacRumors YouTube channel for more videos. In iOS 11, Siri uses on-device learning across all of your devices to get a more complete picture of your interests, preferences, and routines. Because Siri now syncs across multiple devices, Siri learns more about you and your interactions with Siri are always the same regardless of whether you're using an iPhone, iPad, or Mac. Siri can now do things like suggest a topic you might like in Apple News based on Safari browsing habits, or suggest a Calendar reminder for an appointment you've booked in Safari. Siri might also make QuickType word suggestions based on things you've recently viewed -- names of movies or places, for example. Siri has built in translation capabilities in iOS 11 and can translate English to Chinese, French, German, Italian, and Spanish, plus with music enhancements implemented for HomePod, Siri can play music you like and offer up answers to music-related queries like "What song is this?" or "Who's the drummer in this band?" when you're listening to music. You can even type to Siri using a new "Type

Apple's Concern With User Privacy Reportedly Stifling Siri Development

Former Apple employees who worked on Siri believe the virtual assistant is struggling to catch up with its rivals because of a lack of ambitious goals stemming from the company's overarching concern with user privacy, a report by The Wall Street Journal revealed on Thursday. Unlike Amazon and Google, which leverage and retain user data off-device to inform and enhance queries put to their respective smart speakers, Apple is said to work within a culture that prioritizes user privacy, "making it difficult to personalize and improve" Siri, according to ex-Apple employees. The project has also reportedly suffered from the departures of key members as a result, some of whom went to competitors. About a year after [Steve] Jobs’s death, Apple hired Bill Stasior, an Amazon search executive, to oversee Siri. Mr. Stasior studied artificial intelligence at Massachusetts Institute of Technology, but his expertise was in search rather than speech or language. This led some members of the Siri team to believe he didn't fully appreciate the product's original vision: to expand beyond the iPhone to third-party apps.Former staff reportedly offered this loss as the main reason behind the departure of Siri co-founders Adam Cheyer and Dag Kittlaus, who left to found Viv, which was acquired by Samsung and is now working closely with Samsung's Bixby assistant team. Apple finally started opening up Siri to third-party developers last year, but many former Siri engineers believe it didn't come soon enough, while developers still remain unhappy at the lack of openness behind the scenes. The

Apple to Expand Siri to Work With More Types of Third-Party Apps

At its Worldwide Developers Conference next week, Apple is expected to expand Siri's functionality, allowing the voice assistant built into the iPhone and iPad to work with a wider variety of apps, reports Reuters. Apple first started allowing third-party apps to interface with Siri with iOS 10, but Siri integration is limited to apps in the following categories: ride booking, messaging, photo search, payments, VoIP calling, and fitness. In iOS 11, that's expected to expand to additional categories, but it is unclear which categories will be added. Apple Inc is expected to announce plans next week to make its Siri voice assistant work with a larger variety of apps, as the technology company looks to counter the runaway success of Amazon.com Inc's competing Alexa service. But the Cupertino, California company is likely to stick to its tested method of focusing on a small amount of features and trying to perfect them, rather than casting as wide a net as possible, according to engineers and artificial intelligence industry insiders.Expanded third-party app access to Siri is one of the few tidbits we've heard about Apple's plans for iOS 11, which is also expected to feature new design elements and a revamped Apple Music app. Rumors suggest Apple has been working on significant improvements to Siri, so other Siri features could also be included. Part of the reason behind bolstering Siri's capability is likely Apple's work on a Siri-based smart speaker designed to compete with the Amazon Echo and the Google Home. It's not yet clear what the speaker will be capable

Rumored Siri Speaker in Production Ahead of Possible WWDC Debut

Apple's rumored Siri smart speaker, which is designed to compete with the Google Home and Amazon Echo, is already in production ahead of a prospective debut at the upcoming Worldwide Developers Conference, reports Bloomberg. Citing sources "familiar with the matter," Bloomberg says production has already started on the speaker, but it is not expected to be ready to ship until later in the year. Still, Apple could introduce the speaker at WWDC, which kicks off next Monday. Despite rumors hinting at a touch screen, and comments from Apple marketing chief Phil Schiller questioning the usefulness of an AI-based speaker product without a screen, the upcoming Siri speaker will not feature a display. A Siri speaker mockup with a "Mac Pro-like" concave design (Image via iFunnyVlogger) Instead, Apple will differentiate its speaker from Amazon and Google offerings through deep integration with Apple products and superior sound quality, including virtual surround sound technology. The speaker is said to be louder and "reproduce sound more crisply" than the Home and the Echo, and it could also include sensors for measuring a room's acoustics and adjusting audio levels automatically during use. As with the Echo and the Home, Apple's speaker will likely support third-party services and apps, allowing it to perform a wide range of tasks. It will also serve as a HomeKit hub.Introducing a speaker would serve two main purposes: providing a hub to automate appliances and lights via Apple's HomeKit system, and establishing a bulwark inside the home to lock customers more tightly

Siri Bug Allows Cellular Data to be Disabled From Lock Screen Without a Passcode

A reddit user has discovered what appears to be a Siri-related bug that allows access to a locked iPhone's Cellular Data options without a passcode. As shown in the screenshot below, when Siri is asked to bring up Cellular Data settings (or if Cellular Data is on), an option to toggle the feature off appears on the lock screen, with no passcode required. When Siri is specifically asked to turn off Cellular Data, the personal assistant asks for a passcode first. Given that a passcode is required when asking Siri to disable Cellular Data, it seems that this is meant to be the default behavior and that it's not a setting meant to be controlled from a locked iPhone. It's questionable if this bug has any real impact, though, as there are other ways to disable cellular service on an iPhone that's been stolen, including turning on Airplane Mode from Control Center or simply turning the iPhone off. MacRumors tested the Siri command and found that it worked on iOS 9 and all versions of iOS 10, including the most recent iOS 10.3.3 beta. For iPhone owners worried about unauthorized access to their iPhones, both Siri and the Control Center can be disabled on the lock

Chatbot-Like Siri Patent Includes Intelligent Image, Video, and Audio Recognition Within Messages

A patent application published by the United States Patent and Trademark Office today details a new Apple service where users could make inquiries and talk with the company's AI assistant Siri through Messages (via AppleInsider). The new patent is similar to a filing the USPTO published late last year, but now includes deeper integration with audio, video, and image files. Similar to chatbots in Facebook Messenger and other texting services, Apple's patent describes a Siri that could perform her current duties without the user having to speak aloud, which could be helpful in certain public situations. The "Intelligent Automated Assistant in a Messaging Environment" could respond to text, audio, images, and video when sent to it by the user, which Apple said would result in "a richer interactive experience between a user and a digital assistant." The patent gives a few examples of a conversation held between Siri and a user in Messages, with the user asking questions regarding calorie content in food, upcoming meetings, and even asking Siri to text a friend. Interesting applications include a thread where a user texts Siri a picture of a car or a bottle of wine, and Siri sees the images and can intelligently respond to the user's inquiries about them. For the car, the user asks Siri for details on pricing for a specific model using only an image, and Siri searches the internet and returns the relevant MSRP information. The bottle of wine image is used as an example to show Siri's memory functions, where a user asks Siri to remember their favorite wine, which

Apple VP Phil Schiller Implies Voice-Activated Smart Speakers Could Benefit From a Screen

Gadgets 360 published an interview with Apple SVP of Worldwide Marketing Phil Schiller this week that could shed some light on Apple's plans for a dedicated Siri-based voice-assistant for the home. Rumors have swirled in recent weeks about Apple's plans to unveil an Amazon Echo-like smart connected speaker, possibly as early as WWDC in June, so Schiller's thoughts on the topic could potentially relate to the way Apple is approaching the design of its Echo rival. During the interview, Schiller demurred when asked what he thought about Amazon's Echo and Google Home, but his comments clearly imply that the two speakers leave a lot to be desired: "My mother used to have a saying that if you don't have something nice to say, say nothing at all." More revealingly perhaps, Schiller took pains to distinguish between different usage scenarios for voice assistants: handsfree, such as while driving, when simple voice-activation is convenient – but limited – and most other occasions when the availability of a screen is preferred. "We think it's important that there are times when it's convenient to simply use your voice when you are not able to use the screen," said Schiller. "For example, if you're driving [and] you want Siri to work for you without having to look at the screen, that's the best thing. Or maybe you're across the room, and you want to ask Siri to change the song you're listening to." So there's many moments where a voice assistant is really beneficial, but that doesn't mean you'd never want a screen. So the idea of not having a screen, I don't think suits many

Apple's Echo-Like Smart Speaker With Siri and AirPlay Could Debut as Early as WWDC

Apple is widely rumored to be working on a Siri-based smart home device with a speaker, and Australian leaker Sonny Dickson has shared new details about its possible design and features on Twitter and with MacRumors. Apple's smart speaker could take design cues from the Google Home Dickson said that Apple is currently "finalizing designs" for the Amazon Echo and Google Home competitor, which he expects to be marketed as a Siri and AirPlay device. "It is believed to carry some form of Beats technology," he added, while noting that the device will run a variant of iOS software. It is believed to carry some form of Beats technology, and is expected to run an variant iOS— Sonny Dickson (@SonnyDickson) April 27, 2017 Dickson later told MacRumors that the device, allegedly codenamed B238 internally, will feature a Mac Pro-like concave top with built-in controls. His source, which he told us is "someone inside Apple," described the device as "fat" like the Google Home with speaker mesh covering the majority of the device. Dickson was told Apple's smart speaker could be unveiled at WWDC 2017 in early June, but as always, the company's plans could change. In September 2016, Bloomberg reported that Apple's smart home device had entered prototype testing, including both a larger and a smaller model in line with Amazon's current Echo lineup. However, at the time, the report cautioned that Apple's early efforts do not guarantee that a finalized product will be released. The report said Apple's smart home device would be able to control appliances, locks, lights, and

Apple AI Expert Says Computers Should Augment Human Capabilities

Apple product designer and Siri co-founder Tom Gruber gave a TED Talk today, where he covered his vision of the future of computers and artificial intelligence. Both Axios and Business Insider shared details on his talk. According to Gruber, computers should be used to lessen human failings, like memory, and augment human capabilities. He believes computers should log every aspect of our lives, allowing us to remember every person we've met and every aspect about them, like favorite sports, family members, and name pronunciation."I believe AI will make personal memory enhancement a reality. I think it's inevitable," he said onstage, adding that he doesn't know when or how it will happen. [...] Gruber imagines that this kind of technology will not only be useful for satisfying data geeks who want to optimize their health and happiness, but it could also assist those who suffer from diseases like dementia and schizophrenia. "It's the difference between a life of isolation and one of dignity and connection," he said.Privacy, is of course, a key part of artificial intelligence and future computing capabilities. "We get to choose what is and is not recalled," said Gruber. "It's absolutely essential that this be kept very secure." Apple has already taken the first steps towards linking artificial intelligence and memory, with its Photos app. Photos on Mac and iOS devices includes a "Memories" feature that intelligently organizes photos into dynamic events that can be relived through the app. It also incorporates facial recognition and deep levels of privacy - facial