Apple’s Siri is becoming a better conversationalist – CNN

Is speech recognition technology ready for real conversations?
Actor John Malkovich talks to his iPhone 4S in a current TV ad for Apple.

You’ve probably seen the new Apple TV ads with actor John Malkovich having what looks like the most charming chat of his life with Siri, the voice-activated “personal assistant” on the iPhone 4S.

“That’s pretty spectacular advice, actually,” Malkovich says after Siri tells him to avoid fat, read good books, take walks and “live together in peace and harmony” with everyone.

“I enjoyed this chat immensely,” he continues in his familiar soothing-creepy voice. “You are very eloquent.”

To many other iPhone 4S owners, however, Siri isn’t such a scintillating conversationalist. She oftens fails to understand what’s spoken to her, and many of her responses are little more than lists of Google search results. Disappointed iPhone users have even filed a class-action suit against Apple, claiming that Siri doesn’t work as well as advertised.

Fortune: Siri’s father comes to her defense

That may be about to change, however.

In the eight months since she debuted in October, Siri has been “studying up and learning a lot more,” Apple Senior Vice President Scott Forstall said during a presentation Monday at Apple’s annual developers’ conference. Forstall then previewed some advancements to Siri that will come this fall as part of iOS 6, the company’s next mobile operating system.

Apple is equipping Siri with new databases of knowledge, including the ability to retrieve sports scores. She’ll also be able to open an app for you, search movie showtimes, post Facebook updates, make restaurant reservations and provide turn-by-turn navigation to drivers with Apple’s new maps application.

But based on the glimpses we saw Monday, the most interesting improvement to Siri may be the language she uses in her answers, which already sound more natural and conversational.

For example, Forstall demoed Siri onstage by asking, “Who is taller: LeBron or Kobe?” (For the NBA stars, no last names were required, apparently.) Instead of directing him to a Web search or maybe pulling up info on Japanese beef, Siri answered without hesitation: “LeBron James appears to be slightly taller.”

Jason Gilbert, writing for the Huffington Post, called this exchange “the most important thing that was said on stage” over the course of Apple’s 90-minute event

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Apple’s Siri is becoming a better conversationalist – CNN

Is speech recognition technology ready for real conversations?
Actor John Malkovich talks to his iPhone 4S in a current TV ad for Apple.

You’ve probably seen the new Apple TV ads with actor John Malkovich having what looks like the most charming chat of his life with Siri, the voice-activated “personal assistant” on the iPhone 4S.

“That’s pretty spectacular advice, actually,” Malkovich says after Siri tells him to avoid fat, read good books, take walks and “live together in peace and harmony” with everyone.

“I enjoyed this chat immensely,” he continues in his familiar soothing-creepy voice. “You are very eloquent.”

To many other iPhone 4S owners, however, Siri isn’t such a scintillating conversationalist. She oftens fails to understand what’s spoken to her, and many of her responses are little more than lists of Google search results. Disappointed iPhone users have even filed a class-action suit against Apple, claiming that Siri doesn’t work as well as advertised.

Fortune: Siri’s father comes to her defense

That may be about to change, however.

In the eight months since she debuted in October, Siri has been “studying up and learning a lot more,” Apple Senior Vice President Scott Forstall said during a presentation Monday at Apple’s annual developers’ conference. Forstall then previewed some advancements to Siri that will come this fall as part of iOS 6, the company’s next mobile operating system.

Apple is equipping Siri with new databases of knowledge, including the ability to retrieve sports scores. She’ll also be able to open an app for you, search movie showtimes, post Facebook updates, make restaurant reservations and provide turn-by-turn navigation to drivers with Apple’s new maps application.

But based on the glimpses we saw Monday, the most interesting improvement to Siri may be the language she uses in her answers, which already sound more natural and conversational.

For example, Forstall demoed Siri onstage by asking, “Who is taller: LeBron or Kobe?” (For the NBA stars, no last names were required, apparently.) Instead of directing him to a Web search or maybe pulling up info on Japanese beef, Siri answered without hesitation: “LeBron James appears to be slightly taller.”

Jason Gilbert, writing for the Huffington Post, called this exchange “the most important thing that was said on stage” over the course of Apple’s 90-minute event

More-latest speech technologies
Social share or comment – what do you think?

There are no comments yet. Be the first and leave a response!

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