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Category Archives: siri

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Apple Looking To Hire Siri Engineer With Psychology Background

Tyler Lee September 15, 2017

Voice assistant software at this point in time have certainly come a long way from when they were first introduced, but at the same time we wouldn’t exactly call it perfect. For the most part it does what it is supposed to do, but what if voice assistants could become more than just mere software in the future?

That seems to be a future that Apple is looking to explore, thanks to a recent job listing in which Apple is seeking an engineer with a psychology background for Siri. The job listing, which was discovered by CNBC’s Christina Farr reads in part, “People have serious conversations with Siri. People talk to Siri about all kinds of things, including when they’re having a stressful day or have something serious on their mind. They turn to Siri in emergencies or when they want guidance on living a healthier life.”

Farr also provides a link to a study conducted by Stanford University back in 2016 in which it explored how voice assistants could be improved upon to respond to personal emergencies, such as how to advise a user who might have been raped. It will be interesting (and also a bit scary) to see if Apple has what it takes to make Siri be more “human” and understand our human needs.

It is clear that Apple sees AI as being the future, especially when you consider the fact that for the iPhone X, Apple included a dedicated neural engine in the A11 Bionic chipset.

Apple Looking To Hire Siri Engineer With Psychology Background , original content from Ubergizmo. Read our Copyrights and terms of use.

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Researchers Demonstrate ‘Dolphin Attack’ That Targets Digital Voice Assistants

Tyler Lee September 7, 2017

We hear about our smartphones being vulnerable to attacks all the time, and with the rise in popularity in digital voice assistants, it seems that we now have a new avenue to be worried about. A report from FastCompany has revealed that Chinese researchers have discovered a new way that hackers can take control of your smartphone using your voice assistant.

Dubbed the DolphinAttack, this technique was discovered by a team at the Zhejiang University in which it uses normal voice commands that have been transformed into ultrasonic frequencies to communicate with your phone. These frequencies cannot be heard or detected by the human ear, but can be picked up by microphones and voice assistants, which if you have enabled it to be always-on will act on those commands where possible.

This isn’t just limited to smartphones but it works with any device that has an always-on voice assistant software running on it. For example the researchers managed to test it out on a MacBook and an Audi Q3 where they managed to get the car’s navigation system redirected to a new location.

However there is a potential fix and that is all companies need to do is tell their voice assistants to ignore commands that are speaking at 20kHz by using a digital audio filter, although the researchers suggest that in theory, the reason this hasn’t been done is because maybe the voice analyzing software needs every bit of your voice in order to parse the commands. In any case we can only hope that with this knowledge being public that these tech companies will try to come up with some kind of fix for it.

Researchers Demonstrate ‘Dolphin Attack’ That Targets Digital Voice Assistants , original content from Ubergizmo. Read our Copyrights and terms of use.

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Apple’s Siri Helps Save Sick Teen During Hurricane Harvey

Tyler Lee September 5, 2017

Sure, Siri might be a great tool to help you set calendar reminders, reply text messages, control music playback, and while we’re not sure if this was Apple’s intention, but it seems that Siri can also be used to save lives, or at least that’s what seems to be what we have been hearing about over the past few years, where Siri has been reported to have helped save lives.

In fact the most recent instance of Siri saving a life was during Hurricane Harvey, in which a sick teen managed to get rescued and have her life saved thanks to the use of Siri. The teen in question, 14-year old Tyler Frank, suffers from sickle cell anemia, in which the flood water and the overall shock of the events did not help. Frank’s family tried calling 911 but could not get through, but they managed to get some help by using Siri to call for the Coast Guard.

The first call, made on the 27th of August, saw the first rescue helicopter arrive on the 28th of August in which the Coast Guard then informed the family that only the elderly were being taken at that time. Frank then made another call to the Coast Guard using Siri again, in which she was ultimately rescued on the 29th of August.

Thankfully Frank made it through and was released from the Texas Children’s Hospital on the 1st of September.

Apple’s Siri Helps Save Sick Teen During Hurricane Harvey , original content from Ubergizmo. Read our Copyrights and terms of use.

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iPhone 8 Power Button May Let You Activate Siri

Adnan Farooqui September 3, 2017


You activate Siri on your iPhone right now by pressing and holding the home button. However, since the iPhone 8 is reportedly not going to have a physical home button, how would you activate Siri if you don’t want to wake it up with a voice command? If a new report is to be believed, the iPhone 8 power button will enable users to activate Siri.

Developer Guilherme Rambo has found references in the source code to a gesture that will activate Siri by holding the sleep/wake/power button.

This is obviously going to be an alternative to the main way that Apple will push to interact with Siri. Apple would much rather prefer that iPhone 8 owners use the “Hey Siri” callphrase to activate the digital assistant.

The power button already does a lot of things on an iPhone. It’s used to lock or wake up the device. It’s also used to power down the device. The new Emergency SOS feature in iOS 11 is also going to be linked to this button. Seems like Apple is going to add this to the list of things that the button can do on the iPhone 8.

None of this has been officially confirmed as yet so take it with a grain of salt. Apple has already confirmed its September 12th event where it will finally unveil its new iPhones officially.

iPhone 8 Power Button May Let You Activate Siri , original content from Ubergizmo. Read our Copyrights and terms of use.

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Apple Used Deep Learning To Fix Siri’s Robotic Voice, You Can Hear The Difference

Adnan Farooqui August 24, 2017


Apple has been working to make Siri sound less like a robot and more like a human. As it gears up to launch iOS 11 to hundreds of millions of users across the globe, the company has released a white paper which details how it used deep learning to make Siri sound less robotic. The company has even included voice samples in the paper which let you hear the difference.

Several hours of high quality audio was captured so that it could be sliced to create voice responses. Developers also had to work had to get the prosody right, that’s the pattern of stress and intonation in a spoken language.

It’s not just about working this out. It’s about making it work on a mobile device because this level of processing can put a lot of stress on a device’s processor and thus hamper its performance.

Apple relied on machine learning to get around this. Enough training data allowed it to help the system understand just how segments of audio that pair well have to be selected in order to create responses that sound more natural.

Siri will sound much better with iOS 11. Apple has worked with a new female voice actor to record more than 20 hours of speed in US English. It generated between 1 and 2 million audio segments that were used to train the deep learning system. Apple mentions in the paper that test subjects liked the new Siri responses compared to the previous one.

Check out Apple’s white paper on the matter to hear just how different Siri sounds on iOS 11.

Apple Used Deep Learning To Fix Siri’s Robotic Voice, You Can Hear The Difference , original content from Ubergizmo. Read our Copyrights and terms of use.

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News: Apple publishes details of deep learning improvements to Siri voice quality in iOS 11

Jesse Hollington August 24, 2017

Apple’s latest post on its fledgling Machine Learning Journal provides some interesting insights into how the company is using artificial intelligence technology to not only improve Siri’s speech recognition capabilities, but to make the personal assistant’s voice sound more natural, smother, and provide more personality. The article provides technical details about the deep learning technology used to improve Siri behind the scenes,…

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HomePod Setup Process Revealed In iOS 11 Beta Video

Tyler Lee August 22, 2017

With Amazon and Google launching AI-powered smart speakers, it did not really come as a complete surprise to learn that Apple will be launching one of their own too featuring Siri. Dubbed HomePod, the speakers were unveiled at WWDC 2017 a few months ago, and a recently discovered video shows us how the setup process will work.

In a video uploaded by iOS developer Guilherme Rambo, this video is apparently extracted from the latest iOS 11 beta and shows us the setup process for pairing an iPhone with the HomePod. Based on what we are seeing, and assuming it is accurate, the process appears to be similar to the setup process for the AirPods with the iPhone, iPad, or iPod Touch.

This is how the HomePod setup will look like on an iPhone. pic.twitter.com/SARqsYslL6

— Guilherme Rambo (@_inside) August 22, 2017

According to Brazilian website iHelpBR, “When you turn on the sound box for the first time, iOS will ask the user if they want to perform the setup with that iPhone, iPad, or iPod touch. It will not be possible to set up a HomePod for Mac or Apple TV — although it is very likely that the device will work normally with them later.”

It seems that the overall setup process is pretty straightforward and fast, which we guess is one of the benefits (and selling points) of owning multiple Apple products. There is no specific date on when the HomePods will be launched, but it is expected to be later this year.

HomePod Setup Process Revealed In iOS 11 Beta Video , original content from Ubergizmo. Read our Copyrights and terms of use.

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Apple’s HomePod Could Face Supply Constraints At Launch

Tyler Lee August 14, 2017

Apple’s HomePod speakers were announced earlier this year during WWDC 2017 and was promised to be launched towards the later part of the year. If you were interested in the device and wanted to get your hands on it, you might want to move quickly because in a report from the Nikkei Asian Review (via CNET), supply could be heavily constrained.

According to the report, it seems that they are claiming that the HomePod’s manufacturer Inventec Appliances will only be shipping as many as 500,000 units this year alone, and while it might seem like a lot of units, it apparently only makes up for about 1% of the group’s revenue. Inventec Appliances President David Ho reportedly told analysts, “We will finally ship the smart home device this year, but its contribution will be fairly limited and hopefully that will improve next year.”

Unfortunately in the grander scale of things, 500,000 units isn’t alone for the rest of the world, which means like we said, supply of the speakers could be constrained at launch so you will have to move quickly if you wanted to get one for yourself. Interestingly enough Inventec is also the manufacturer for Apple’s AirPods which are also facing some supply constraints even until today, but hopefully customers will have a slightly easier time with the HomePods.

Apple’s HomePod Could Face Supply Constraints At Launch , original content from Ubergizmo. Read our Copyrights and terms of use.

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HomePod’s Audio Cues Unveiled In Leaked Audio Files

Tyler Lee August 2, 2017

Apple’s HomePod speaker is a bit of an enigma. The device was officially announced at WWDC 2017 back in June, but unfortunately not much details were shared save for the fact that it is expected to be made available later this year. However thanks to developer Avery Magnotti, some additional details have been revealed in the form of audio files.

According to Magnotti, he managed to extract the audio files from audioOS which was accidentally posted by Apple via their public update server earlier than expected. From this he managed to extract several audio files that will be used for different audio cues on the speaker, which we guess gives us a little taste of what to expect.

Based on the files, we are looking at audio files such as alarm1.wav, Lighthouse.wav, SessionInactive-b238.wav, SetupFinal-b238.m4a, SetupStepSource-b238.m4a, SetupStepTarget-b238.m4a, Timer1.wav, TwoShot-b238.wav, and WOCAudioPasscodeTone.wav. The names itself should be a giveaway in some cases, like “alarm” or “Setup”.

So far we have to say that they sound pretty good and rather “rich” and bass-y. Apple has promised that the HomePod will be able to deliver exceptional sound, thanks to the array of drivers placed around its body. Whether or not Apple can deliver as promised remains to be seen.

HomePod’s Audio Cues Unveiled In Leaked Audio Files , original content from Ubergizmo. Read our Copyrights and terms of use.

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Specs For Apple’s HomePod Revealed In Firmware

Tyler Lee July 31, 2017

At WWDC 2017, it seemed that the rumors were true and that Apple was indeed planning to compete against the likes of Amazon and Google by releasing the HomePod, a Bluetooth speaker that comes with Siri installed in it that will allow users to interact with the digital assistant without necessarily requiring an iOS device.

Apart from Apple boasting that it would feature incredible sound, not much else is known about the HomePod, or at least until now where thanks to firmware released by Apple to developers, some addition nuggets of information about the speakers has been revealed. Posted on Twitter by Avery Magnotti, the amount of RAM the HomePod is packing has been revealed to be at 1GB, along with an A8 chipset which supposedly makes it more powerful than current smart speakers in the market today.

The LED display on top of the speakers is also revealed to have a very basic resolution of 272 x 340. This display is meant to show a multicolored waveform that turns on to let users know when Siri has been activated. However it has been suggested that this display could also be used to display other shapes for other purposes, although the full functionality has yet to be revealed.

The HomePod is currently scheduled for a release this coming December where it will be priced at $349.

Specs For Apple’s HomePod Revealed In Firmware , original content from Ubergizmo. Read our Copyrights and terms of use.

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