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Category Archives: siri

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Apple’s HomePod Speaker Has Been Delayed To 2018

Tyler Lee November 18, 2017

We’re sure that some of you guys might have noticed or found it a bit odd that during Apple’s iPhone 8, 8 Plus, and X announcement that the company pretty much did not mention anything about the HomePod speakers. In the past we’ve seen how Apple has announced products at one event, and then touch on them at a later event, but that wasn’t really the case here.

Turns out there’s a reason why: the HomePod has been delayed. In a statement provided to John Gruber at Daring Fireball, Apple has confirmed that the speakers have been delayed and will not be released in 2017. Instead it looks like the HomePod will only be arriving in “early 2018”, whenever that might be.

The statement reads, “We can’t wait for people to experience HomePod, Apple’s breakthrough wireless speaker for the home, but we need a little more time before it’s ready for our customers. We’ll start shipping in the US, UK and Australia in early 2018.” Like we said we’re not sure what “early 2018” means, but Apple usually holds an event around March/April which tends to be iPad/MacBook-related in nature, so it is possible that we could learn more about it then.

Unfortunately for Apple the delay also means that they’ll be giving companies like Amazon and Google an even bigger lead that they already have. Whether or not the HomePods will be worth the wait remains to be seen, although in the case of the AirPods which also faced delays last year, many reviews seem to think it was worth the wait, so maybe the HomePods could replicate the AirPods’ success.

Apple’s HomePod Speaker Has Been Delayed To 2018 , original content from Ubergizmo. Read our Copyrights and terms of use.

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Future HomePods Could Come With Face ID Integration

Tyler Lee November 13, 2017

At the moment there is a bit of resistance amongst some consumers when it comes to adopting smart speakers. This is because there are some who are concerned about their privacy, and how they think that these smart speakers are eavesdropping on their conversations. If they were already worried about that, then they might not be pleased with this bit of news.

According to a report from the Nikkei Asian Review (via AppleInsider), it seems that Apple supplier Inventec has suggested that in the future, smart speakers could also come with facial recognition features. For those unfamiliar, Inventec is the manufacturer of Apple’s upcoming HomePod, and while the company’s president David Ho did not mention Apple by name, it has led to speculation that perhaps Ho could be speaking about future iterations of the HomePod.

Ho was quoted as saying, “We see trends that engineers are designing smart speakers that will not only come with voice recognition but also incorporate features such as facial and image recognition. Such AI-related features are set to make people’s lives more convenient and to make the product easier to use.”

Like we said, those already concerned about smart speakers listening in on them could find this “trend” worrying as they might now worry about being constantly watched. Whether or not we will find facial recognition arrive for smart speakers remains to be seen, so take it with a grain of salt for now.

Future HomePods Could Come With Face ID Integration , original content from Ubergizmo. Read our Copyrights and terms of use.

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HomePod Will Pass Certain Siri Queries To The iPhone/iPad

Tyler Lee November 1, 2017

During WWDC earlier this year, Apple announced the HomePod which is basically the company’s take on the Amazon Echo and Google Home, except that it will come with Siri baked inside of it. Now thanks to a deeper look at the firmware of the HomePod and developer documentation, more details about the HomePod and its functionality have been revealed.

One of the things revealed in the firmware and documentation is how the HomePod will handle Siri queries. Basically it seems that Siri on the HomePod will be somewhat barebones, where it will be capable of handling music playback queries on the device itself. However anything more, it appears that it will send those queries to a linked iPhone or iPad instead for processing.

We suppose given that Apple seems to be positioning the HomePod as a device for music consumption, it makes sense that they would try to keep Siri music queries local to the device. Whether handing queries off to a separate device like a linked iPhone or iPad will cause any delays remains to be seen as the HomePod has yet to be officially released.

The HomePod is currently set for a release by the end of the year, but there have been reports to suggest that it could face some supply constraints at the start.

HomePod Will Pass Certain Siri Queries To The iPhone/iPad , original content from Ubergizmo. Read our Copyrights and terms of use.

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iOS 11.2 Beta Reveals ‘SiriKit’ For Apple’s HomePod

Tyler Lee October 30, 2017

With companies like Amazon and Google launching smart speakers with their own digital assistants baked into them, it hardly came as a surprise to see Apple launch a similar product of their own. Earlier this year during WWDC, Apple announced that they would be launching a smart speaker with Siri called HomePod.

Recently Apple has released the iOS 11.2 beta and based on what’s been discovered inside of the beta, it has been revealed that Apple has also included SiriKit for the HomePod, which is basically an SDK that allows developers to take advantage of Siri on the HomePod to create apps or let it perform certain tasks.

However as 9to5Mac points out, it seems that Siri support for third-party apps on the HomePod could be limited since Apple has yet to address the topic. The description also reads, “With the intelligence of Siri, users control HomePod through natural voice interaction. And with SiriKit, users can access iOS apps for Messaging, Lists, and Notes. Make sure your SiriKit integration is up to date and test your app’s voice-only experience today.”

This seems to be a stark contrast to what Amazon is doing, in which they’re trying to court developers with prize money to create skills for Alexa. In any case we suppose we’ll find out the true extent of HomePod and Siri’s capabilities for when the smart speakers launch at the end of the year, although last we heard there could be some supply constraints.

iOS 11.2 Beta Reveals ‘SiriKit’ For Apple’s HomePod , original content from Ubergizmo. Read our Copyrights and terms of use.

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Study: Google’s AI Has The Highest IQ Amongst The Competition

Tyler Lee October 6, 2017

In computing there is term known as “garbage in, garbage out,” meaning that if you input garbage you should expect results that aren’t ideal as well. However in today’s modern society, technology has progressed to the point where it can anticipate our needs even before we ask for it. Think about the ads you see on websites for products you’ve searched for in the past.

That being said, how smart is today’s AI? In a recent study conducted by researchers at Cornell University, it seems that out of all the AI available to the public, Google’s is ranked the highest. According to researchers Feng Liu, Yong Shi, and Ying Liu, Google’s AI has an IQ of 47.28 which is based on tests conducted back in 2016.

This means that Google has an IQ score that sits slightly below that of a six-year-old human whose IQ is an average of 55.5. While that doesn’t seem too smart, Google’s AI seems to have beaten the competition by a huge margin. Take for example Siri, Apple’s digital assistant, who only scored 23.9 (which might explain why Apple is still working on improving it), and Microsoft’s Bing who scored 31.98, or China’s Baidu which scored 32.92.

In a way we suppose we should be glad that AI today isn’t quite as smart as a six year old. There are quite a few prominent names in the tech industry who are wary about AI being too smart, and since there has yet to be a six year old who has successfully taken over the world, we can continue to breathe easy for now.

Study: Google’s AI Has The Highest IQ Amongst The Competition , original content from Ubergizmo. Read our Copyrights and terms of use.

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Apple’s Latest Acqui-Hire Could Be Used To Improve On Siri

Tyler Lee October 5, 2017

With the launch of devices like the HomePod, it is clear that Apple is hoping that more users will turn to the use of Siri, its digital assistant. Apple has made great strides over the years improving on the feature, but we suppose there’s always room for improvement and Apple’s latest acqui-hire might have confirmed it.

In a report from TechCrunch, it seems that Apple might have recently acquired a startup called Init.ai. If you’re unfamiliar with the company, not to worry but basically what they do is offer a smart assistant service for customer representatives to help parse information and gain better insights from their interactions with users, and it will also help to automate certain interactions as well.

The company has announced on their website that their service will be discontinued at the end of the year. “Today is an exciting day for our team. Init.ai is joining a project that touches the lives of countless people across the world. We are thrilled and excited at the new opportunities this brings us. However, this means Init.ai will discontinue its service effective December 16th 2017. While we wish to make this transition as smooth as possible, we cannot continue to operate Init.ai going forward.”

While they do not mention the reason why, TechCrunch has learnt that the team behind the project will be joining Apple. It is unclear what Apple plans to do with the team, but like we said given what the company does, it seems that it could be towards improving on Siri, although we suppose we’ll never really know for sure.

Apple’s Latest Acqui-Hire Could Be Used To Improve On Siri , original content from Ubergizmo. Read our Copyrights and terms of use.

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News: Sonos bringing AirPlay 2 support to its speakers next year

Dan Pye October 4, 2017

Sonos has announced it will bring support for Apple’s AirPlay 2 standard to its speakers next year, allowing users to control the devices with HomeKit or Siri. AirPlay 2 integration will allow voice control of music in addition to providing the ability to listen to the audio from videos, apps and games through the speakers. The company also debuted its new Sonos One speaker ($199) during the event — the company’s first speaker with…

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News: Apple drops Bing for Siri and Spotlight searches, moves to Google

Dan Pye September 26, 2017

Apple has switched Siri and Spotlight’s default searches to Google, leaving Bing behind and bringing the searches in line with Safari, TechCrunch reports. Apple’s web browser already used Google — both on macOS and iOS — so the move should make the results returned in Siri and Spotlight more consistent with Safari. For the time being Bing is still the go-to for Siri image searches, and video results are delivered courtesy of YouTube.…

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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.