October 2011

5 posts

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Siri Technology

Siri Technology Considerable press puffery has followed Apple’s announcement of Siri dramatizing the significant nature of the natural language technology. Siri is touted as a $200 million DARPA-funded research in the same league as the Internet and GPS. Siri is much advanced over existing popular voice control technology in its acceptance of free-form input, access to web services, and conversational feedback; however, it probably not too much of an advance. Microsoft and Google should catch up quickly. Microsoft previewed a future vision of its acquired Tellme voice control technology, and Google is likely to advance its Voice Actions to match Apple’s developments....

Siri and the Human Connection—The Eliza Effect

Siri and the Human Connection—The Eliza Effect In accordance with combining technology with the liberal arts, I believe that Apple attempted in Siri to establish a more human connection to the iPhone user, first, by allowing it to understand free-form conversation and, second, by giving it a personality whereby the user may feel that she has a relationship with a humanoid rather than a machine. Literally, this has been the vision of the Knowledge Navigator with its animated virtual human and other social interface projects over the past couple decades. The Wall Street Journal recently explored Apple’s motivation in Siri while asking the question whether smartphones are...

Technology & Liberal Arts

Technology & Liberal Arts Steve Jobs often attributes that the popularity of Apple products comes from merging technology with the humanities. During the introduction of the first iPad, Jobs notes that "the reason that Apple is able to create products like iPad is because we always try to be at the intersection of technology and liberal arts, to be able to get the best of both, to make extremely advanced products in a technology point of view but also have them be intuitive, easy to use, fun to use so they really fit the users. The users don’t have to come to them, they...

Siri and the AI Revolution

With natural user interfaces (like touchscreens and microphones) and sensory rich devices (like GPS and cameras) rapidly become mainstream due to the rise of smartphones and tablets alongside growing acceptance of speech recognition, augmented reality and now the conversational UI in the form of Siri, there’s been growing predictions of a coming AI revolution in the computer industry. Siri; The Artificial Intelligence Revolution has begun. Apple Siri: the next big revolution in how we interact with gadgets? Apple’s Siri Is as Revolutionary as the Mac In an interview with 9to4mac, Norman Winarsky, cofounder of Siri, predicted before the iPhone launch...

Conversational Interfaces: Siri & Shrdlu

Conversational Interfaces: Siri & Shrdlu Apple announced Siri as a voice-activated “personal assistant” available exclusively in the iPhone 4S. Siri reminds of a few projects from the past, but it’s the first apparent demonstration of natural language understanding in a consumer product (excluding simplistic natural-language-based games like Zork). First, it’s the realization of the conversational interface envisioned by Apple’s Knowledge Navigator video in 1987 and a couple other copycat vision videos produced by IBM and Microsoft. I could easily see the Siri user interface expanding to include a digital, three-dimensionally rendered person in the future. Second, it embodies the inherently social interaction people have with...

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