Techie Diaries #3: Talking to My Phone

“Siri, play Retrograde”.

Barely seconds later, I hear the soothing voice of James  Blake.

“Siri, should I carry an umbrella today?”
After a quick internet search Siri  informs me that I should not, because the weather forecast predicts clear skies with a sunny afternoon today. At this point, you would think that Siri was my personal assistant (wouldn’t that be delightful). Siri is one of many intelligent personal assistants available on the market today. According to Apple, the application’s developer, Siri is a  knowledge navigator which uses a natural language user interface to answer questions, make recommendations, and perform actions by delegating requests to a set of Web services. Apple further claims that the software adapts to the user’s individual preferences over time and personalizes results. This is the future; smart technology which promises to optimize tasks and make human beings more efficient.

However, I had to repeat myself several times before Siri understood me. (Ah the day when natural language processing will advance to human standards of speech).

Siri also found it difficult to understand different accents.
One day, I had a fascinating discussion with a friend. He told me to imagine being sixty and having a humanoid robot for a companion,lovely an advanced version of Siri. How would its intelligence compare to mine?

Does that mean that machines will take over? I think not.

Until these key issues are resolved, “Siri, play Happy”

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