Apple Exec Overseeing Siri Departs Role

Discussion in ' News Discussion' started by MacRumors, Feb 1, 2019.

  1. ipponrg macrumors 65816

    Oct 15, 2008
    Só in other words, “you’re using it wrong”

    However from a product perspective, it should understand slang to a certain degree. “Unpause” is common when people talk about resuming playback.

    One of the eventual goals of assistants is to understand people in everyday lingo.
  2. n-evo, Feb 3, 2019
    Last edited: Feb 3, 2019

    n-evo macrumors 65816


    Aug 9, 2013
    Never knew. I just tried it and you're right. However, the second question has to be phrased pretty specifically. Per example I'm asking "Who's my mom?". Siri will pull up her contact card. Then I'm asking "When's her birthday?". I have a few different options how to phrase it in Dutch. In only one instance I'm actually getting a right answer. In all other cases Siri doesn't make a link with my first question anymore. When I'm using those different phrases on their own Siri will understand it all just fine.
  3. iciconnect macrumors newbie


    May 18, 2010
    LOL my point exactly! Siri still seem to be in Beta. Once in a while it provides good information on custom definitions then other times it does as you say; goes to the web and tell you to take a look. It’s random!!
  4. and 1989 others macrumors regular

    Sep 21, 2016
    This live makes more sense than ANYTHING Siri every says.
  5. mi7chy macrumors 603


    Oct 24, 2014
    Siri is just a big lookup table and not a proper neural network. It's an ever growing mess and not sustainable over time. Just tear it out and replace it than constantly writing exceptions for all the things it doesn't understand.

    While Siri is still trying to do basic things Google/Deepmind AI is beating pro players at StarCraft II.

  6. Jcxa macrumors member


    Sep 15, 2016
    Athens, GA
    If we could back charge Apple a dollar for every error Siri made, I believe it would get Apples' attention. Perhaps they would finally do something to improve Siri. English comprehension would be a great place to start. Failing that, giving users the ability to train Siri. Perhaps the ability to do simple commands such as changing a setting would follow. Currently, Siri is pitiful and near useless.
  7. panther quest macrumors regular

    panther quest

    Oct 16, 2013
    When's the last time you used it? There have been steady incremental improvements. Certainly I've had few problems with basic commands.
    --- Post Merged, Feb 3, 2019 ---
    Agreed. Why are we doing their work for them. Every conceivable combo of commands that could be built in short cuts should already be part of her programming. Short cuts should only need to be there to make tweaks or extreme edge case scenarios.
  8. LizKat macrumors 601


    Aug 5, 2004
    Catskill Mountains
    A focus on longer term improvement to Siri sounds good to me. Sometimes with a startup of newer tech, a fork in the development road gets taken early on that ends up limiting efficient access to full potential of that technology as time goes on. But the pull is always to fix what's there, right?

    My recollection of early Siri functionality is that even its indicated potential back then was extremely limited, compared to what it's meant to be now and is [sometimes] actually capable of doing.

    Usually that means somewhere inside is a bunch of "spaghetti code" or the equivalent, despite adaptations doubtless made to accommodate advances in machine learning.

    Can't hurt to have a team ask "What do we want and need to be able to do with Siri?" and not be bound at first by stuff like feasibility of patching old code. Brainstorm it first, winnow out the flights of too-fantastic later, spec it from scratch and then see what if anything can be salvaged from Siri as the maintenance and enhancement developers may know (and loathe?) her now.

    Too expensive? Heh. How expensive is it having all these negative comparisons to competitors out there on social media? Sometimes bean counters gotta put that gig on hold until it's their turn to talk. Giannandrea seems on right track to me.
  9. ipedro, Feb 3, 2019
    Last edited: Feb 3, 2019

    ipedro macrumors 68040


    Nov 30, 2004
    Toronto, ON
    I guess it’s different in other languages. In English, I can phrase it in several different ways and it works consistently. I’ve even tried adding another entire level of people, trying to confuse Siri but she gets it right:

    Hey Siri, how old is Obama?
    Siri: Barack Obama is 57
    Hey Siri, who is he married to?
    Siri: Barack Obama is married to Michelle Obama
    Hey Siri, how old is she?
    Siri: Michelle Obama is 55
    Hey Siri, who is her mother?
    Siri: Marion Sheilds Robinson is Michelle Obama’s mother
    Hey Siri, where was she born?
    Siri: Marion Shields Robinson was born in Chicago

    The level of complexity of context comprehension and subject awareness is pretty damn impressive. People who claim that “Siri is dumb” have an outdated view based on performance years ago. Siri has gotten significantly better in the last year and around last Fall, there was another major leap. Add in Shortcuts and I’m confident in saying that Siri is at least better than Alexa, if not quite approaching Google Assistant, given the latter’s first hand access to more information as a search engine.

    I’d like to see Apple either acquire DuckDuckGo or build its own native search engine. Otherwise, Google will always have access to more information. They don’t have to build a search engine website to compete with Google (they won’t win that fight) but Siri should have its own native web search database to return up to date relevant results that it found itself crawling the web.

    Another improvement: Siri on HomePod should listen for follow up questions to avoid having to say ‘Hey Siri’ each time, providing a more conversational experience.
  10. jeffe, Feb 3, 2019
    Last edited: Feb 3, 2019

    jeffe macrumors 6502a

    Feb 17, 2008
    I have a non techy friend who recently switched to the iPhone from only using Android a month ago. I asked them how it was going a few weeks after they switched and they told me Siri was dumb and asked how could they get rid of her. This is coming from someone who uses both Alexa and Google Assistant. So I think it is stretch to say it's an outdated view. I think what is happening is that people who use Siri frequently know what she can and cannot do and therefore self limit their queries to her based on that information and only use her only for what they know she can do. I know I use voice assistant way less than I did from when i had Android for instance. It's just not very reliable, in my experience, compared to what I used to have.

    From reviewing this thread, you see an overwhelmingly majority of people either have a neutral or negative view of Siri compared to other assistants with a few outspoken defenders of Siri who seem to be using her along with Homekit. Those who use Homekit seem to have the most positive experiences. I think it's great you have such an overwhelmingly positive view of Siri in it's current state but I think I wouldn't be so quick to discount other people's experiences as outdated. They very well likely use her differently than you, may have different expectations, or just have a different experience than you.
  11. ignatius345 macrumors 68000

    Aug 20, 2015
    Not a word. Did you mean mediocrity?
    --- Post Merged, Feb 3, 2019 ---
    Apple Maps is fine. I used it on a 2000 mile US road trip and it took me exactly where I wanted to go and we arrived more or less exactly when it said we would -- even after numerous intentional reroutes to avoid traffic. Here at home, I use it for transit directions regularly and it's excellent. I also drove around Europe on Apple Maps and it rarely missed a beat.

    The only real edge Google Maps has in my experience has been that it has way more businesses integrated into it. But that's not enough of an enticement for me to let Google soak up more of my data or put up with its comparatively crappy interface.
  12. haganah macrumors member

    Dec 22, 2003
    Sorry I don't think you picked up on what I was getting at as I was being snarky.

    All of that is a big gimmick. Amazon very clearly provides the ratings for its skills. There are also a lot of reports done that showed very few skills even had usage to start. I get it - I actually think there's value in a skill if done right but for the most part they are fluff. I think it says a lot about current assistants that "skills" just aren't taking. You are being heavily marketed something that just isn't there yet.

    The whale sounds (which are actually the top skills) and also the rest of the top skills (which are various other sounds) are not assistant interactions. It literally plays a sounds.

    I think about this space a lot. I just don't think anyone has come up with the killer assistant yet, think skills are nothing but an expensive marketing gimmick and that Siri is actually just fine by today's standards.
    --- Post Merged, Feb 3, 2019 ---
    Ah the omnipresent "AI".

    Honestly I am so terrified for our future when people think like you are doing right now.

    DeepMind is a secluded research group in Google using deep learning and mostly focused on healthcare FYI. That StarCraft "news" is great for people like you but many folks in the ML/DL community were eh on it.
  13. macfacts macrumors 68030


    Oct 7, 2012
    That is an excuse some apple fans have made up. There is no evidence that Siri's failures are because of Apple's public privacy stance.
  14. Shanghaichica macrumors G3


    Apr 8, 2013
    After multiple tries on my HomePod I did eventually get Siri to do a follow up question on Obama. I do think there is an argument to be made that Siri is as good as Alexa or not far behind but I think the google assistant is very far ahead of them.

    The google assistant can make phone calls and imitate a human to the extent that if it didn’t disclose that it was an AI you wouldn’t know you were not speaking to a human.
  15. TheFluffyDuck macrumors 6502

    Jul 26, 2012
    Yup, it's a totally conspiracy. I'm absolutely lying and don't know what I am talking about when I say that Siri is utter garbage. Go on post some "evidence", Shortcuts are 100% smoke and mirrors. If it was a proper "virtual assistant" you wouldn't have to micromanage setting up a glorified IFTTT in the first place. It would, just do it? It's not an assistant if you have to do the work for it. Perhaps I am old fashioned that way.
    Installing a "skill" that then just works, is different from spending the next 10 minutes making a set of commands to go off one after the other I mean, thats literally 2005 'Automator'. Sure, it's useful to some and happy days to you if you are one of them, but it is useless to most. 'Shortcuts' is missing the point of a digital assistant. If I hire a secretary, then have to do her job for her, she isn't a good secretary.
  16. jouster macrumors 65816

    Jan 21, 2002
    "Siri, who is Bill Stasior?"

    "I can search the web for 'Who is Bill Stasior?'"

    Please, make Siri better. Or less bad.
  17. millerlite macrumors regular


    Oct 16, 2007
    God, I hate these anti-Siri threads. I've used Alexa, which is ok, but sucks with home automation. Siri and Homekit are way better. And there are people here saying that Siri can't even place a phone call. Now I know you're trolling.
  18. ipedro macrumors 68040


    Nov 30, 2004
    Toronto, ON
    You two don’t understand Shortcuts. Nobody is asking you to build shortcuts manually. In fact, don’t even install the Shortcuts app. You don’t need it for Siri Shortcuts to work.

    Siri does exactly what you’re saying it should do. It will watch for patterns in your routine and will suggest pre-made Shortcuts. You accept the shortcut and it’s set up.

    Apps themselves have pre-set Shortcuts that the developer built. They’re set up exactly like Alexa Skills. You tap the button to add the Shortcut and it’s done.

    The Shortcuts app is there for those who want to tinker but Shortcuts is a framework, not just an app.
  19. DeepIn2U macrumors 603


    May 30, 2002
    Toronto, Ontario, Canada

    Starting with this, it was the ONLY improvement to Siri in 2018.
    --- Post Merged, Feb 4, 2019 ---
    I hope you didn’t manuall Type this out missing an “a” in ‘for A living’ cause that would be really sad.

    Siri dictation (communally corrected in italics) : why it can not[\i] understand most common words? I do voice to Tatian for living and Siri is a joke. (Funny Siri didn’t miss the letter A that I mentioned)
  20. Defthand macrumors 6502a

    Sep 1, 2010
    The reality is that neither Siri, nor Google Assistant, can verbally respond to most trivia questions, even when the answer is available on the web. Neither is equivalent to IBM's Watson, which demonstrated the potential on Jeopardy.
  21. jeffe macrumors 6502a

    Feb 17, 2008

    What's a n example of a trivia question that google can't answer?
  22. Shanghaichica macrumors G3


    Apr 8, 2013
    Well I made some shortcuts and for a while the HomePod would carry them out but now it’s stopped.
    --- Post Merged, Feb 4, 2019 ---
  23. Defthand macrumors 6502a

    Sep 1, 2010
    Notice I said verbally answer. As an example, ask it who Bill Stasior is. It and Siri will point you to web search results instead. Not sure why it can read some search results to you and not others. Perhaps the Internet will someday have a 3.0 evolution that requires web developers to format content for voice assistant use.
  24. jeffe macrumors 6502a

    Feb 17, 2008
    He doesn't have a wikipedia page. That's where they seem to pull people from.
  25. Mildredop macrumors 68020

    Oct 14, 2013
    One of the eventual goals of the motor industry is for self-driving cars, bit that's not to say I should today take my hands of the wheel and then complain when my car crashes into a wall.

    Technology has limits.

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