Apple Possibly Looking to Japanese Expertise to Improve Siri

Discussion in ' News Discussion' started by MacRumors, Oct 17, 2016.

  1. MacRumors macrumors bot


    Apr 12, 2001

    Apple CEO Tim Cook hinted that Japan has a big part to play in the company's ongoing development of AI, as he continued his travels around the country via bullet train on Monday.

    Speaking to Nikkei Asian Review, Cook revealed that Apple's new advanced R&D center in Yokohama, currently scheduled for completion in December, would focus on "deep engineering" and would be "very different" from the R&D base Apple is building in China, without giving away specifics.

    Photo via Tim Cook

    However, Cook intimated that one of its main focuses would be on developing Apple's artificial intelligence services - which recently drew some criticism in the press - and emphasized that the company wanted to leverage specifically Japanese expertise in the field.
    Japan's robotics heritage is legendary, coming on the back of years of successfully building industrial robots, however the state of its AI research remains ambiguous, given its relative lack of investment in deep learning from large amounts of analyzed data, which U.S. companies like Facebook and Google are already heavily researching.

    To improve on this front, Japan has just opened a Center for Advanced Integrated Intelligence Research in Tokyo (RIKEN), which specifically aims to develop systems of AI that will be able to solve problems using "Big Data". The institution will work with several large companies including Sony, NEC and Toyota, and is set to receive state funding of $99.7 million over the next financial year.

    Elsewhere in his interview, Cook talked up the Japanese model of the iPhone with regard to its hardware integration with Sony's contactless FeliCa standard, which is widely used across the country for making quick payments. "Japan is important to us. FeliCa was born in Japan. So by extension, FeliCa is important," he said.

    Cook also said he hoped the use of Apple Pay, the iPhone and the Apple Watch would promote a cashless society: "We would like to be a catalyst for taking cash out of the system," he said. "We don't think the consumer particularly likes cash."

    In addition, Apple is said to be working with IBM and Japan Post Holdings to offer health care services for the country's elderly, with the iPad being at the center of the program. Given the rapid aging of the country's population, Cook said "Japan is in the best position to lead" the way on such technology.

    Previously during his Japan visit, Tim Cook met with Nintendo's legendary game designer Shigeru Miyamoto and played Super Mario Run, which is expected to arrive on iPhones by the end of the year. It's unclear what else Cook is planning during the rest of his stay in the country.

    Article Link: Apple Possibly Looking to Japanese Expertise to Improve Siri
  2. Velin macrumors 65816


    Jul 23, 2008
    Hearst Castle
    Good. Love Japanese engineering; great culture of precision and quality. Steer all business away from the intellectual property thieves in China and South Korea.
  3. Relentless Power macrumors Penryn

    Relentless Power

    Jul 12, 2016
    At this point, I think it would behoove Apple to invest further into Siri, one way or the other. There's no hiding that Siri has fallen behind and everybody's aware of it, mainly in dictation and deciphering, in my opinion.
  4. coffeemadmanUK macrumors 6502a


    Jan 30, 2012
    United Kingdom
    I hope this is the start of great things for Siri. AI has the potential to be amazing on a mobile phone but it needs to be allowed!

    I'd even accept a "beta Siri" that lets me choose the personal data I'm happy for them to have access to if it can improve the service.
  5. ChristianVirtual macrumors 601


    May 10, 2010
    Best season to enjoy good & fresh edamame ...
  6. otternonsense, Oct 17, 2016
    Last edited: Oct 17, 2016

    otternonsense macrumors 65816


    Jul 25, 2016
  7. Solomani macrumors 68040


    Sep 25, 2012
    Alberto, Canado
    Domo Arigato, Mister Siri-bato.

    Japanese have always been pioneering vanguards in AI. But I hope this means that we won't see Siri sexbots in the future.

    This is a very logical step for Apple.
  8. Steve121178 macrumors 601


    Apr 13, 2010
    Bedfordshire, UK
    Are you saying that the west and United States in particular are immune to IP theft?

    Regarding Japanese engineering, they've resorted to using China and other countries to produce & manufacture a lot of their tech due to cost. Nothing is sacred, even their high-end DSLR cameras are mostly made in places like China & Thailand. And even Sony rely on cheap Chinese costs to produce the bulk of their goods.
  9. Floris macrumors 68020


    Sep 7, 2007
    Siri is quite amazing. It's fantastic what it can already do. It's miles away from doing the most simple things sometimes. And I think with additional interfaces beyond apps. Such as VR and use in autonomous vehicles (be it Apple's or the competition) I think it's a great addition to improve on the natural language and a.i-like underlying layer.
  10. Northgrove macrumors 65816

    Aug 3, 2010
    I hope this is not just yet an effort to expand on Siri's capabilities, but to improve on existing ones and improve accuracy. I think it's time for Apple to take a step back and look at what they've got and how to improve it, because it's not in an excellent state right now. I'm not sure why it seems to drop in accuracy the more features it gets; could it be an issue with the Siri tech not designed for this capacity? I mean, the more phrases it understands and tries to pick from, the more important it ought to become to have razor sharp accuracy as the number of similar and understood, maybe even ambiguous, phrases increases.
  11. keysofanxiety macrumors G3


    Nov 23, 2011
    "I'm sorry, I don't understand 'love'. Would you like me to search the web?" :(
  12. Avieshek Suspended


    Dec 7, 2013
  13. nikon1 macrumors member


    Sep 15, 2014
    Somewhere In South Jersey
    "We don't think the consumer particularly likes cash."

    Speak for yourself, Tim! Cash is untraceable - no Big Data when cash is the vehicle of payment; Don't have to worry about my "Cash" data being hacked or hijacked or stolen by some third world script kiddies or state actors.

    Cash is just fine for me!

  14. Steve121178 macrumors 601


    Apr 13, 2010
    Bedfordshire, UK
    Siri used to look great until rivals made their products so superior, it was enough to make Siri look a stupid dated mess. Apple have neglected Siri which is why it's so poor.

    Cortana is a thousand times better and more useful. Google Now is almost as good as Cortana and infinitely better than Siri. It's clear what Apple have been doing with Siri - F.A. It's embarrassingly poor and Siri's implementation on Sierra makes me wonder why they bothered. It's bolted on to the OS like a horrible third party tool.
  15. Velin macrumors 65816


    Jul 23, 2008
    Hearst Castle
    Wrong. Consumers love cash. Citizens should love cash. Citizens should never, ever allow only digital currency: your privacy will be eliminated. They will track Every. Single. Transaction. Forever.

    Banks and tech companies also will constantly push for transaction fees and other costs every time you seek to use your "digital money." You will be constantly taxed, charged, gouged to use your own money.

    This already happens with credit cards via the ubiquitous interchange fee, a massive tax all of us are paying to use credit cards. And it also happens with outrageous fees for out-of-network ATMs. It will be much, much worse with digital currency -- because there will be no alternative, which is exactly what tech, banks, and the corrupt Federal Reserve want.
  16. meaning-matters macrumors 6502


    Dec 13, 2013
    Amazing summary of my feelings :)
  17. deany macrumors 68030


    Sep 16, 2012
    North Wales
    Improvement #1:

    change from "Hey Siri" with option (like echo has 3 options) to "Hey Apple"

    Improvement #2:

    Bring out an apple Amazon Echo/Google Home ASAP (but not rushed) that integrates with SONOS and NEST and has option 1 and 4 built in.

    Improvement #3:

    Have more conversation rather that webpage links (like Google assistant) but due to apples lack of data mining I feel this service will never match googles unfortunately...unless apple have something magical up their sleeve.

    Improvement #4:

    reminders - "remind me to phone Mrs Jones at 3.00pm" as well as a calendar entry your phone speaks to you at 3.00pm and says "Hey Nigel just a reminder to phone Mrs Jones"
  18. skitidetdu macrumors 6502


    Mar 7, 2013
  19. Archer1440 Suspended


    Mar 10, 2012

    The irony (in the context of this story) is that Japan is one of the most cash oriented places in the world when it comes to many everyday transactions.
  20. maflynn Moderator


    Staff Member

    May 3, 2009
    I hope this isn't too little too late, Amazon, google and even MS are much farther ahead of Apple on this
  21. MH01 Suspended


    Feb 11, 2008
    Forget deeper learning and amazing future benefits, invest in Siri so it's at least on par with the competition.

    Your short term solution is to go outside Tim, buy a cheap android device, drop it off at your at your Siri development team and ask them why Siri cannot do half the things "ok google" can.

    Let's start with basics. I just want a AI that is competitive and is not dead set last . iPhone with google assistant would be perfect.
  22. Nimrad macrumors 6502

    Jul 28, 2010
    Possibly looking to improve Siri? Wow, what a great idea.
  23. Sunny1990 Suspended


    Feb 13, 2015
    Siri was never a useful feature to me ,it's way behind "google now"
  24. djcerla macrumors 68000


    Apr 23, 2015
    Hyperboles much?

    Google Now is not "infinitely better" than Siri by any stretch of imagination.

    Actually I use it all the time and it's the quickest way for several tasks. That's because I know where Siri's current limitations are, and I believe Apple's recent massive buying spree in AI startups has something to do with those limitations.
  25. SBlue1 macrumors 65816


    Oct 17, 2008
    Well people speak for themselves already, cash is getting less love with each generation. Young people dont stand in lines at ATMs. They swype and wave their cards.

    Seems not everyone is scared to use cards.

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