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Apple Possibly Looking to Japanese Expertise to Improve Siri

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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.
"AI is horizontal in nature, running across all products, and is used in ways that most people don't even think about," said Cook. "We want the AI to increase your battery life, to recommend music to Apple Music subscribers... [to] help you remember where you parked your car."
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
 

coffeemadmanUK

macrumors 6502a
Jan 30, 2012
553
174
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.
 
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Steve121178

macrumors 603
Apr 13, 2010
5,387
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Bedfordshire, UK
Good. Love Japanese engineering; great culture of precision and quality. Steer all business away from the intellectual property thieves in China and South Korea.

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.
 
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Floris

macrumors 68020
Sep 7, 2007
2,381
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Netherlands
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.
 
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Northgrove

macrumors 65816
Aug 3, 2010
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417
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.
 
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Steve121178

macrumors 603
Apr 13, 2010
5,387
4,658
Bedfordshire, UK
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.

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.
 
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Velin

macrumors 68000
Jul 23, 2008
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Hearst Castle
"We don't think the consumer particularly likes cash."

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.
 
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deany

macrumors 68030
Sep 16, 2012
2,873
2,088
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"
 
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Archer1440

Suspended
Mar 10, 2012
730
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USA
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.


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.
 
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MH01

Suspended
Feb 11, 2008
12,107
9,298
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.
 
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djcerla

macrumors 68000
Apr 23, 2015
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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.

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.
 
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SBlue1

macrumors 68000
Oct 17, 2008
1,684
1,972
"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!

YMMV

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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