Apple's Senior Siri Director to Discuss Natural Language Processing at AI Frontiers Conference

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Apple's senior director of Siri, Alex Acero, will speak at the AI Frontiers conference in San Jose, California, this coming November.

The event brings together specialists in the fields of robotics, natural language processing, virtual assistants, autonomous driving, and more, with speakers from the likes of Google, Microsoft, Amazon, and Uber.

As part of a panel exploring the role of personal assistants, Acero will about how deep learning informs the way Siri works on Apple devices. From the AI Frontiers online schedule:
Siri brought personal assistants to the mainstream after its introduction in 2011 in the iPhone. Deep learning is powering many components in Siri: trigger word detection, large vocabulary recognition, text-to-speech, machine translation, and natural language understanding. In this talk I will show a few examples of how deep learning is used in Siri.
Also on Acero's panel are Amazon Alexa director Ruhi Sarikaya and Google research scientist Dilek Hakkani-Tur.

Acero arrived at Apple in 2013 after spending two decades at Microsoft, where he oversaw research into computer vision, speech, neuro-linguistic programming, machine learning and translation, amongst other areas. His work on Siri takes in speech recognition, speech synthesis, and machine translation.

The AI Frontiers conference takes place from November 9 to November 11. For more information on the event and scheduled speakers, check out the AI Frontiers website.

Article Link: Apple's Senior Siri Director to Discuss Natural Language Processing at AI Frontiers Conference
 

Schizoid

macrumors 6502a
May 29, 2008
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It’ll be interesting to see how much progress can be made in this field from any developer...
 

foobarbaz

macrumors 6502a
Nov 29, 2007
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In other news, a kindergartner is scheduled to deliver a lecture on the nuances of Shakespeare.

/s
Sry, but afaic Siri is where Apple falls completely flat.
Apple is behind in many areas and the way they fix it is usually this:

Work in secret on a replacement for 4 years while everybody complains they’re not doing anything.

That’s how they fixed their file system, their programming language and apparently their maps.

Of course, there are times when they are really not doing anything (Mac Pro), so we can’t know …

The point is, don’t judge that guy on what’s shipping today. (Wait five years, then you may … )
 

wizard

macrumors 68040
May 29, 2003
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What natural language processing? Siri appears to rely on a limited set of pre-defined phrases that accept variables, and if you stray outside of those you get booted straight to a web search or she answers some unrelated question. Siri is Eliza with operating system tie-ins.
That has been my experience. At least it was a couple of years ago when I gave up on Siri. The big frustration was normally perfect speech to text translation and then completely bombing out on carefully stated requests. If there was a viable IA there simple request like "Hey Siri I need a map to Muncy PA" should immediately launch maps with your directions there. Yet I had Siri bomb on that and similar requests that should have been easy for even normal computer code to parse and respond to, yet Apple with their billions and army of programmers cant even get an AI to respond to.

The other thing is that Siri has seemingly gotten worse over the years which is the opposite of what you would expect from such technologies. Considering how other companies have moved forward with their AI tech it does make you wonder if Apple needs to repopulate the AI center.
 
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timber

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Aug 30, 2006
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If they invited Google their Senior director could take a nap while Google Assistant did all the talking.
 
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Kabeyun

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Mar 27, 2004
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Apple is behind in many areas and the way they fix it is usually this:

Work in secret on a replacement for 4 years while everybody complains they’re not doing anything.

That’s how they fixed their file system, their programming language and apparently their maps.

Of course, there are times when they are really not doing anything (Mac Pro), so we can’t know …

The point is, don’t judge that guy on what’s shipping today. (Wait five years, then you may … )
The current state is the only basis on which to judge Siri. They don’t get latitude from me just because they might have something functional down the road. I have a Photos album dedicated to screenshots of Siri’s idiocy. And now Apple of all entities is schooling people on natural language processing? I’m sure Acero’s very capable, but I’m just saying the optics are funny, that’s all. The simple truth is that if you ask someone familiar with Tech to pick people to lecture them about AI, Apple’s Siri leadership team ain’t the group that comes to mind.
 
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yngrshr

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Mar 7, 2015
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In other news, a kindergartner is scheduled to deliver a lecture on the nuances of Shakespeare.

/s
Sry, but afaic Siri is where Apple falls completely flat.
Hah, right. I was thinking, "He's speaking as a . . . joke . . . right?"
 

truthertech

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Jun 24, 2016
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In other news, a kindergartner is scheduled to deliver a lecture on the nuances of Shakespeare.

/s
.

One of the most ignorant posts on MR in quite a while and that says a lot. He received an engineering degree from the Polytechnic University of Madrid, a Masters from Rice University, and a PhD from Carnegie Mellon. Dr. Acero is one of the world's leading authorities on AI and natural language processing, with over 150 patents having literally written the book(s) on it. Here's a sample

https://dl.acm.org/author_page.cfm?id=81100427612

Here's some of his research, on the topics

https://www.researchgate.net/scientific-contributions/8805171_Alex_Acero
 

Kabeyun

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One of the most ignorant posts on MR in quite a while and that says a lot. He received an engineering degree from the Polytechnic University of Madrid, a Masters from Rice University, and a PhD from Carnegie Mellon. Dr. Acero is one of the world's leading authorities on AI and natural language processing, with over 150 patents having literally written the book(s) on it. Here's a sample

https://dl.acm.org/author_page.cfm?id=81100427612

Here's some of his research, on the topics

https://www.researchgate.net/scientific-contributions/8805171_Alex_Acero
Speaking of ignorant, you obviously don’t know that the “/s” mark is indicative of “end sarcasm” in mock hypertext. Consider yourself now very slightly less ignorant.

And, regardless of Acero’s bona fides, Siri still sucks.
 
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truthertech

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Jun 24, 2016
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Speaking of ignorant, you obviously don’t know that the “/s” mark is indicated be of “end sarcasm” in mock hypertext. Consider yourself now very slightly less ignorant.

And, regardless of Acero’s bona fides, Siri still sucks.
Nice try, but everyone clearly understood it to be a slam against him because of your disdain for Siri. Sarcasm would have meant you actually intended to praise him by a nonsensical belittling comparison of him to "a kindergartner trying to host a nuanced discussion of Shakespeare" which obviously was not your goal. There's a lot to criticize with Siri, but your derision of Dr. Acero was an epic fail.