How Apple’s Siri, Amazon Alexa and Google Assistant lost the AI ​​race

Apple’s Siri is a virtual assistant built into Apple’s iOS, iPadOS, watchOS, macOS, tvOS and audioOS operating systems. It allegedly uses voice queries, gesture-based control, focus tracking and a natural language user interface to answer questions, make recommendations and perform actions by delegating requests to a set of internet services .

Apple’s HomePod offers Siri voice control

Brian X. Chen, Nico Grant and Karen Weise for The New York Times:

On a rainy Tuesday in San Francisco, Apple executives took to the stage in a packed auditorium to unveil the fifth-generation iPhone. The phone, which looked identical to the previous version, had a new feature that the public quickly echoed: Siri, a virtual assistant.

Scott Forstall, then head of software at Apple, [said]… “I’ve been in the AI ​​business for a long time, and it still blows my mind,” Forstall said.
It was 12 years ago. Since then, people have been far from blown away by Siri and competing AI-powered assistants like Amazon’s Alexa and Google Assistant. Technology has remained largely stagnant, and talking assistants have become the butt of jokes…

The tech world is now springing up with another kind of virtual assistant: chatbots. These AI-powered bots, such as ChatGPT and San Francisco-based OpenAI’s new ChatGPT Plus, can improvise answers to questions typed into a chat box eagerly. People have used ChatGPT to handle complex tasks like software coding, writing business proposals, and writing fiction.

And ChatGPT, which uses AI to guess which word comes next, is improving rapidly. A few months ago, he couldn’t write a real haiku; now he can do it with flying colors. On Tuesday, OpenAI unveiled its next-generation AI engine, GPT-4, which powers ChatGPT.

The excitement around chatbots illustrates how Siri, Alexa, and other voice assistants — which once garnered similar excitement — have squandered their lead in the AI ​​race.

Over the past decade, products have encountered obstacles. Siri encountered technological hurdles, including clunky code that took weeks to update with basic functionality, said John Burkey, a former Apple engineer who worked on the assistant. Amazon and Google miscalculated how voice assistants would be used, leading them to invest in areas with rarely profitable technology, former employees said. When those experiments failed, enthusiasm for the technology waned in companies, they said.

Taken from MacDailyNews: All is not lost. Rest assured, Apple is working hard to remove the “Hey” from “Hey Siri”.

After twelve years, Siri is as smart as those who program it. Channeling Steve Jobs: If you’re on Team Siri today, you suck. You have tarnished Apple’s reputation. You should hate yourself for letting yourself down.

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