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Tag: Siri

“Hey Siri”

Monday, 23 October, 2017 0 Comments

Apple has published a a paper on how its devices listen for people using the “Hey Siri” command/query. There’s a lot of machine learning going on here:

“The ‘Hey Siri’ detector uses a Deep Neural Network (DNN) to convert the acoustic pattern of your voice at each instant into a probability distribution over speech sounds. It then uses a temporal integration process to compute a confidence score that the phrase you uttered was ‘Hey Siri’. If the score is high enough, Siri wakes up. This article takes a look at the underlying technology. It is aimed primarily at readers who know something of machine learning but less about speech recognition.”

Note: Apple says: “Hey Siri” works in all languages that Siri supports, but “Hey Siri” isn’t necessarily the phrase that starts Siri listening. For instance, French-speaking users need to say “Dis Siri” while Korean-speaking users say “Siri 야” (Sounds like “Siri Ya.”) In Russian it is “привет Siri” (Sounds like “Privet Siri”), and in Thai “หวัดดี Siri”. (Sounds like “Wadi Siri”.)


The rise and rise of the femme bots

Wednesday, 22 February, 2017 0 Comments

Joanna Stern, writing in The Wall Street Journal: Alexa, Siri, Cortana: The Problem With All-Female Digital Assistants. Snippet:

“You get the point: The virtual assistants popping up in our lives sound overwhelmingly female. ‘I’m female in character,’ Amazon’s Alexa responds if you ask her if she is a woman. In their own clever ways Google, Apple and Microsoft’s voice assistants will tell you they’re genderless…in unmistakably womanlike voices.

As femme bot after femme bot has invaded our phones , speakers, cars, TVs — even our refrigerators — I’ve been left wondering: Where the man bots at? And why do these hunks of plastic and electronics need to be assigned a gender at all? My Amazon Echo doesn’t have any reproductive organs.”

Apple’s Siri, by the way, is the only one of this bunch of bots with a male voice option: “Siri may default to a female voice in the U.S. but Apple provides both male and female voice options for iPhone and iPad users to choose from. In fact, on iPhones where the language is Arabic, French, Dutch or British English, Siri defaults to a male voice.”

Men and women may prefer female voices for their digital assistants, @WSJ writes, but adds, “it’s about time we had more male options.”


Siri says Jon Snow is…

Wednesday, 13 April, 2016 1 Comment

HBO made millions of people happy recently when it announced that Game of Thrones Season 6 (The Winds of Winter) will premiere on 24 April. The talk now is that the show will need at least seven, if not eight seasons to complete the “journey,” to use our jargon Word of the Day. GOT could run for another five years, in other words.

Because the presence of the charismatic character Jon Snow is uncertain in The Winds of Winter, Siri, Apple’s virtual assistant, has been pressed into service and lots of news sites are hawking stories about what happens when you ask Siri if Jon Snow is dead. No spoilers here, however. Our question was oblique.

Siri


Rainy Day Siri with Zooey

Tuesday, 24 April, 2012

The artist Zooey Deschanel is named after Zooey Glass, the male protagonist of J. D. Salinger’s 1961 novella Franny and Zooey. Meanwhile, we’re wondering how Siri will respond to the liquid metal.