Siri is a fairly good AI, but the fact that it stumbled on some basics is a source of disappointment for John.
Amazon held an event covering Alexa updates and a variety of Echo devices that proves Amazon thinks the assistant battle is far from over.
Kelly Guimont and Bryan Chaffin join Jeff Gamet to look at the new Echo and Alexa products Amazon announced on Thursday.
Check out this infographic from SEOTribunal.com on voice search that traces the history of the concept of voice search, and also has lots of stats on how people are using voice search today.
The Verge has picked up on an Indiegogo project from the Master Replicas Group. Licensed from Warner Bros, it’s a replica of the HAL-9000 communications station from the movie 2001: A Space Odyssey. MRG says they’ll marry this unit with Amazon’s Alexa technology. OMG. Now you can have the best of both of these voice assistants. (Hopefully with none of the downsides.) Pre-order now for January delivery. Starts at US$419.
Bryan Chaffin and the Maccast’s Adam Christianson join Jeff Gamet to talk about Bryan’s vision for whole home listening for voice assistants and why an iPhone in our pocket doesn’t count.
In this episode, Bryan Chaffin and Jeff Gamet discuss the current limitations of AI, and what real AI in the future might be like. They also talk about Apple’s T2 kernel panic issue and follow up on Bryan’s dual-HomePod TV experiment.
Loup Ventures conducted its annual test to see how popular voice assistants perform, and Apple’s Siri came in second behind Google Assistant.
It’s Amazon Prime Day, so that means you can get deals on tons of products, including the company’s own Echo product line.
Wyze just addressed one of the biggest requests from Wyze Cam users: Alexa voice control support. Firmware updates are available for the Wyze Cam v2 and Wyze Cam Pan that add Alexa support, along with a few bug fixes. The cameras are great for monitoring your home or business and include a microSD card slot so you can record activity without relying on cloud servers. They’re also surprisingly inexpensive at US$19.99 for the Wyze Cam v2 and $29.99 for the Wyze Cam Pan. You’ll need the Wyze mobile app to install the firmware update. Unfortunately, there isn’t a Wyze Skill for Alexa yet, so we still need to wait for that.
Sonos just added AirPlay 2 support to its speakers, making them the first third-party offering that can take advantage of Apple’s streaming audio platform.
Users who have trained themselves on Alexa Skills can now use that same self-training on their iPhones and iPads to access the Alexa ecosystem.
If you have an Amazon Echo or other Alexa-capable device you can explore HBO’s Westworld in a new game called Westworld: The Maze. It’s like a choose your own adventure game where you’re a Host looking for the center of the maze while trying to not let on that you’ve become self aware. It’s also like a trivia game because you have to answer questions about the series. You’ll need to enable the Westworld: The Maze skill, and then say “Alexa, open Westworld” to start playing.
Andrew Orr and John Martellaro join Jeff Gamet to discuss a report that says almost no one with a smart speaker uses it to control smart home devices, plus John explains why he thinks Apple is ready to release new Mac models.
An Apple Watch app called Voice in a Can is seeking to satisfy the desires of those who love Apple hardware but rely on Amazon Alexa for its home automation capabilities. As a standalone app, Voice in a Can runs entirely on the Apple Watch without needing to pair with the iPhone. With just a Wi-Fi or LTE connection you ask Alexa to control your home lights, unlock the door, or set your thermostat. However, since Apple prevents third party apps from replacing Siri, you can’t use Voice in a Can to have Alexa make calls or control the audio playback on your watch. It’s by no means a perfect solution, but it’s the best Alexa users have thus far until Amazon and Apple work out an official solution. Grab it now on the App Store for $1.99.
Bryan Chaffin and Andrew Orr join Jeff Gamet to share their thoughts on Amazon’s Alexa inadvertently recording a conversation and sending it to someone as a message, plus Andrew has a tip on a Music app alternative for the iPhone and iPad.
Alexa’s been getting a bit presumptuous*, it seems, having recorded a conversation taking place in the background, bundling it up nicely, and packing it off to a friend of her owner.
Twitter has lost its corporate mind, Bryan Chaffin and Jeff Gamet argue in this episode of ACM. They also weigh the importance of WWDC 2018 in terms of Siri, and discuss whether or not Apple has to announce significant improvements to remain competitive in AI. Then there’s the revelation that the FBI exaggerated the number of locked iPhones it couldn’t get into, and they squeeze in a fourth topic, too: Apple’s hunt for a new campus, and how it contrasts with Amazon.
We’re still in the early stages of voice assistant technology so we can’t declare a winner yet, regardless of which you prefer. Based on what we’re seeing, however, Amazon Alexa and Google Assistant are putting Apple’s Siri in a serious catch up position.