The General Services Administration is launching a pilot program aimed at opening up access to federal information to third-party virtual assistants. Agencies include the departments of Energy, Homeland Security and Housing and Urban development. The purpose is to make it easier for American citizens to find governmental information they need.
What happens when AI machine learning becomes so sophisticated and inscrutable that humans can no longer understand how an AI came to a decision? AI processes will go far beyond simple structured code that can be debugged and audited. Will we just shrug and accept? John maps out the major issues with advanced AIs.
Sometimes you have to get geeky. No worries, Dave and John will talk you through understanding what NAS and MDM mean and why you might want to use them. Don’t worry, fellow geeks, there’s stuff in here for you, too. After all, that’s how Mac Geek Gab rolls! Listen, enjoy, learn, and prosper at the same time!
Apple shipped iOS 10.3 Monday, a significant update to the company’s mobile operating system. Major features include the ability to find your AirPods under Find My iPhone; new Siri integration with third party apps; new CarPlay features, including daily curated playlists from Apple Music; and perhaps most importantly, the official rollout of Apple File System.
.Dr. Mac realized recently that he rarely forgets things and Siri is responsible. Siri never forgets… And since the good doctor is rarely far from his iPhone, iPad, or Mac, he thinks of Siri as his backup memory….
Lorek the robot represents a big step in robotics because it can understand human language, as well as the gestures we make in conversations. Researchers from Brown University pulled off this feat of understanding by programming uncertainty into the robot. Andrew Orr explains why this is a big deal.
Apple’s mysterious wireless device awaiting Federal Communications Commission approval turned out to be a door lock system for Apple Park, the company’s new campus that’s opening in April. That pretty much kills the idea that Apple was about to release a Siri-based Amazon Echo and Google Home competitor.
Home virtual assistants like Amazon’s Alexa, Google Home, and to a lesser extent, Apple’s Siri, are loved by some and feared by others. Here at TMO, our staff falls on both sides of that line. Most of us love Amazon’s Echo/Dot/Alexa, while I personally hold my nose at the underlying technology and fear its potential for home surveillance. I should add that most of our staff also think I’m flat out wrong. Note that I’m OK with that. Of all the virtual assistant companies, only Apple has a stated position of protecting our privacy, but the company also hasn’t released hardware like Amazon Echo or Dot. Online comic strip XKCD took a snarky, succinct— and yet oblique—look at the subject. I’d love to know what our readers think.
Our artificial intelligence agents can either be embedded in our computers and/or mobile devices. Or they can reside in a cute little colorful cylinder that sits on a table. Which is better? Which is the future? Which should you invest in? Maybe Siri knows.
We’re learning more about what to expect when Apple ships the iPhone 8 this fall, and it’s looking like we won’t have to give up our Lightning ports after all. John Martellaro and Jeff Butts join Jeff Gamet to look at Lightning and USB-C, plus Touch ID and finger print sensors embedded in the display. Jeff Butts also shares a tip on using “Hey, Siri” on your Mac.
Don’t you wish you could just say “Hey Siri” and have your Mac’s version of the voice assistant respond? Apple seems to have forgotten that feature with macOS Sierra, but Jeff Butts found a way to make it happen. Follow along in this Quick Tip, and you can have your own Mac’s voice assistant at your beck and call, without lifting a finger.
I love this! Drummer Richy Ramirez posted a video to Instagram where he used Siri as his metronome. Really, he used her as both metronome and backing track. It’s clever and entertaining, both, and I love the beat he lays down on top. Check it out.
Siri started out with a female voice exclusively, but now it can be changed to male. Alexa uses only a female voice. Cortana’s voice, for now, is strictly female. Why is that? Is it sexism? Is it for better intelligibility? John looks into the matter.
The Amazon Echo family of devices shouldn’t be underestimated. We talk about how it appears to be a device for casual questions, weather, music and shopping. But the underlying technology is going after something much bigger. Moreover, Amazon’s lead over Apple in AI and home automation may be unstoppable. John looks at two articles that provide insight into what Amazon is after in the long run.
The LEGO Batman movie is out, and it shows us just how important Siri is: She’s the computer system of choice for Gotham’s elite vigilante crime fighters. Luckily, we don’t have to live in Gotham, become emotionally scarred orphans watching our parents die, or spend gobs of money on devices named bat…something. We can get Siri to treat us like the bat heroes we want to be right on our iPhones. Just press and hold your iPhone’s Home button to activate Siri, and get your Batman on by saying, “Hey, computer,” or “Hey, ‘puter.” Siri will respond with bat-appropriate comments, first try.
In the battle of virtual personal assistants, Apple and Amazon have strong contenders. Which one is “smarter,” though, Siri or Alexa? Perhaps it’s too early to really call the race, since both personal assistants keep growing and evolving. Be that as it may, Jeff Butts has put both through their paces, and shares his thoughts.