Home Artificial Intelligence Apple AI Could Produce ‘Really Really Good’ Version of Siri

Apple AI Could Produce ‘Really Really Good’ Version of Siri

What if Apple’s voice assistant Siri “was really, really, really good?”

That question is at the heart of much of the tech giant’s artificial intelligence (AI) research, according to a report Sunday (May 5) by The Verge reviewing those efforts.

For example, a team of Apple researchers has been trying to develop a way to use Siri without having to use a wake word. 

Rather than waiting for the user to say “Hey Siri” or “Siri,” the voice assistant would be able to intuit whether someone was speaking to it.

“This problem is significantly more challenging than voice trigger detection,” the researchers did acknowledge per the report, “since there might not be a leading trigger phrase that marks the beginning of a voice command.” 

The Verge report added that this could be why another research team came up with a system to more accurately detect wake words. Another paper trained a model with better understanding of rare words, which are in many cases not well understood by assistants.

Apple is also working on ways to make sure Siri understands what it hears. For example, the report said, the company developed a system called STEER (Semantic Turn Extension-Expansion Recognition) that is designed improve user’s back-and-forth communication with an AI assistant by trying to determine when the user is asking a follow-up question and when they are asking a new one. 

The report comes at a time when Apple appears to be taking — as PYMNTS wrote last week — a “measured approach” to its AI efforts.

Among its projects is the ReALM (Reference Resolution As Language Modeling) system, which simplifies the complex process of understanding screen-based visual references into a language modeling task using large language models.

“On the one hand, if we have better, faster customer experience, there’s a lot of chatbots that just make customers angry,”  AI researcher Dan Faggella, who is not affiliated with Apple, said in an interview with PYMNTS. “But if in the future, we have AI systems that can helpfully and politely tackle the questions that are really quick and simple to tackle and can improve customer experience, it is quite likely to translate to loyalty and sales.”

The voice tech sector is on the rise. According to research by PYMNTS Intelligence, there’s a notable interest among consumers in this technology, with more than half (54%) saying they look forward to using it more in the future due to its rapidity.

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