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Smart Siri - Personal Siri

post #1 of 4
Thread Starter 
When Apple announced their new iPhone 4S, like most people, I was disappointed at the lack of a physical change, but very quickly got over it, especially with the introduction of this new feature called 'siri'. I personally did not see a point for me to upgrade just for Siri, but my wife who had been struggling for the last two years with a Samsung GT-S5230 I felt it was time to give her a much needed upgrade.

I made the pre-order, it arrived on launch day and my wife was over the moon. Being the tech geek I am, I was very interested in the Siri feature and would take every opportunity to use it, try out different questions, different scenarios, and even check to see if it needed a internet connection or whether the voice was interpreted on the phone itself. I liked it, although it didn't do 'Everything' I asked it to do, but I understood that a lot of the peoples names in my contacts (I have over 600) are not English names and would therefore struggle (obviously).

Anyway, fast forward a week, and my wife finally got round to using siri. I was at work and she was swinging by to pick me up. She simply said "Phone my husband", and Siri got it wrong. She asked again and again and again, and every time it would find someone else in my contacts, usually the same people. For some reason, "Phone my husband" equated to "phone numayya ghazi" or "Phone Mik jagger".

I was completely unaware of this as I was at work. When my wife finally resorted to just texting by hand, she told me to come out and then she took me home. On the way home she told me her plight and I immediately picked up her phone and said "Phone my husband"...It worked. I tried it again, and it worked again. We even got the kids to have a go, and it could not understand any of them except one. We tried it again with my wife and it failed again with "Numayya ghazi".

We got home, and I was extremely intrigued by this. We both are English native speakers, have no accent, but it could not understand my wife??? So we sat down at home and after 15 minutes (I am not joking) of trying and a lot of laughter, the simple sentence of "Phone my husband" just wasn't working for her, and whenever I tried it, it would work without any problems. This was just weird. Here are some of the responses that it had with my wife.







At this stage, it was so hilarious that I didn't want it to get it right anymore, getting it wrong was so much more interesting and funny. Anyway my wife got tired of trying, the kids and I couldn't stop laughing.

After the laughter was over, I wanted to get down to the bottom of this, as there was NO WAY this was a normal 'voice recognition' issue. I went to settings, went straight to Siri, and there was no option to 're-start' or something. I turned it off, and found out that the old school voice activation was still there. I got my wife to try it out, and it understood her perfectly and every time.

So I turned Siri back on and to our surprise, it responded to my wife with the correct answer every time. It worked again. "Call my husband" began to work without fail. At that point I realised that because I had been using it for about a week more than my wife, it 'learnt' to understand me, and how I spoke, so that when others tried, it just gave the wrong answers. Siri adapts to the individual user!!!

So if anyone has been having problems with siri, it could be due to other people using it, and confusing it. It seems as though Apple builds a voice profile for each user and adapts to their specific sound. It could even adapt to what is most commonly asked of siri, i.e. if someone always asks to "call my husband" it might get better and better at recognising it. But there is no way I know of to test that (maybe one of you guys could try it out somehow).

Whats to be learnt:

When I was turning siri off, the phone gave a warning that all the data that Apple has collected from me to make the 'Siri' experience good will be deleted. So this is an 'indirect' reset button if things start to go wrong.

Siri actually learns how you speak, in order to get better at understanding you. So I guess in a that case, one could 'train' siri. Now this is a complete guess on my behalf, but I would suggest that new users of Siri should try their best to 'correct' Siri if it gets it wrong by telling it that it is wrong "Cancel" or "edit message" or whatever. If it understood every 'word' you said, but gave you the wrong result, acknowledge it as the right answer rather than just 'restart' (not sure if that makes sense, and it is just a guess).

A lot of people think that Apple just 'bought' Siri and then just cooked it into the OS. I think they have done a lot more with it over the year and a bit since they bought it, but we haven't seen it or can't as it is from the fundamentals. 'Building voice profiles' for individuals was not in the original, and it is a MAJOR feature if true.

Sadly, however, I am now banned from using my wife's Siri, as she claims I will mess her up again :-(

Please comment and correct me if I'm wrong, and try it out yourself if you are having problems.
"Speak to those who want to be spoken to,
Advise those who are willing to take it,
And know that not every argument has to be won,
And there is no defeat in remaining quiet, where silence is the...
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"Speak to those who want to be spoken to,
Advise those who are willing to take it,
And know that not every argument has to be won,
And there is no defeat in remaining quiet, where silence is the...
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post #2 of 4
I am having a bit of trouble getting Siri to understand me.

Right now I am trying to get it to understand commands to initiate phone call. It understands most names in my contact list, but it took me 3 days to get it to understand Anne, my wife's name. It continually said it did not understand "and" an other strange things. Now I am having trouble with the word home, the last time it could not find Jose, and that is not in my contact list.

It probably does not comprehend my southern accent, which is complicated by a chronic hoarsness due to allergies.

I am thinking that I will just have to keep working with it so it will learn the nuances of my voice, as it finally did with the wife's name.
post #3 of 4
That is really interesting, I wonder if because you were using it and she was using the voice pattern got messed up, or it locked on to your voice first. I wonder if you let it sit for a few days and then turn it back on will it reset and then lock onto your wife's voice? Let us know if you try I would be fascinated to know if it works.

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"I just got lost in thought. It was unfamiliar territory." - proverb
RepairZoom.com Best Apple fix around!
Best Buy - Special Agent 5 Years
Apple - Specialist 1 1/2 Years
Best Years of my LIFE!

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post #4 of 4
Thread Starter 
Quote:
I am having a bit of trouble getting Siri to understand me.

Right now I am trying to get it to understand commands to initiate phone call. It understands most names in my contact list, but it took me 3 days to get it to understand Anne, my wife's name. It continually said it did not understand "and" an other strange things. Now I am having trouble with the word home, the last time it could not find Jose, and that is not in my contact list.

It probably does not comprehend my southern accent, which is complicated by a chronic hoarsness due to allergies.

I am thinking that I will just have to keep working with it so it will learn the nuances of my voice, as it finally did with the wife's name.

Well, after re-setting my wife's iP4S, it worked a lot better, but she still gets some problems. When I listen to my wife use Siri, whenever she has problems, I always see it happen when she uses 'un-natural' language. Siri is supposed to be a personal assistant that 'understands' normal every day speech. But when my wife uses her Siri, she (on an unconscious level I'm sure) speaks extremely formal, and I think that throws siri off. Also, try to use as much words are you would normally use with a human and don't try to break the world record for the shortest command...

"Call Anna"

If thats all that you said, and if you said it in a way that your 'call' blended into her name like 'callanna', then I think Siri will find it hard as it could be so many other things. Try more detail, like "Call my wife Anna" or "make a call to my wife Annah" or "Phone my wife Annah". I find that just talking normally without any 'short commands' works better.

I think we are still very used to the old style of 'voice command' where there is a certain unnatural syntax like 'Message number' or 'weather, new york'. Try giving it proper sentences like in the adverts "How many messages do I have", or "What is the weather like in New York".

And if this still does not help you call your wife, try saying her second name as well, and entering how you spell her name 'phonetically' in the address book.

Quote:
That is really interesting, I wonder if because you were using it and she was using the voice pattern got messed up, or it locked on to your voice first. I wonder if you let it sit for a few days and then turn it back on will it reset and then lock onto your wife's voice? Let us know if you try I would be fascinated to know if it works.

I would love to test it out more, but my wife has banned me from using it. However, I did use it briefly the other night to set the alarm, and it had problems understanding me although it never did before...so I guess it has locked onto her voice now. It could be like the keyboard, that 'gets used to' how you type and given time, it can re-adjust if someone else is using it, but the problem is that there is no way to test that idea unless one uses set pre-recorded commands, as every time we say something we say it different each time. The best way to test it is to record about 30 commands, play it to Siri for a few days, not if it understood them well, and then play the same 30 commands by someone else and test the level of accuracy as the days go by. If it gets better and better, the we can assume that it 'learnt' how to understand the recording.

Any volunteers?
"Speak to those who want to be spoken to,
Advise those who are willing to take it,
And know that not every argument has to be won,
And there is no defeat in remaining quiet, where silence is the...
Reply
"Speak to those who want to be spoken to,
Advise those who are willing to take it,
And know that not every argument has to be won,
And there is no defeat in remaining quiet, where silence is the...
Reply
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