Apple hunts for program manager to help respond to Siri criticisms

Posted:
in iPhone edited March 4
Apple is searching for a Siri engineering program manager to keep tabs on how the world is reacting to the AI assistant and transform any criticism into real-world improvements.

Apple's HomePod in white
Apple's HomePod in white


The listing specifies that a the ideal candidate will lead a program to "monitor what the world is saying about Siri through social media, news, and other sources," and subsequently provide "product analysis and recommendations to stakeholders and leadership," a job listing indicates. Second is "facilitating Siri engineering support and guidance to ensure the success of Apple Marketing campaigns, press events, product announcements, and launches."

Candidates must have prior experience working on assistants, and familiarity with "sentiment analysis," including tools like Sprinklr and Meltwater. Education requirements are comparatively light, demanding only a bachelor's degree, though Apple prefers a masters degree.

Siri is typically considered weaker than Amazon Alexa or Google Assistant even though it predates both. The latter two have a wider range of supported skills and smarthome accessories, and are often better at answering general knowledge questions without mistakes or resorting to Web links.

Apple is presumably looking to address the situation by responding to specific complaints. It's facing an uphill battle, since the company's strict privacy policies mean that it can't rely as heavily on cloud data and integration.

Where possible the company has turned to on-device machine learning technologies, which can suggest actions to take in familiar circumstances, such as navigating home at the end of the workday.

Some recent changes have included the availability of more apps with Siri Shortcuts, and upgraded British and Australian voices. A little over a month ago Apple removed its Siri team leader, Bill Stasior, as part of a change in overall strategy.
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Comments

  • Reply 1 of 51
    fotoformatfotoformat Posts: 288member
    Yeh, initially they asked Siri about the job position... but didn't come up with an answer!
    gutengelelijahgmuthuk_vanalingamcroprn2itivguyseanthemanbeowulfschmidtpatchythepiratejony0
  • Reply 2 of 51
    jdgazjdgaz Posts: 357member
    This is really pretty stupid. 1) Have Siri recognize the voice that is asking information of it. 2) use that voice to determine which device will be used / queried for information 3) Allow multi queries without the repeated "hey Siri". Answer questions with answers not web site lookups. Start there and you are on your way to a winner.
    elijahgstanhopeAppleExposedn2itivguyCaffiend
  • Reply 3 of 51
    LatkoLatko Posts: 398member
    jdgaz said:
    This is really pretty stupid. 1) Have Siri recognize the voice that is asking information of it. 2) use that voice to determine which device will be used / queried for information 3) Allow multi queries without the repeated "hey Siri". Answer questions with answers not web site lookups. Start there and you are on your way to a winner.
    While you’re quite right, this immediately translates into serious complexity on a lower level.  When Apple acquired Siri, it didn’t adopt the architecture designed by the original developers - translating into a lack of modularity and scalability.
    Apple figured it could do better, but on the contrary, from that moment the project went into patchwork.  As it now has become apparent that they failed in a big way, we see various flavors of spin reaching press, like they would buy other speech synthesis engines, start over from scratch, or anything else that might cover up the disaster at hand.
    Appointing big names for truckloads of money is the last resort of that wrong kind.
    Geniuses can’t integrate truckloads of incompatible systems and thereby can’t repair what troublemakers have done before.
    Siri has become the same frivolous mixture of various technologies as Project Titan, without any clue or strategy how to integrate it into a product 
    edited March 4 elijahglmacCaffiend
  • Reply 4 of 51
    NotsofastNotsofast Posts: 407member
    The way the article is written is confusing some readers obviously based on the comments thus far.  This is not an engineering position; it's a marketing position.  The person is supposed to work with social media to see what folks are saying and communicate that back to others so they have that input and so they can coordinate marketing messages.  

    Also, the article skims over the entire comparative capability question and merely repeats an internet meme about Siri being behind.  In truth, the situation is much more positive. I am a heavy user of Siri, and have family members who have Alexa and Google in their homes.  ALL three have a long way to go, but in contrast to the author's comment,  recent tests have shown Siri to be ahead of Alexa and getting close to Google in terms of accuracy.  

    As far as "skills" that is true in absolute numbers, but it is misleading. Yes, people have written thousands of "skills" for Alexa, but surveys show most people haven't used a single one of them.  In contrast,  surveys show that Siri does pretty much everything most people use their smart assistants for, as does Alexa and Google.   Yes, someone has written a skill for Alexa so she can fart on command, but it turns out people use things like smart speakers to:  play music and podcasts (#1 reason), check weather and traffic, check and send messages, make and listen to phone calls, set timers and alarms, and control their home automated devices. ( Believe me, Siri on the Homepod's audio quality and listening ability in noise, blows away the low quality Amazon and Google products)

    Again, Siri is still in the infant stage, but so are the others, and it will be great to see what Apple does with their acquisitions like Vocal IQ, but  in the meantime,  Siri is the most used digital assistant in the world, and knows more languages by far, and what is glossed over by almost all writers is that you aren't sacrificing your privacy to use Siri. 
    edited March 4 mike1randominternetpersonAppleExposedleftoverbaconlolliverbeowulfschmidtwatto_cobrajony0
  • Reply 5 of 51
    Notsofast said:
    The way the article is written is confusing some readers obviously based on the comments thus far.  This is not an engineering position; it's a marketing position.  The person is supposed to work with social media to see what folks are saying and communicate that back to others so they have that input and so they can coordinate marketing messages.  

    Also, the article skims over the entire comparative capability question and merely repeats an internet meme about Siri being behind.  In truth, the situation is much more positive. I am a heavy user of Siri, and have family members who have Alexa and Google in their homes.  ALL three have a long way to go, but in contrast to the author's comment,  recent tests have shown Siri to be ahead of Alexa and getting close to Google in terms of accuracy.  

    As far as "skills" that is true in absolute numbers, but it is misleading. Yes, people have written thousands of "skills" for Alexa, but surveys show most people haven't used a single one of them.  In contrast,  surveys show that Siri does pretty much everything most people use their smart assistants for, as does Alexa and Google.   Yes, someone has written a skill for Alexa so she can fart on command, but it turns out people use things like smart speakers to:  play music and podcasts (#1 reason), check weather and traffic, check and send messages, make and listen to phone calls, set timers and alarms, and control their home automated devices. ( Believe me, Siri on the Homepod's audio quality and listening ability in noise, blows away the low quality Amazon and Google products)

    Again, Siri is still in the infant stage, but so are the others, and it will be great to see what Apple does with their acquisitions like Vocal IQ, but  in the meantime,  Siri is the most used digital assistant in the world, and knows more languages by far, and what is glossed over by almost all writers is that you aren't sacrificing your privacy to use Siri. 
    These are the sort of ideas I’d imagine Apple wants their prospective appointee to convey. 
    leftoverbaconLatkoCaffiendwatto_cobrajony0
  • Reply 6 of 51
    elijahgelijahg Posts: 989member
    Notsofast said:

    Also, the article skims over the entire comparative capability question and merely repeats an internet meme about Siri being behind.  In truth, the situation is much more positive. I am a heavy user of Siri, and have family members who have Alexa and Google in their homes.  ALL three have a long way to go, but in contrast to the author's comment,  recent tests have shown Siri to be ahead of Alexa and getting close to Google in terms of accuracy.  
    Yeah, when comparing Siri on the HomePod it's accurate on the 10% of questions it actually answered, for the other 90% of questions where it replied "I can't get the answer to that on HomePod" in the study I saw, they removed that question from the stats. Siri is pretty awful. I'm consistently surprised on the few occasions it gets things right. Remember also that Siri is much older than Google assistant and especially Alexa, but was quickly leapfrogged by both. In other words, the "internet meme about Siri being behind" is bang on. It's embarrassingly bad.
    Caffiend
  • Reply 7 of 51
    bitmodbitmod Posts: 267member
    Notsofast said:
    The way the article is written is confusing some readers obviously based on the comments thus far.  This is not an engineering position; it's a marketing position.  The person is supposed to work with social media to see what folks are saying and communicate that back to others so they have that input and so they can coordinate marketing messages.  

    Also, the article skims over the entire comparative capability question and merely repeats an internet meme about Siri being behind.  In truth, the situation is much more positive. I am a heavy user of Siri, and have family members who have Alexa and Google in their homes.  ALL three have a long way to go, but in contrast to the author's comment,  recent tests have shown Siri to be ahead of Alexa and getting close to Google in terms of accuracy.  

    As far as "skills" that is true in absolute numbers, but it is misleading. Yes, people have written thousands of "skills" for Alexa, but surveys show most people haven't used a single one of them.  In contrast,  surveys show that Siri does pretty much everything most people use their smart assistants for, as does Alexa and Google.   Yes, someone has written a skill for Alexa so she can fart on command, but it turns out people use things like smart speakers to:  play music and podcasts (#1 reason), check weather and traffic, check and send messages, make and listen to phone calls, set timers and alarms, and control their home automated devices. ( Believe me, Siri on the Homepod's audio quality and listening ability in noise, blows away the low quality Amazon and Google products)

    Again, Siri is still in the infant stage, but so are the others, and it will be great to see what Apple does with their acquisitions like Vocal IQ, but  in the meantime,  Siri is the most used digital assistant in the world, and knows more languages by far, and what is glossed over by almost all writers is that you aren't sacrificing your privacy to use Siri. 
    Recent tests have shown a 1982 Hyundai Pony to be ahead of 2019 Lexus and getting close to 2364 Star Trek warp capable propulsion in terms of technological advances...
    n2itivguyCaffiendwatto_cobra
  • Reply 8 of 51
    stanhopestanhope Posts: 156member
    Why hire someone to tell them what is already known?  SIRI is a mess.  I just finished converting ALL OF MY SMART HOME DEVICES from siri to ALEXA.  The only thing siri does better than ALEXA is hear when there is a fair amount of ambient noise like the television.
    muthuk_vanalingamCaffiendjdw
  • Reply 9 of 51
    AppleExposedAppleExposed Posts: 1,395unconfirmed, member
    stanhope said:
    Why hire someone to tell them what is already known?  SIRI is a mess.  I just finished converting ALL OF MY SMART HOME DEVICES from siri to ALEXA.  The only thing siri does better than ALEXA is hear when there is a fair amount of ambient noise like the television.

    Bezos is laughing his ass off right now as you chose to give him all your data.

    Funny how Apple haters fail to mention security and privacy when comparing to wannabes.
    leftoverbaconMacProCaffiendlolliverfastasleepMacsplosionwatto_cobrajony0
  • Reply 10 of 51
    indieshackindieshack Posts: 161member
    "monitor what the world is saying about Siri" that's got to be the definition of a thankless job
    lmacseantheman
  • Reply 11 of 51
    1348513485 Posts: 62member
    They're only hiring one person for this?
    indieshackLatkoCaffiendseanthemanwatto_cobra
  • Reply 12 of 51
    lmaclmac Posts: 195member
    My biggest peeve? When I have my iPhone connected to my CarPlay unit, and ask Siri to play a song or artist that's on my phone, and Siri can't do a thing because it isn't connected to the Internet.
    Caffiendbeowulfschmidtseantheman
  • Reply 13 of 51
    JWSCJWSC Posts: 512member
    Latko said:
    jdgaz said:
    This is really pretty stupid. 1) Have Siri recognize the voice that is asking information of it. 2) use that voice to determine which device will be used / queried for information 3) Allow multi queries without the repeated "hey Siri". Answer questions with answers not web site lookups. Start there and you are on your way to a winner.
    While you’re quite right, this immediately translates into serious complexity on a lower level.  When Apple acquired Siri, it didn’t adopt the architecture designed by the original developers - translating into a lack of modularity and scalability.
    Apple figured it could do better, but on the contrary, from that moment the project went into patchwork.  As it now has become apparent that they failed in a big way, we see various flavors of spin reaching press, like they would buy other speech synthesis engines, start over from scratch, or anything else that might cover up the disaster at hand.
    Appointing big names for truckloads of money is the last resort of that wrong kind.
    Geniuses can’t integrate truckloads of incompatible systems and thereby can’t repair what troublemakers have done before.
    Siri has become the same frivolous mixture of various technologies as Project Titan, without any clue or strategy how to integrate it into a product 
    Where did you come by the information regarding modularity and scalability?  I’m curios because I have heard the opposite of what you state, that the original Siri team did not think about modularity and scalability.  I’m not saying you are incorrect.  I do not know.  But it’s difficult to know what the truth really is sometimes.  So many factoids out there.
    lolliverwatto_cobra
  • Reply 14 of 51
    elijahgelijahg Posts: 989member
    stanhope said:
    Why hire someone to tell them what is already known?  SIRI is a mess.  I just finished converting ALL OF MY SMART HOME DEVICES from siri to ALEXA.  The only thing siri does better than ALEXA is hear when there is a fair amount of ambient noise like the television.

    Bezos is laughing his ass off right now as you chose to give him all your data.

    Funny how Apple haters fail to mention security and privacy when comparing to wannabes.
    Unfortunately when something is so far behind their competitors even the negative aspects of the "better" option such as lack of privacy aren't enough to counter the convenience and superiority of the less private option. It's similar to why people continue to use Google when there are alternatives. Personally I'm willing to compromise on the search results and use Duck Duck Go rather than Google, but many people aren't.
  • Reply 15 of 51
    tjwolftjwolf Posts: 293member
    jdgaz said:
    This is really pretty stupid. 1) Have Siri recognize the voice that is asking information of it. 2) use that voice to determine which device will be used / queried for information 3) Allow multi queries without the repeated "hey Siri". Answer questions with answers not web site lookups. Start there and you are on your way to a winner.
    Heck, I'd be happy if Siri simply worked - at least for simple things - when there's no network!  Siri is absolutely *useless* with AirPods when there's no network.  Was recently in China without a data plan and walking for a few miles, listening to music [stored on my iPhone!].  Simple things like "Skip" or "increase volume" were met with Siri telling me that it can't do this as there seem to be some network connection issues.

    The funny thing is that this isn't even consistent.  I could have sworn that on a previous walk down the same road, Siri did act on those same commands - and I definitely did not have cellular data enabled on either occasion.

    Caffiend
  • Reply 16 of 51
    lorin schultzlorin schultz Posts: 2,739member
    Bezos is laughing his ass off right now as you chose to give him all your data.
    I've been giving this some thought as I toy with the idea of implementing some simple home automation.

    Here are the questions I can't answer:

    1. We're told Apple's privacy policies limit Siri's capabilities. Huh? How is its ability to understand what I say, interpret the request, and issue a command hindered by privacy policies? That doesn't make any sense to me. Has Apple actually made this claim or is it just an internet meme? If Apple has said that, are they being honest or is it just deflection?

    2. If Siri is hampered to the point of not successfully competing with Alexa, why would I bother trying to make it work? What will change in the future to make Siri a viable alternative? If it's really true that Apple's privacy policies are the obstacle, then the only way it's going to get better is to change that policy. If that were to happen it would be no better than Alexa anyway. In the mean time, is there any point investing in a system that protects my privacy by not being very good at what I want it to do?

    3. Why should I be concerned about Alexa sharing my queries with Amazon data analysts? Why would I care that Amazon's marketing department knows I like chicken noodle soup and watch The Grand Tour? How does Amazon having that information hurt me?

    I'm not considering Google products, despite really liking its search engine, but so far I'm not understanding why I shouldn't use Alexa.
    muthuk_vanalingamCaffiendJWSC
  • Reply 17 of 51
    dougddougd Posts: 270member
    Siri is turned OFF on my iPhone 
  • Reply 18 of 51
    LatkoLatko Posts: 398member
    JWSC said:
    Latko said:
    jdgaz said:
    This is really pretty stupid. 1) Have Siri recognize the voice that is asking information of it. 2) use that voice to determine which device will be used / queried for information 3) Allow multi queries without the repeated "hey Siri". Answer questions with answers not web site lookups. Start there and you are on your way to a winner.
    While you’re quite right, this immediately translates into serious complexity on a lower level.  When Apple acquired Siri, it didn’t adopt the architecture designed by the original developers - translating into a lack of modularity and scalability.
    Apple figured it could do better, but on the contrary, from that moment the project went into patchwork.  As it now has become apparent that they failed in a big way, we see various flavors of spin reaching press, like they would buy other speech synthesis engines, start over from scratch, or anything else that might cover up the disaster at hand.
    Appointing big names for truckloads of money is the last resort of that wrong kind.
    Geniuses can’t integrate truckloads of incompatible systems and thereby can’t repair what troublemakers have done before.
    Siri has become the same frivolous mixture of various technologies as Project Titan, without any clue or strategy how to integrate it into a product 
    Where did you come by the information regarding modularity and scalability?  I’m curios because I have heard the opposite of what you state, that the original Siri team did not think about modularity and scalability.  I’m not saying you are incorrect.  I do not know.  But it’s difficult to know what the truth really is sometimes.  So many factoids out there.
    Just google/read the references from the original devs - especially at the respective moments they’d decided to depart from the project. I followed this for years, incl. the mgt. spin by the embedded
  • Reply 19 of 51
    buckkalubuckkalu Posts: 23member
    So on Saturday I was asking  stupid SIRI for directions.  I am in Toronto, it’s only the 4th largest city in North America.  So first street , dumbass gave me directions to somewhere in Mexico.  Second try at another street was a US option.  Real smooth.  It sucks!
    Caffiendseanthemanpatchythepirate
  • Reply 20 of 51
    entropysentropys Posts: 1,811member
    lmac said:
    My biggest peeve? When I have my iPhone connected to my CarPlay unit, and ask Siri to play a song or artist that's on my phone, and Siri can't do a thing because it isn't connected to the Internet.
    Ir isn’t that the phone isn’t connected to the internet, but that Siri preferences to Apple Music rather than your music library.  That is what I find annoying. I can’t use my phone for Apple Music on LTE, because work pays for the service. So I have a lot of music downloaded on it.  Siri has trouble finding that.
    edited March 4 Caffiend
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