Siri might get an AI boost, after testing improvements in tvOS

Posted:
in General Discussion edited July 2023

Apple is reportedly increasing its AI efforts after recent moves from other companies, and tvOS appears to be the first testing platform for an upgraded Siri.

Apple might boost Siri's smarts
Apple might boost Siri's smarts



Google and Microsoft have been including more artificial intelligence technology into their products thanks to OpenAI. Apple could be testing such technology as well, and it starts with tvOS 16.4.

A report on Thursday from 9to5Mac claims evidence of expanded Siri features in the tvOS 16.4 beta, said to be codenamed "Bobcat." The new framework, called "Siri Natural Language Generation," starts with using language generation to tell jokes but could also extend to timers.

It's not proof that Apple plans to create a ChatGPT clone in the form of a chatbot, but Siri may receive more intelligent capabilities for user queries.

Generative AI refers to algorithms that can create content such as audio, images, text, and videos. For example, Siri currently relies upon a database of known information but isn't capable of creating anything in response to a user's question.

Former Apple engineer John Burkey recently said that upgrading Siri required engineers to rebuild the entire database, and the process could take up to six weeks. But generative capabilities might help Siri provide information more quickly, though Burkey doesn't believe that Siri will become a chatbot like ChatGPT.

Apple is likely feeling pressure from the popularity of OpenAI and ChatGPT. It held an in-person event about artificial intelligence in February, its first such summit in years.

So far, Apple has reportedly released the new AI features to tvOS. If the rumor is true, the company will likely expand the technology to the rest of its operating systems.

Read on AppleInsider

Comments

  • Reply 1 of 9
    jdwjdw Posts: 1,308member
    As I said in a recent post on the same topic, the AI capabilities won't matter much. It's more than just Siri being stupid (technologically inept, mishearing me, etc.).  The bigger problem is that Apple deliberately dummies it down out of fears it may cause trouble for the user.  For example, I can't tell Siri to change settings on my iPhone, which makes me far, FAR more angry than Siri mishearing me a making a mistake.  The entire purpose of Siri is to have it do things for me because my hands are busy doing something else.  So when it tells me it can't do that, I know it's due to a stupid limitation imposed by Apple. That sort of thing cannot be fixed by a smarter AI.  That can only be fixed by a smarter Apple who finally EMPOWERS me with commands to actually do something useful.  If Apple did that right now, without adding any new AI capabilities, Siri would be vastly better and something I would start using.
    elijahgrmusikantowwilliamlondonlkruppbeowulfschmidt
  • Reply 2 of 9
    Does anyone know how this is manifesting itself in tvOS? I am on 16.4 beta 4. 
    Scot1watto_cobra
  • Reply 3 of 9
    jdw said:
    As I said in a recent post on the same topic, the AI capabilities won't matter much. It's more than just Siri being stupid (technologically inept, mishearing me, etc.).  The bigger problem is that Apple deliberately dummies it down out of fears it may cause trouble for the user.  For example, I can't tell Siri to change settings on my iPhone, which makes me far, FAR more angry than Siri mishearing me a making a mistake.  The entire purpose of Siri is to have it do things for me because my hands are busy doing something else.  So when it tells me it can't do that, I know it's due to a stupid limitation imposed by Apple. That sort of thing cannot be fixed by a smarter AI.  That can only be fixed by a smarter Apple who finally EMPOWERS me with commands to actually do something useful.  If Apple did that right now, without adding any new AI capabilities, Siri would be vastly better and something I would start using.
    I agree, though having a smart home I use Siri all the time to operate lights, open my garage, set timers, and set alarms on my Home Pods.
    williamlondonwatto_cobra
  • Reply 4 of 9
    jdw said:
     For example, I can't tell Siri to change settings on my iPhone, which makes me far, FAR more angry than Siri mishearing me a making a mistake.  The entire purpose of Siri is to have it do things for me because my hands are busy doing something else.
    Can you be more specific? I use Siri to change settings on my phone all the time with no issue. 

    I use Siri multiple times a day for all sorts of things and rarely have a problem (when I do have an issue it’s almost always requesting a song and getting something that is completely different). I set timers and alarms, all manner of HomeKit requests (lights, locks, thermostats, shades, fans, outlets, etc), send messages and have messages read to me, get directions, share my ETA, arm and disarm my alarm system, Intercom, general information requests (like getting the area or population of a country, asking someone’s age or death date, definitions), translations, the list goes on. I (and my household) use Siri all the time. 

    However, I’m baffled by how Siri can respond to one person’s request and they get a response that is different than the response I get when I ask the exact same question in the exact same way. A few years ago, on this forum, someone posted a screenshot where they asked Siri who starred in a particular movie. I don’t remember the response but it wasn’t the expected answer. I asked Siri the same question, worded exactly the same and the response was who starred along with release date, a photo of the movie poster, its run time and some other info. 
    williamlondonwatto_cobrajony0
  • Reply 5 of 9
    genovellegenovelle Posts: 1,480member
    I find Siri does far more than expected and limitations may be based on settings on individual phones. Siri reminds me where to go, remembers where I may go every week at a certain time on Monday and show it in notifications as a reminder. Reminds me when I’m separated from my devices that were traveling with me. I realized yesterday that she could change to a from dark mode by voice command. And so much more. 
    williamlondonwatto_cobrajony0
  • Reply 6 of 9
    chasmchasm Posts: 3,222member
    Please knock it off with the “Siri is stupid” BS. It’s not … but its owner might be.

    As Ihatescreennames mentions above, Siri does a ton of stuff for me every day, flawlessly. It lets me know the weather, handles currency-conversion questions for me, reminds me of upcoming appointments, guides me to them using CarPlay, lets me use voice to add all kinds of information to Notes, Calendar, Reminders and other apps. At home, it controls my few smart devices and is the heart of my entertainment system via Apple TV. I can easily plan future events by voice alone, and I’ve never had that specific ability ever fail me — not even once.

    Yes, there are a few areas where you need to phrase things in a specific way to get the right response. And yes, I’m sure Google or Amazon’s responses to some types of queries are better — thanks to the incredibly detailed record of your entire life online and a lot of sensitive person info gleaned elsewhere that they have access to.

    I’ve found that if you can use the same phrasing of a request that worked previously, and if you use a clear voice using standard [your language], you’ll get what you are looking for a very high percentage of the time, especially if the request is something you know Siri can do. I agree it can be lame when Siri passes on things “she” found on the web to your iPhone, but I’d rather that than Google’s tracking, thanks very much. And it doesn’t happen very often, at least to me.

    Apple seems like they are deliberative and yes, slow about upgrading web-based services (Maps also iterates at a snail’s pace), but the upgrades tend to work well when they are finally rolled out. I’m pleased to hear that it is unlikely that I’ll be wasting time with dumb chat bots writing my essay papers for me in their stilted, personality-free and easily-detectable style, and that Apple is focused on selective AI where it makes sense.

    I sincerely hope Apple will find a way to improve both Siri and the quality of human-computer interactions using natural language — but I suspect it would help if more people actually spoke using standard [your language] style rather than slang-and-profanity-filled, meandering, incomplete sentences replete with long pauses as they forget mid-sentence what they were actually talking about.
    williamlondonStrangeDayswatto_cobrajony0
  • Reply 7 of 9
    MorkMork Posts: 22member
    I heard Apple have purchased Cyberdyne Systems for a new AI/Siri platform to do much everything, I don’t see a problem here.
    TheSparklewilliamlondonwatto_cobra
  • Reply 8 of 9
    hexclockhexclock Posts: 1,232member
    chasm said:


    I sincerely hope Apple will find a way to improve both Siri and the quality of human-computer interactions using natural language — but I suspect it would help if more people actually spoke using standard [your language] style rather than slang-and-profanity-filled, meandering, incomplete sentences replete with long pauses as they forget mid-sentence what they were actually talking about.
    “Hey Siri, could you, like, change the screen so it’s, like, literally brighter, you know, so I can, like, see it better?”
    jony0
  • Reply 9 of 9
    gatorguygatorguy Posts: 24,088member
    Mork said:
    I heard Apple have purchased Cyberdyne Systems for a new AI/Siri platform to do much everything, I don’t see a problem here.
    Was Miles Dyson brought over to Apple along with the purchase?
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