It found out that before been discarded, data collected by Apple to improve its voice-driven Siri service is anonymized and kept on the company’s servers for up to two years .
The fact is your commands are uploaded to Apple for analysis. Apple then assigns you a random number, which it associates with your voice files. It’s this random number – not your Apple ID or e-mail address – that gets stored on the backend.
After six months or if you simply turn Siri off, Apple will disentangle the number from your Siri files, severing all ties with you. The files themselves will stick around for another 18 months as Apple uses them for testing and product improvement.
The fact that Siri data must be sent to Apple before it can provide results has been a concern for security advocates, as well as some companies. For example, last year it was revealed that security-conscious IBM barred the use of Siri on its corporate networks, out of concern that sensitive information could leak.
U.S. District Court Judge Lucy Koh on Friday ruled that an Apple lawsuit against Samsung over Siri patents can continue, despite questioning whether or not the proceedings should be suspended until an appeal related to the Apple v. Samsung trial is completed.
As noted by Reuters, the case in question involves patents not discussed in the landmark Apple v. Samsung jury trial, including search technology used in Apple’s Siri virtual assistant. In allowing the litigation to continue, Judge Koh ordered that both parties “significantly” streamline their assertions but paring down the number of claims and associated expert testimony.
Judge Koh in February voiced concern over the upcoming patent suit, asking counsel from both companies if the case should be put on hold until after the conclusion of hearings regarding the verdict handed in by the Apple v. Samsung trial jury last August. Apple is appealing an earlier ruling by Judge Koh that denied a sales ban of infringing Samsung handsets. Apple won a $1.05 billion verdict last August against Samsung, but last week Koh slashed about $450 million from that amount and ordered a new damages trial. The judge had already rejected Apple’s request for a permanent sales ban against several Samsung phones. Apple has appealed and a ruling is not expected until September at the earliest.
In response to the judge’s request, Apple on Thursday filed an objection to a Samsung motion that would have suspended the second trial until the appeals process for the first is finished.
With Judge Koh’s Friday ruling, the Siri trial will start hearings in March 2014.
Actually, Siri is already pretty smart, but Apple is eager to bring her to the next level. An Apple job listing out of Cupertino calls for a “uniquely creative individual to help us evolve and enrich Siri, our virtual personal assistant.”
“Siri’s known for ‘her’ wit, cultural knowledge, and zeal to explain things in engaging, funny, and practical ways,” says Apple.
Thus Apple is looking for a person who: loves language, wordplay, and conversation, besides he(or she) should demonstrate experience in bringing creative content to life within an intense technical environment.”
Peole around the world love Siri because she can engage in basic conversation and even make a few jokes. You can tell Siri that you love her or ask her about the meaning of life. Apple wants a new Siri writer/editor to “develop and write original dialog to support new Siri capabilities.”
The following segment may tempt most of those who will see it into thinking that Apple just released a new Siri ad, but it is in fact a moment from Seinfeld’s online series, Comedians in Cars Getting Coffe. The segment appeared in the last episode of the show with Joel Hodgson as Seinfeld’s guest and was shared by Apple Spotlight on Twitter.
The clip from the episode presents a short debate between Seinfeld and Joel concerning the actor who played Mr. Freeze in the old Batman TV series. To clear things out, the comedian asks for Siri’s help. Then he makes fun of Joel for having a “helmet” for his iPhone. Overall, this spot is funny, has the specific humor that Seinfeld got us used to, and can make a better Siri commercial than the Rock God or Zooey Deschanel commercials.
Siri is facing some serious issues in China. Nineteen companies created SIAC, the Speech Industry Alliance of China that aims to leave apart Apple’s voice assistant and to offer a Siri alternative supporting Mandarin and Cantonese, too.
Apple announced, though, that iOS 6 will include a Siri version that understands Mandarin and Cantonese, but iOS 6 Beta does not integrate such Siri version, yet. Anyway, if Siri will be able of talking in both languages, this will function as a threat for SIAC.
The alliance consists of phone manufacturers, mobile phone carriers and the speech recognition software developer iFlytek, of which text-to-speech software is already popular in the business domain. Among the companies mad at Siri we can count Lenovo, Huawei, China Mobile, China Unicom and China Telecom.
Mobile manufacturers already started the integration of iFlytek’s technology. Moreover, Google Play includes iFlytek’s highly rated app, Voice Input. SIAC considers that a good start will be to pre-install this app on Android devices.
Still, SIAC is not the first to stand against Apple. The Cupertino Company already has a bad patent-infringement reputation in China. The best example here is Apple’s lawsuit with Zhizhen, a company affirming that their voice assistant Xiaoi Bot, came long before Siri.
Rumors of the latest generation of iPhone have been wondering around for quite a while because no one knows exactly when it would be released. It’s said that secrecy is in Apple’s DNA. It’s obvious that such a big corporation like Apple couldn’t have managed to maintain its gadgets secret until the release date if it weren’t for the demanding terms and penalties.
Mashable has provided a video with Siri being asked all kind of questions about the latest generation of iPhone. It seems that Siri has its answers well prepared when being faced with notions like smaller dock connector, 4-inch screen, LTE radio, NFC chip and so on and so forth.
RIM Blackberry has attempted to rise in sales like good old times, coming with an update for the developer edition devices and namely Siri-like voice assistant. Siri is the one that made the iPhone 4S so popular so could Blackberry chuckle over success with the new virtual assistant?
So devices running Blackberry 10 Alpha could get in touch with the new update, even the voice resembling to Siri. All the user needs to do is long press the voice command button positioned on the right side of the gadget between the volume up and volume down button. As highlighted in the video, the virtual assistant provides basic functionalities like searching the web but it can’t provide answers like Siri, lacking the artificial intelligence.
It’s stated that Nuance, the same company that developed Siri is behind Blackberry’s voice assistant. Blackberry is creating a new operating system for making its way through iOS and Android and gain the success that was taken from him after the two smartphones became the most popular.
I cannot say for sure if it is Martin Scorsese’s presence or just the idea of the commercial, but this one seems to please me more than those with the rational talk between John Malkovic and Siri or with Zooey Deschanel’s crazy questions. So far, Martin Scrosese and Siri may be the perfect match.
Martin Scorsese is traped in a taxi in the busy traffic of New York and, as always, as lively as a cricket. Siri sems to react spontaneously and accurately to his agitated way of talk and, moreover, she can also point the location of Martin’s friend, Ric.
Obviously, Apple comes with a new comercial to contradict the rumors saying that Siri is a problematic personal assistant and to introduce new features. Let’s hope that Siri will work as advertised with the new iPhone.
What goes around turns back around. It’s Apple’s turn to be accused of breaking the patents of others. The voice assistant developer Zhizhen Network Technology from Shanghai, China, filled on June 26 a lawsuit against Apple, accusing the Cupertino-based company of patent infringements.
Zhizhen received on February 15, 2006 the patents for a voice assistant, called Xiaoi Bot. The patent is “a type of instant messaging chat bot system” and it was implemented in services for MSN, Yahoo Messenger, and others. The issue is not about the Siri trademark, as in Proview’s lawsuit against the iPad trademark, but about how Apple introduced Siri on their Chinese website, saying that Siri “can understand what you say and what you’re asking for, and it can find the answer that you are looking for on the web”.
Zhizhen introduced Xiaoi bot on the market last month, as a voice assistant service of Lenovo’s Android 4.0 Smart TV and it will appear on smartphones, too, on February. On the other hand, Apple launched Siri last year with the iPhone 4S model and the iOS 6 will add also Chinese language support. Yet, according to the lawsuit, the Shanghai Company owned the patents first.
The lawsuit is currently in pre-trial negotiations and if the court will find Apple guilty of patent infringements, the tech giant may have to offer for the second time a huge financial compensation to a Chinese company.
Siri and Google Search were tested by Apple analyst Gene Munster. In order to prove who’s the most responsive service analysts asked simultaneously Siri and Google Search 800 questions in a quiet room and other 800 questions on the noisy streets of Minneapolis. It turned out that the Google Voice Search on Android’s new operating system Jelly Bean was more spontaneous than Siri.
The results were published yesterday in a note. Overall, Google received a B+ for accuracy while Siri received a D.
Google understands 100% of the questions (not surprisingly, since they are keyed in)
Google replies accurately 86% of the time
Siri comprehends 83% of queries in noisy conditions, 89% in a quiet room
Siri answers accurately 62% of the time on the street and 68% in a quiet room.
The following movie also proves Google’s victory in a competition with Siri. Though the responses showed by the Voice Search on 4.1 Jelly Bean are not as fancy and good looking as those showed by Siri, Google’s service proved to be more faster and more responsive.