“Siri, is Mickey Rooney dead?”
To me, that’s AI: the prediction of what my desired answer is, and the useful summary of the historical data that most humans would internalize. There’s a lot of companies out there that want to build this, but I don’t trust them. They want my data running through their servers — with Siri this could potentially all be done on the device, with anonymous meta-data sent out for quick analysis.
-Ben Brooks, “Artificial Intelligence and What Computers Still Don’t Understand”
I am with Ben on what Artificial Intelligence should look like in the future, as well as who I am willing to trust to give me the desired information. I actually am surprised sometimes how often I use Siri on my iPhone because “she” honestly can’t do that much. Normally, I use the assistant for hands-free navigation and texting, but the other day, my colleague asked me a piece of trivia that I didn’t know.
Me: “Siri, is Mickey Rooney dead yet?”
Siri: “Here is what I found for you. (complete with Wolfram Alpha sheet on Mickey Rooney)”
Me: “How old would that make him?”
Siri: “Here is what I found for you. (complete with Wolfram Alpha math sheet)”
I am not saying that this use is in any way integral to my day, like Ben’s posed scheduling questions, but there are many parts to AI and, just like their OS offerings, Apple is snatching the low-hanging fruit in how they are building their still-in-beta voice assistant. First it was the essential items such as hands-free texting, then it was looking up movies, and now it is wikipedia, search, as well as purchasing and reserving; we can only hope that the service continues to get more robust in what information it can provide us when we ask question, from the fun to the fundamental.