Siri Stories February 22

AAPL: 137.11

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Studies cited by the WSJ show that sexist attitudes are alive and well when it comes to preferences for gender in the voices of intelligent assistants.

An Indiana university study found that both men and women prefer a female voice, finding it welcoming, warm and nurturing. Microsoft and Amazon found the same thing in their own research. Even more tellingly, a Stanford University study reveals that preferences for male or female voices depend on the subject matter …

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Siri Stories January 30

AAPL: 121.63

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iOS 10.3 introduces new capabilities like Find My AirPods, but one change that went somewhat under the radar is a new feature aiming to improve Siri and artificial intelligence as a whole. As detailed by ZDNet, a new iCloud Analytics feature aims to collect data from users and use it do improve Siri and other smart features.

We’ve noted several times that Apple desperately needs to improve Siri, especially if a standalone Siri Speaker is in the pipeline. Would you opt-in to iCloud Analytics if you knew it would help Siri?

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A little over a month later and one of the biggest challenges using AirPods has to be the primary means of control, Siri. Within Wi-Fi networks or strong cellular service, Siri usually works reliably, even if with some delay. Step into an elevator or subway, and that voice control interface is rendered useless. Without a good internet connection, Siri just doesn’t work and that means pulling out your phone or using your Apple Watch for controls. It’s a first world problem, sure, but that doesn’t mean we can’t push for a better solution. However, even if it’s temporary, there is an offline option to use for now…

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Siri Stories January 26

AAPL: 121.94

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Upate: Partnership on AI has now confirmed that Apple has joined.

A tech industry body established to agree best practice in the use of artificial intelligence had one notable omission in the impressive list of member companies. IBM, Google, Facebook, Microsoft and Amazon all signed up, but Apple didn’t.

The Partnership on AI was formed in September, with part of its brief to make recommendations in the areas of ethics, fairness, inclusivity, privacy and trustworthiness – all values you might expect Apple to fully endorse. But while the company didn’t sign up at the time, it appears this is about to change …

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