Yes, by definition, they are personal computers, too, but easily distinguished by desktop and notebook computers because they are handheld and use a finger to navigate vs. trackpad or mouse. In the age of Sir, Alexa, Cortana, Bixby, Google Assistant, and others, our personal computers, smartphones, and tablets are not personal enough.
Helpful & Snarky
One of the most endearing traits Apple put into Siri is the ability to be a little snarky at times. Think of Siri as a little bit of artificial intelligence but with an attitude. Frankly, I like that. People can be that way so why not a personal device we use every day.
Siri is not personal enough today as we near the end of 2017, but I see the handwriting on the wall for future versions of Siri and AI on our iDevices. How so?
First, data. Apple’s devices– as well as most others, either PC or Android– collect an enormous amount of data; personal data, location data, action data, and over time that data begins to form a picture of who we are, what we do, where we do it, how we feel, and who our friends, co-workers, and neighbors are.
Google does more with that captured data than Apple. Good for Google. Not good for you or me. Why? Google uses that data to create a personal profile of you and your habits so it can better serve you with advertising. Facebook and Amazon do much the same thing. Apple is different. Yes, Apple captures data but much of what pertains to you stays on your device, other data is scrubbed and anonymized so it can be used to advance the state of the art without tying it back to you.
So, how are Macs and iPhones not personal enough? And how will they get more personal?
Think of what happens when all the collected personal data gets analyzed for trends. For example, Watch and iPhone have a motion sensor and collected data over time can tell Siri how you walk, and Siri could ask you if you’ve had too much to drink– or even prohibit you from driving if you have– all based upon data about how you’re walking at the moment when compared to previously collected data. Add some Watch heart rate data in there. Then mix it all up with location-based data and when Apple gives Siri some interactive options to speak without being spoken to, now we’re talking the age of artificial intelligence and a time when personal computers become really personal.
Futurists worry about artificial intelligence advancements. They also say the automobile is already dead but just hasn’t had a funeral yet, thanks to the age of self driving vehicles. Remember that Apple is a hardware company so why not Siri as hardware in a robotic device with all the personal touches of a very intelligent electronic pet that can speak without being spoken to?
Macs and iPhones are not personal enough but we’ll know we’re headed in that direction when Siri begins telling us about situations when we didn’t ask.