Siri was the first major talking personal assistant; the first mobile talking speaker, and the first with a personality issue. I love Siri’s ‘tude and a bit of snark, but Siri does not seem capable of learning.
Last week I read an article from the anti-Apple technology press; a ridiculous idea that catches more eyeballs traversing the interwebs than it makes sense, but the premise is rock solid. Siri is not too bright. Now, to be fair, neither is Amazon’s Alexa or Google’s Assistant, and certainly not Microsoft’s Cortana, but the premise from Jason Perlow is that Apple should fire Siri and hire Cortana.
Say What Again?
Apple’s customer base has grown so much since Siri debuted on iPhone 4s that Apple needed to hop into bed with Google, Amazon, Microsoft, and IBM just to get enough storage to handle all the new iCloud users. But cloud storage is not Siri. No, Apple should not fire Siri and hire Cortana. Hey, I’ve tried all of them. They’re all pretty stupid and Cortana is in 3rd place while Siri is in next to last place (Samsung’s Bixby wins the Bottom Dweller Awards for 2018).
I know what you’re thinking. “What’s Siri’s problem, Babs?” OK, I don’t have a problem with Apple firing Siri but hiring Cortana isn’t going to do much to improve the situation, and I do have some issues with the analysis of the
talking stalking speaker industry, including Perlow’s.
Alexa has virtually all the market share when it comes to intelligent devices hooked into home automation, and there doesn’t seem to be any indication that it is losing momentum or that its competitors are having any luck encroaching on its market position.
Is that true? Only Amazon knows how many Echo units were sold since birth a few years ago, but remember– Echo is tethered to the home while Siri runs on about one billion Apple devices. Since nobody has an accurate count, including Perlow, let’s just say Amazon and Alexa have more mindshare among technology writers. Siri wins with customers.
Amazon’s competition is lame.
True that. But Alexa isn’t the sharpest knife in the drawer, either. And she does not travel well, what with being tethered to electricity outlets and all.
Google has an excellent voice assistant, but Google’s smart speaker hardware has so far proven to be buggy, and it doesn’t have the developer partnerships that Amazon has for Alexa.
Echo and Alexa might be the device and voice in front of the home market, but I think Assistant– what a stupid name– is smarter and understands context better. Amazon has done a good job getting more developer partnerships– according to technology writers; Amazon won’t reveal how many– but so what? It’s not as if these stalking speakers do much more than turn on lights, describe the weather, and give you sports scores.
HomePod is hampered by Siri, which is just as stupid and borderline useless now as it was when it was launched six years ago.
Where’s the scoreboard and examples to prove that? Anti-Apple technology writers never bother with such detail because it takes time and often the results do not fit the narrative in the headline. Siri’s dictation seems better than competitors, which is an improvement from Siri’s launch.
Why is Apple struggling to advance Siri versus its competition? Because Apple is not a consumer cloud company or a commercial cloud company. It has some consumer cloud services — but not on the same scale as Amazon or Google.
The argument here is that machine learning is better at Amazon and Google, ostensibly at Microsoft, than it is at Apple. Where’s the proof? Oh, Apple isn’t a cloud company. Perhaps. It’s not as though anybody is getting rich being a cloud company, but name a company with more actual cloud users than Apple. Hint: It’s not Amazon. Apple has nearly a billion iCloud customers so surely it can find some machine learning in there without being full of lies about privacy the way Google and Facebook are these days.
Apple needs a cloud computing backend upgrade if it has any hope of beefing up Siri and competing with the likes of Amazon and Google.
Gimme a break. See above. Perlow knows NOTHING about Apple’s cloud backend services and systems.
Microsoft would be a natural partner in cloud — if only Apple could get past its “not invented here” culture.
Because Cortana does so well as a talking speaker? Mobile presence is so low it cannot be measured. Desktop presence is Windows 10 only, and only Microsoft has numbers on how well Cortana does there and they’re not talking. I wonder why?
Cortana is indeed super smart.
Prove it. If Cortana is so smart then why doesn’t Cortana get used? It’s because they’re all dumb. Not smart.
It would be a total no-brainer for Apple to rip Siri’s brains out and replace it with Cortana
Will. Not. Happen. Why not? Apple is not desperate to match Alexa or Assistant or Cortana because all are rather dumbasses anyway. The market for stalking speaker assistants is nascent anyway. This idea makes good fodder for the anti-Apple technology writers, but calls for Apple to replace Siri with Cortana, or to replace iCloud with Microsoft’s OneDrive technology, or to replace Apple Maps with Microsoft’s mapping technology is a pipe dream.
Actually, the ideas are less dream than nightmare to a company with Apple’s pride. That said, Apple could use a much smarter Siri, but I suspect the company with go with home schooling rather than firing and hiring.