Let’s talk about talking speakers. I’m talking about Siri. And Google’s oddly named Assistant. And Amazon’s Alexa. OK, if you must, Samsung’s Bixby and Microsoft’s Cortana. Yes, Facebook’s Portal, too. Talking personal assistants are a massively important paradigm shift. How important?
VP Of Siri
Siri is so important to Apple’s future that there’s a new… take a big breath before you read the title… Senior Vice President of Machine Learning and Artificial Intelligence Strategy at Apple. John Giannandrea once was Google’s Chief of Search and AI. Now he works for Apple. Giannandrea is Siri’s boss.
How important is Siri to Apple’s future? Giannandrea’s title alone should tell you. Tim Cook:
Machine learning and AI are important to Apple’s future as they are fundamentally changing the way people interact with technology, and already helping our customers live better lives. We’re fortunate to have John, a leader in the AI industry, driving our efforts in this critical area.
Critics, market watchers, nattering nabobs of negativism, and members of the technorati elite politburo have long castigated Siri and Apple because competitor’s
talking speakers intelligent personal assistants were considered so vastly superior that Apple would never ever catch up. Expensive carrot on the stick notwithstanding, Giannandrea seems to think otherwise.
Google Assistant was long considered the smartest of the talking personal assistants and that remains the case. Guess who comes in a close second? Guess who tops Amazon Alexa, Microsoft Cortana, Samsung Bixby, and Facebook?
In a test of talking speakers— think Amazon Echo, Google Home, Microsoft Invoke, and HomePod– Siri cam in second. Uh huh. Ahead of Amazon Echo. All talking speakers have improved over the past year but Siri improved three times faster than Google Home.
What does that say about Apple’s ability to compete in the talking speaker and personal digital assistant category?
Giannandrea’s background and experience at Google, and his appointment to Senior VP status at Apple, and Siri’s dramatic improvement in 2018 tells me Siri is more important to Apple than Siri is to Apple’s customers.
We are in the midst of a slow change in history; moving from keyboard centric computers, to mouse and trackpad navigation, to single finger tap navigation, to gathering information from talking speakers. Older methods won’t go away for a few generations because Siri and her friends are not all that smart and less useful.
Today. Tomorrow will be different.
Apple knows that and seems to have worked diligently to improve Siri to compete with Alexa and Assistant. Giannandrea’s position has been elevated to display how much Siri means to Apple’s future.