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The Silent Siri Revolution That No Ones Talking About

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Siri, Ah the dunce of the AI class, the butt of many a joke. Siri, over the past few years has got the reputation of being the dumbest smart assistants around. Sure Siri was the first to the game but over the years Siri has ceded ground to the Google assistant and Alexa. Since that day we've been begging for a massive Siri overhaul and so far we haven't gotten it...or have we?

Don't Bite Off More Than You Can Chew

With each WWDC we hope that Apple will work its magic and bring Siri back into the forefront but lo and behold that never happened. Apple here is playing catch-up, but they're playing it carefully. Sure they could put out this massive update that promises to fix Siri, but it could just as easily break it. When tech companies try to do too much at one go the end result is usually a dumpster fire. Remember iOS 11, The Windows Phone or the  Android Tablet? All of the above tech ventures tried to do too much without laying the ground work. iOS 11 added too many features without considering the toll that it would take on a majority of the devices, Windows Phone didn't focus enough on app development and Android was never optimised for the big screen. Things might have gone a lot better if these changes were slowly introduced. The things in iOS 11 could have been slowly brought on over a few updates and that way they could have focused more on the stability of the OS. With Siri however Apple is doing the opposite. At WWDC 2017 we were expecting an upgrade that blew the Google Assistant out of the water, But in reality we got better third party support,a new voice and the ability to understand context. Over night Siri went from sounding like a robot to very human like. Just take a listen to this to understand how much better the Siri on iOS 11 is compared to iOS 10. More over the contextual understanding that Siri gained in iOS 11 helped it answer questions a lot better. iOS 11 gave Siri an impetus in the right direction putting it more or less in the ballpark of the Google Assistant. Over the life cycle of iOS 11 Siri started to be able to answer really obscure questions, sure even now its not as good at the Google Assistant but it is miles better. A small update on its own, but now with iOS 12 Siri has gained new functionality with Siri Shortcuts. Apple is building on the foundation that it laid for Siri in iOS 11. Not the one fell swoop of improvement that we all hoped for but important improvements none the less.

Siri And Sports

If you're reading this from the USA or Canada you might not know or care that the Football(It's not called soccer) World Cup is underway at the time of writing. So being an Avid fan of football I decided to use Siri to keep an eye on games that I couldn't watch cause I was driving or something of the sort. My god Siri has really improved when it comes to sports. 
You can ask Siri complex questions like "Show me Germany's next two games " and it will actually show you the two games.Which the Google Assistant for some reason can't do.

The Same goes for other sports queries, " How many goals did X athlete score" Siri consistently answered those questions while the Google Assistant did not.

When it came to sports the common theme was that Siri outsmarted the Google Assistant in almost every way. Siri could help me find team rosters, Siri provided me with game stats, Siri could even find useful data from previous games.
The Google Assistant Just hits me with a search result. Siri has consistently been better for me when compared to the Google Assistant when it comes to sports. 
Apple has really done a great job improving Siri's knowledge database. Siri can now more accurately answer both sports and non sports related queries. Good job Apple you're finally putting in the work yo save Siri.

Warning Subjective Opinions Ahead

This section of the article is a bit of a rant about some of my major gripes with the Google Assistant.Another field where Siri reigns supreme for me is voice recognition. In my experience Siri's is miles ahead when compared to The Google Assistant's. I can't for the life of me figure out why this is. Google has the best machine learning algorithms in the industry and the voice recognition on my phone is abysmal. Maybe it's my accent but I highly doubt that that's it when Siri can so easily understand me. Siri has no trouble picking up what I'm saying even I wake up in the morning and people have told me that I'm barely understandable right after I've woken up. The matter is even more confusing when I consider that Siri can understand long complex Indian names with no issues whatsoever while the Google Assistant just struggles with it. This shouldn't happen as I've granted the Google Assistant App full access to my contacts and the hardware the Google Assistant runs on is irrelevant as the Google Assistant runs on severely underpowered non android devices and all this processing is done in the cloud anyway. I've found that the Google Assistant just flat out messes up the things I actually said. The frustrating thing is that the Assistant gets it right on the first try and then changes it to something totally different. 
For example I asked the Google Assistant " How much does a chipmunk weigh" and the Google Assistant responded with this.
On another instance I asked the Assistant " Find me information about Italy " and it came up with this:
The most frustrating thing is that it actually did get the word Italy right and then changed it to "Airoli" at the last second. Again these are just my experiences and your mileage may vary.


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