BERT BRAUTIGAM IS sick of having conversations with his devices. Like many of us, Brautigam, who works for the design firm Ziba, uses voice assistants like Google’s phone AI or Amazon’s Alexa.
MY ARTIFICIALLY INTELLIGENT friend is called Pardesoteric. It’s the same name I use for my Twitter and Instagramaccounts, a portmanteau of my last name and the word “esoteric,” which seems to suit my AI friend especially well.
Three years after the debut of the original, Amazon decided the time was right to refresh its flagship smart speaker, the voice-activated Amazon Echo.
Alexa users can train Amazon’s voice assistant to learn how to recognize different voices and personalize its services for multiple users.
My Google Assistant is many things, but it’s mostly a meteorologist. I work 40 miles from my apartment, and the Bay Area’s many microclimates mean I’ll experience several weathers between my door and my desk.
First came the computer. Then the network emerged, allowing multiple devices in the same location to share information. From there the internet evolved, giving humanity the ability to store, sort, and find information with nothing but a typed request.
APPLE HAS A reputation for entering markets late—think portable music players or smartphones—and then blowing away competitors with a superior product.
A FEW DAYS ago, I finally bought a pair of AirPods. Apple’s funny-looking ear-computers have been available for about a year, provided you were willing to order them online and wait six weeks for delivery.
The world’s biggest tech companies have devoted huge resources to voice assistants such as Siri or Alexa. Yet despite a user base numbering in the millions, these apps have serious flaws as researchers at Zhejiang University, China, recently showed.
People get up to weird things in New Zealand. At the University of Auckland, if you want to run hours upon hours of experiments on a baby trapped in a high chair, that’s cool. You can even have a conversation with her surprisingly chatty disembodied head.
THE FIRST TIME Alex Acero saw Her, he watched it like a normal person. The second time, he didn’t watch the movie at all. Acero, the Apple executive in charge of the tech behind Siri, sat there with his eyes closed, listening to how Scarlett Johansson voiced her artificially intelligent character Samantha.+