Apple’s Russian virtual assistant had some Siri-ously outdated views. Photo: Jackee Chang/Twitter
Apple’s Russian version of Siri launched earlier this month, and while the presence of the virtual assistant in Russia is certainly welcome, its early bigoted views were not.
According to one YouTube user, Siri not only refused to answer questions about gay bars but went a step further, providing downright homophobic responses. In the video, Siri supposedly claims to be embarrassed by the topic, suggesting that gay marriage is a bit of a downer.
HAL 9000 is the spiritual antecedent of CARROT. Photo: Metro-Goldwyn-Mayer
Most apps are way too nice to us. “Don’t worry that you missed your 10,000 steps today,” they say. “There’s always tomorrow.”
CARROT apps are different. Whether you’re using a CARROT calorie counter or a CARROT weather forecaster, all the apps in the growing line have one thing in common: an hilariously sadistic AI character that serves as your in-app guide, dishing out harsh punishments if you miss your targets.
“So many of the apps out there are just cloyingly sweet, CARROT creator Brian Mueller tells Cult of Mac. “They’re always telling you that you’re doing a good job, no matter what you’re doing. I wondered what would happen if you did the opposite and created a sarcastic, irreverent personality who would yell at you if you don’t get stuff done. And, to my surprise, people really, really responded to it.”
Siri thinks it’s about time the Apple Watch arrived. Photo: Apple
The tech world is eagerly awaiting the arrival of the Apple Watch and Siri, it seems, isn’t any different. With the launch of Apple’s debut wearable just a month away, the iOS virtual assistant is apparently just as obsessed with the device as we are — as a simple “What are you doing now, Siri?” question will attest.
Check out some of the amusingly geeky responses below.
We’re finally going to get the TV experience we deserve. Photo: Jim Merithew/Cult of Mac
A new Apple TV set-top box is set to arrive this summer at Apple’s World Wide Developers Conference, according to a new report citing sources familiar with the situation.
The upgrade would represent a much-needed “significant overhaul” of the device, letting it go far beyond Apple’s current TV offering and crossing over into other areas such as music, apps and even home automation — with a nifty Siri-based interface, to boot.
The Black Eyed Peas co-founder apl.de.ap relies heavily on Apple gear. Photo: Sebastien Camelot/Flickr CC
The Black Eyed Peas’ co-founder apl.de.ap is at the top of his game in the music industry and a total Apple fan. He’s also just beginning to speak out about his journey from a young boy with a visual impairment to his current status as a star vocal coach on The Voice of The Philippines.
“I was born with my eye condition,” apl.de.ap, aka Allan Pineda, told Cult of Mac. “Today, I feel much less handicapped by my legal blindness as technology has helped me a lot…. But that doesn’t mean it wasn’t extremely tough at times, and occasionally I still feel challenged by it.”
He lives and breathes by his MacBook Pro, thinks Siri is amazing and messes about with music apps on his phone. He shared with Cult of Mac the story of his early life, the visual problem known as nystagmus, and his reliance on and use of technology and Apple products, which he says have helped him get through “a lot of things that would otherwise leave me helpless.”
Microsoft’s Cortana is coming for Siri and Google Now. Photo: HALO
Microsoft’s virtual assistant Cortana has been pretty vocal about bashing rival services like Apple’s Siri. But she may soon get the chance to put her money where her mouth is.
That’s because, according to a new Reuters report, Cortana is about to bust out of the Windows Phone ghetto and make her way to both Android and iOS.
The version of Cortana set to arrive on non-Windows devices is reportedly a new, improved version, using research from an artificial intelligence project called “Einstein.” This same version will also be available on Windows 10 desktops this fall.
Siri speaks even more languages in iOS 8.3. Photo: Jim Merithew/Cult of Mac
Apple’s second iOS 8.3 beta, which was pushed out to registered developers on Monday ahead of a public release later this year, enables Siri to speak seven new languages, testers have found. It also brings more performance improvements for older iOS devices like the iPhone 4s.
Want to see all the songs you’ve found via Siri or iTunes Radio? Photo: Buster Hein/Cult of Mac
iOS 8 includes Shazam — a magical technology that gives your iPhone the power to listen to a song and tell you what it is. In the car, at a movie theater, or even at a crowded bar, you can just ask Siri, “What song is playing?” or hold your home button for a few seconds, and your iPhone will use Shazam tech to tell you exactly what song is in your environment. You can also (surprise) buy the song you just recognized via a little button in the results screen.
But what if you want to buy it later? Or remember what song was playing at the bar last night when that cute girl gave you her number? You can easily do just that with a quick trip to iTunes on your iPhone.
Siri can help in far more languages than most of its rivals.
Three-and-a-half years after the debut of Siri, virtual assistants haven’t yet become a user interface element on par with, say, the mouse cursor — but that’s not through any lack of trying.
According to a new study carried out for Venture Beat, Siri not only defeats Microsoft rival Cortana and Google’s Google Now automated assistants in understanding English; it absolutely slays them when it comes to other languages.