AI assistants

Read Cult of Mac’s latest posts on AI assistants:

This AI assistant can help with virtually any task


Producti is the AI business assistant that every professional deserves, now under $50.
Multitalented AI assistant Producti can write, code, transcribe and more.
Photo: Cult of Mac Deals

At this point, we all are aware of the power of artificial intelligence. Now, you can apply AI as your own personal assistant with a productivity-boosting program called Producti.

Whether you’re a freelance writer, business owner, marketer or casual user, there are plenty of tasks you can streamline with lifetime access to Producti’s AI. And, through December 25, a lifetime subscription to Producti’s Pro Plan costs just $49.99 (regularly $647).

Job postings hint Apple is developing its own generative AI chatbot


Siri might get smarter.
Photo: Apple

Apple is apparently responding to criticism that it doesn’t offer real competition for OpenAI’s ChatGPT and Google’s Bard, two AI-powered chatbots that have made so many headlines in recent months. Job postings show the Mac-maker is on a hiring spree for people skilled in generative AI.

Perhaps Apple’s voice-activated system Siri is in for a significant jump in capabilities.

Siri activated by ‘a city’ or ‘OK, Jerry’ reveals study of false wake words


Siri Lights
Accidental wake words affects all the major smart assistants.
Photo: Ste Smith/Cult of Mac

“Hey Siri” can be inadvertently activated by other wake words including “A city,” “Hey Jerry,” and more, reveal researchers from Germany’s Ruhr-Universität Bochum and the Bochum Max Planck Institute.

Siri’s far from the only voice assistant with a weakness when it comes to false triggers, however. The study compiled a list of over 1,000 words that can accidentally activate different A.I. assistants.

Theoretical improvements: The status of Siri in iOS 12


The iPhone's home button could be going away.
Siri should be a lot smarter.
Photo: Ste Smith/Cult of Mac

WWDC 2018 bug Cult of Mac In the battle of digital voice assistants, people often mock Siri for lagging behind competing products from Amazon and Google. During Monday’s WWDC 2018 keynote, Craig Federighi, Apple’s senior vice president of software engineering, glossed over those failings, calling Siri the “world’s most-used digital assistant.”

What he neglected to mention was the increasing frustration of Siri users expecting more from a voice assistant. From simple requests returning inaccurate results to the inability to performthat he compound actions, Siri was in desperate need of attention going into WWDC. But will the Siri upgrades in iOS 12 do the trick?

Samsung’s first Bixby speaker will take on HomePod in early 2018


Apple's smart speaker will arrived early next year.
Photo: Apple

Samsung wants to take on Apple’s HomePod with its own smart speaker, which could arrive as soon as the first half of 2018, a new report claims.

Like Apple, the Samsung smart speaker will reportedly focus on high-end audio quality, as well as functioning as a hub for controlling smart home devices. The smart speaker will reportedly be based around Bixby, the Samsung AI assistant introduced this year for the Samsung Galaxy S8 and S8+ handsets.

Siri sheds users as AI assistants struggle to take over


Sorry, Alexa: Siri still the most widespread AI assistant
Siri's popular, but getting less so.
Photo: Ste Smith/Cult of Mac

Siri remains the most widely used virtual assistant but is losing popularity, according to a new report.

What does this mean for HomePod, Apple’s upcoming smart speaker? And what type of person is an AI assistant “superuser”? The study offers some surprising insights.

Number of Siri-style AI assistants will overtake humans by 2021


How Ovum thinks AI assistants will occupy the marketplace in 2021.
Photo: Ovum

The number of AI assistants by 2021 will outnumber the current world population, according to market research group Ovum’s new Digital Assistant and Voice AI–Capable Device Forecast.

The report highlights the growing popularity of Siri-style smart assistants, and also offers some intriguing predictions as to which AI assistants will become big, and which will be also-rans.

Siri’s creators will debut next-gen AI assistant next week


HAL 9000 is the spiritual antecedent of CARROT. Photo:
We're getting closer to HAL 9000 every day.
Photo: 2001: A Space Odyssey

Siri has been gradually getting better since its debut in 2011, but some of its original creators are set to introduce its successor, Viv, next week — and, by all accounts, Siri better watch her back!

Having operated in stealth mode for more than a year, Viv’s arrival hopes to represent a significant step forward in artificial intelligence as AI assistants take on more of an active role in running our lives.

Apple’s next acquisition? It would be great to think so.

Kahney’s Korner: Apple could learn from the Amazon Echo


Leander Kaheny likes his Amazon Echo and wonders what if Apple created such a device.
Leander Kaheny likes his Amazon Echo and wonders what if Apple created such a device.
Photo: Cult of Mac

I’ve had the Amazon Echo sitting on my desk for the last couple of months and it’s an odd device – and I actually think it’s pretty great.

It’s a voice-controlled, speaker-cum-shopping tube that can go in your kitchen, living room or bedroom. You use it for simple queries like, “How’s the weather?” or “How is my commute? or “What is Barack Obama’s middle name?”

Listen to me interact with this device on this week’s edition of Kahney’s Korner.