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

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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

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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?

Siri sheds users as AI assistants struggle to take over

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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.

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

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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.